Blackbaud Newsroom

Blackbaud Employees Honor Military Veterans Through Heartfelt Memories and Stories

November 11 is Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in the U.K., Australia, and Canada. On this date, many will take time to remember those who sacrificed their lives in service and
others will express gratitude to those who have served and continue to do so today.   

At Blackbaud, we are proud to call many veterans our colleagues, family, and friends. To those who have served or are currently serving, we honor you. To those who have died while in service, we remember you. And to the family members who have supported veterans along the way, we say thank you.  

To commemorate the significance of this day, a handful of our employees are sharing fond memories and stories of their time in service or of a loved one who served. Read their stories below.

To every veteran—and to the families who support them—your sacrifices, bravery, and strength do not go unnoticed. We are grateful for your service. 

To every Veteran—and to the families who support them—your sacrifices, bravery, and strength do not go unnoticed. We are grateful for your service.


Amanda H., United States Navy


One of the proudest times in my life was when I served in the United States Navy. A young girl from the San Francisco Bay area landed in basic training, aka, boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. This is where I would celebrate my 19th birthday. It was definitely a birthday to remember—“You think you’re special because it’s your birthday, recruit?!” Those eight weeks made me stronger than I could have ever imagined and over the years, I have loved sharing my journey.

John EsrpamerUnited States Army  
remembered by Lauren G.

“This is my great uncle John Erspamer. He and my great aunt Anne were my guardians due to lack of birth-parent involvement. They are both buried at West Point Military Academy. Uncle John was career Army, starting off at West Point, then being assigned to the Aleutian Islands. He was there when WWII broke out and was sent to fight in Europe on the front lines. There he sustained severe injuries that caused him to spend the final year of the war in a hospital in England, recovering and learning to walk again. He had a permanent limp and some shrapnel always remained in his leg. Due to the severity of the injuries, he was never able to return to battlefield duties, and finished the remainder of his 21 years in the Army on diplomatic missions in the Pacific Rim.  

After retiring from the Army, he became a schoolteacher until his death from cancer—far too soon in his early 60’s. The dog in this picture is Duke, who is buried in his West Point footlocker.” 

In Loving Memory, 


Brian R.United States Army 

“My proudest military moment came years after I got out of the Army. Someone shared a full-page ad in the New York Times that read,   

‘Thank you, America. On the 25th Anniversary of the Liberation of our country, we, the people of Kuwait, would like to thank the American people, leaders, and military, for your support and courage.’  

That was the day I learned about Kuwait Liberation Day—observed annually on February 26, the day Kuwait was liberated from Iraqi occupation in 1991 by the coalition of Allied forces, led by the US military. Knowing that I played a small part in what became another country’s Independence Day makes all the blood, sweat, and sacrifice worth it.” 


Cathy A. and Dana A., Royal Canadian Air Force
honored by Preston A.


“My parents, Cathy and Dana served a combined 22 years within the Royal Canadian Air Force and my dad also worked with the US Military on multiple missions in Afghanistan.  

I am so proud of them both for their many years of service in the Royal Canadian Air Force and for being great role models and parents. And a huge thank you to their awesome military friends for setting them up on that initial blind date—it worked out well for me!” 

Love your son, 


Viola and Joe Barron, Canadian Armed Forces
remembered by Jason D.


My grandfather, Joe Barron, volunteered to serve in the Canadian Army during WWII in 1942 when he was just 21 years old. In August 1943, he sailed with his regiment to Europe on the Queen Mary and trained there as a Sherman tank driver/mechanic. He was assigned to the 2ndCanadian Corps in the 6th Anti-Tank of the 33rd Battery, B Troop. His tank’s call name was Baker Four. 

Most notably, he was involved in several battles to expel German forces closing the Falaise Gap and he fought in the Battle of the Scheldt, securing the port of Antwerp in the Netherlands and liberating the Dutch from the grip of the Nazis.  

My grandmother, Viola Barron, worked as a “Bomb Girl” in the munitions factory in Ajax, Ontario, Canada until WWII ended in 1945. This is significant because she contributed to the war effort at a time when females were just starting to work in traditionally male jobs.   

Joe was discharged from service in January 1946 and he and Viola went on to have 8 children before his untimely death on October 25, 1967, at the age of 46. Viola raised her family as a single mother and lived to the age of 98, passing away just recently on October 12, 2022. 

My grandpa and grandma will always be heroes in my eyes.  


To every Veteran—and to the families who support themyour sacrifices, bravery, and strength do not go unnoticed. We are grateful for your service.