Last week, we ended with a teaser…did it work? If you didn’t read last week, you can check it out here. Part 2 is below…happy reading!
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”
I don’t remember everything from my graduation day at West Point, but I do remember the late Donald Rumsfeld was our speaker, and I remember him challenging my graduating class with a quote from the bible, “To whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48).
That line has both inspired me and haunted me over the last decade or so.
“To whom much is given, much is required.”
It has driven me to do more than I thought possible, but it has also drowned me at times in a mixture of PTSD and survivor’s guilt. It has inspired me to action, but it has imprisoned me with anxiety. And if you are thinking about me the way I thought about myself, I get it.
How could this guy struggle?
I have everything anyone could ever want or need from this world, a family who loves me, supports me, holds me accountable, and allows me to thrive. A mother who prayed for me and a father who pushed me – both loving me and cheering for me the entire way. Siblings who laughed with me and looked up to me. A beautiful wife who has loved me through the highs of accomplishment and the lows of panic attacks. Kids who make me want to be a better version of myself every day. Professionally, a business partner who saw more in me at times than I could see in myself, and a team that has pushed me, taught me, followed me, and delivered for me.
How could I struggle? And if I am struggling, how do the people who have no support system survive?
I have everything anyone could want from life, and yet…I struggled.
War is a scary thing, and the mind of man can be scarier. Over the last decade, I have seen classmates commit suicide, and former soldiers fall victim to drugs and alcohol. Classmates struggle to find a job or a place in the civilian world, and soldiers who were so scarred by war that they scared their families away. In moments of reflection, I always wonder, how can I help? I have volunteered for veterans’ organizations, and I have donated to the downtrodden. I have tried to bring awareness, understanding and open minds to people who may not understand…some I helped and some I couldn’t. It doesn’t seem to make a dent.
But to whom much is given, much is required.
So today, I am declaring that we – those on the MCFA team, those with who this message resonates, and those who want to work for us or partner with us – are here to make a dent in the universe.
I am announcing a renewed 10-year vision at MCFA. MCFA is committed to making the world a better place by investing in transitioning military veterans to become leaders in the construction, engineering, architectural and real estate development professions. Through this, we will inspire and transform a new generation of leaders in both the public and private sectors to continue to serve our nation. We have a goal over the next 10 years to:
- Train 1000 transitioning veterans for jobs in the A/E/C and real estate development industry, for service in the public and private sectors – and hiring 100 of them to support our clients.
- Interview 1000 Entrepreneurial Public Servants on Inspiring People & Places podcast and partner with 100 of them to impact public service, stewardship of tax dollars, and innovate delivery in the development and construction industry for the next generation.
- Invest in and develop 1000 units of veteran housing (with first floor shared office/training space to incubate and launch 10 veteran businesses).
- Last but not least, donate 10% of all profits to our Philanthropic Arm, the Friendly Strife Foundation, to give back to Veteran-focused and Veteran-operated missions, initiatives, non-profits and businesses committed to serving the greater good.
At MCFA, we are on a mission to inspire people and places to make the world a better place. With our team, partners and network, we will make these goals a reality and put a dent in the universe.
We have a big, audacious and meaningful mission in front of us. If you want to have fun, work hard, make memories and create meaning in the world, let’s talk.
To whom much is given, much is required.
BJ Kraemer, President