A Caring Colonel
Jack's family has been in America since 1623, naming one of their sons John for just about as long. Dad would be John, his son would be Jack, his son's son would be John, and so on. His roots are about as deep as can be in America. His branch of the family settled in Tenefly, New Jersey, where he grew up.
The little bit of friction Jack remembers of his time growing up in Tenefly grew out of his family and community not being as open as he would have liked with other people outside the community.
This feeling that people deserve to be actively included became a defining part of that narrative of Jack's life. When he graduated high school, he went to one year of college where he enjoyed partying more than his classes. He recalled, "the college felt that it was a good idea for me to take some time off, permanently." From there he and his friends joined the army reserve and served active duty in Fort Knox Kentucky.
When he came out of active duty he went to Officer Candidate School and got a commission as a lieutenant and went to a National Guard unit just outside of New York.
He remembers the beginning of a personal mission in his battalion to promote people from disadvantage as a puzzling case that kicked off a bit of a crusade.
Jack went from active duty to work for an engineering company in Canada that worked on pressure relief valves. From there he went on to become the general sales manager for Teledyne, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and finally Executive Director of Sales and Marketing at Teledyne. As a part of the job, he traveled to Brazil, Iran, and all around Europe, to promote and indirectly sell to engineering groups around the world. He retired in 1996 when Teledyne was sold and as he measured his options, he decided to go back to military involvement
Jack says when he grew up there wasn't as much self interest in government, so people trusted the government more generally.
We interviewed Jack's wife Pat, and had a similarly compelling conversation. You can check it out here: Resilience and Reassessment in Santa Fe