If you are old enough to remember Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, which are also known as the first Gulf War, then you surely must remember General Norman “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf, the U.S. Army general that served as the supreme commander of coalition forces during that war.
A big, burly man that just oozed confidence, Gen. Schwarzkopf quickly became a U.S. folk hero when his ground campaign ended in victory a mere 100 hours after it began. He was so well liked that many people tried to persuade him to run for political office, but the general preferred to slip back into anonymity.
As a result, the glowing reputation he earned throughout his career was never tarnished. That is not to say that he would not have maintained that reputation if he had entered politics, but few survive the political firestorm without taking some damage.
It is Gen. Schwarzkopf’s reputation that serves as a lesson for those making their estate plans. When we die, it is not just our property and possessions that we pass on, but our name. What is your reputation? Will you be leaving your children with a pile of money and a reputation in tatters, or will they be able to hold their heads high no matter how much or how little you pass on?
Gen. Schwarzkopf’s death also serves as a reminder that all veterans will die at some point, even national heroes, so take the time to learn what benefits are available to your survivors.