Like so many others, he came out of the Vietnam “sadness,” deeply scarred by his experiences. He was a medic, a hero, and ready to get on with his life. When he came to me looking for a job, he was not yet ready to take on more battles and wanted something to do that was entirely different from anything he had done in the past.
It only took minutes for me to know I would hire him, and when I did, he asked, “why do you hire me since I have no experience with children?”
I told him it was no problem and not to worry. I would help him learn. I knew then that he was a gift coming into our life. And, maybe, we were a gift in his life?
In no time, he became a member of my inner circle. If a job needed doing, he took it on. If he needed help, he asked and was given what he needed. No task was undertaken without him also taking full responsibility. Other staff members recognized him as a leader and readily cooperated with him. He led in whatever he was called upon to do.
Our staff was in training for over six months before the Youth Hotel opening, and he facilitated them earning some money doing various jobs for the hotel. He made it easy for Lenette and me to do our jobs, her to design and outfit, and me to deal with the administration and other details.
Sometime later, Hilton Corp. purchased the International Resort and Hotel. The Youth Hotel died soon after, as did the Hotel itself. We moved on, and as a result of fulfilling a request to study a failing resort at Lake Tahoe, we were hired to implement the program we designed. I chose a select crew to join us at Lake Tahoe. I wanted the best people to ensure that the family program we designed would succeed.
The vet that did such a remarkable job for us in Las Vegas and my other inner circle members came to take over and operate what was a tennis club (29 tennis courts), condos, apartments, restaurant and bar, pools, and other resort facilities. I selected our vet to be the marketing director, a job he had never done before.
He began slowly but picked up speed as his experience grew. In time he achieved a near miracle with articles in airline magazines and other media, and our resort filled up with reservations for the coming summer. Other members of our inner circle did their job as if pros in the resort business for years. A full house was expected, but it rained all that summer, so cancelations came as fast as the raindrops.
No problem, as he sold out the resort for the coming winter snow scene. Once again, we had a full house of reservations, but, as luck would have it, the rain continued all that winter, meaning no snow and canceled reservations. The resort owner offered to sell it to us for pennies on the dollar. This was during the Carter period, and high-interest rates made it impossible to find an investor. We sadly let it go, and we moved the Inner circle into our home while Lenette and I left for our seven-and-one-half-month Mexico adventure.
Our vet and former marketing director found a job with a major Casino and Resort Corporation. It took a while, but he was recognized as an exceptional talent and began his upward climb in a very tough business. He ended up head of marketing and sales. He earned it.