Nathan Huret • Apr 13, 2020

Who would you want in your “foxhole”?

First, let me start by hoping and praying that you and your family are doing well and are staying safe during these very uncertain times. I hope so and I hope that continues.

So much has changed in one month – worlds have literally been turned upside-down in the span of just 30 days.


After the longest economic expansion in our country’s ENTIRE HISTORY, the economy appears teetering in multiple areas, with a downward spiral that seems to be impacting EVERY sector from your favorite diner to funeral homes. In the span of weeks, there are more K-6th graders learning through Zoom/Google Duo/etc. “virtual classes” than there are in school halls and uncomfortable desks right now. New terms have gone from just being coined – to being part of everyone’s everyday speech: “social distancing”, “flatten the curve”, and “community spread”. And we all do our best to “play” epidemiologist – maybe this will only be a month, or perhaps another two or all Summer….maybe a second or third wave will come around, just like the Spanish Flu in 1918. Hell, even gas is back below $1.50 at the convenience store closest to my house.

The change has been exponentially fast and very few of us have been prepared in any capacity for it.

Yet, early on in this month, I came across a LinkedIn post (Meghan Michael – Owner, HR Navigator) that caught my eye. It was a commentary on “Why Veterans Are Valuable During Any Crisis”. It made some great points that have rung true with me since and have offered yet another reason why our efforts to recruit and retain military families to our community can truly be impactful – beyond just needed top-caliber talent and population growth.

  1. Veterans are used to planning for the worst case scenarios…and flexing throughout the emergency
  2. Veterans have many important events during their service, so being inconvenienced for a few weeks or months is nothing new to them.
  3. We know which leaves can be used as, well you know, TP….
  4. Many military veterans have been in way worse situations and are ALWAYS thankful for what they have
  5. Veterans can always, ALWAYS find humor in the chaos, frustration and scary times.

Think of the many veterans in your life – do many of them embody these “essential” qualities?

I know for myself – even without a military background and that shared experience – the qualities of adaptation, getting the job done in tough conditions and even the gallows humor seem ever-present in the many active duty or veterans I come across.

This list further reminds me of some research I had done several years ago as we were piecing together an unsuccessful grant (did not get the money, but got to use it in a blog article. Boom!).

According to the 2017 Veterans Civic Health Index, veterans demonstrate higher levels of engagement than non-veterans on all civic health indicators. For three consecutive years, the data revealed that veterans are more likely than non-veterans to vote, contact public officials, volunteer, give to charity, work with neighbors to fix problems in the community, and attend public meetings[1]. In essence, veterans are returning home to strengthen America’s communities – they are thinking globally and acting locally as leaders and civic assets.

I heard a phrase once – “who would you want in a foxhole with you?” – implying who would you want with you when the challenges seem insurmountable, you are potentially surrounded and you need someone to safeguard you and them in return? In times like these and really every day, I suspect many of us would say – a veteran.

[1] Veterans Civic Health Index (2017) conducted by the Got Your Six non-profit organization

Recent Posts