First Friday Message

H-Hour D-Day

My wife and I look forward to the rare times when we can just relax on the sofa and enjoy a movie. Unfortunately, our movie tastes don’t always align – she gravitates to huggy-kissy movies (don’t tell her I said that!) and my tastes align more with espionage and historical dramas.

At this time of year, there’s no shortage of the movies and series I love to watch over and over. I enjoy the stories that celebrate great heroes and leaders. Saving Private Ryan (1998), Band of Brothers (2001), The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), Greyhound (2020), and Masters of the Air (2024) are some of my favorites and I don’t believe there is any coincidence that they all chronicle the military heroes of the Greatest Generation.

In referencing these movies and series, I’m fascinated by the individual roles that the different military branches played in WWII and the coordinated preparation and commitment that was essential to success. The exact date and breadth of the Normandy invasion was known by a select few while countless airmen, infantrymen, and sailors knew only that they had to be ready for any engagement that could happen on any H-Hour and D-Day.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent time with some of our young youth development and aquatic leaders as they prepare for summer camp and the increased activity in our pools. I appreciate their excitement and commitment to becoming better individually and as a team. And it’s here where I draw a bit of a correlation to the D-Day reference.

We work hard to prepare our young leaders so they can shine when the moment calls for excellence. For many of them, this is a first job and they’re given tremendous responsibility with those roles.

As we remember the sacrifices made 80 years ago in Normandy, I am grateful for those that sacrificed everything for our freedoms today. And in our Ys, I hope you can pause to notice the young leaders of this next generation who are also committing themselves to teamwork, preparation, and service to our community. They are doing phenomenal work and I hope we can all give them a little encouragement when we see them leading positively and confidently in and around our Ys.

Until next time…

Kevin Bolding, President & CEO
YMCA of Central Florida

The Y. For a better us.®

First Friday messages offer a monthly peak behind the veil of leading through change from the Y’s President & CEO.