I’ve made no secret of my admiration for one of our own Veteran Beer Company Brand Ambassadors, Frank Pierson. Frank’s another of those inspirational people that I’m lucky to have met along the way. If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll know from my writing that Frank lost his legs while in the Army, and then struggled a bit getting back to himself. He recently learned to walk again, and after his first tentative steps he’s done some amazing things, including walking down the aisle a week ago as the Best Man in his best friend’s wedding. (It just so happens that his best friend, Kyler Griffiths, is another Veteran who’s standing by to move here to start his career with the Veteran Beer Company.)
This week, we started collecting pictures of our employees—the people currently involved and those who are on deck waiting for their start date.
You’ll start seeing those pictures soon. Pictures of Chris Mullins as a Drill Instructor and Chad Watson as a Grunt. Of Blair Milo in desert fatigues, and Harrison Painter in his dungarees.
Today, Frank sent me some pictures. I think that even to people who don’t yet know Frank, these three pictures will be incredibly touching. Here are some excerpts from the email narrative he sent with the photos:
“This photo is when I was being promoted while in Iraq just before the accident as I still have legs in it, lol.”
“This one is when I was in the hospital, the first week. Everybody loves this picture because it’s of my wife and me.”
“This last photo was when I went back to visit my company returning from deployment. I ended up getting permission to have a friend do push-ups for my being a smart ass. Yes, it was a highlight of my military career.”
So, from being healthy and physically whole (and so young!), to a scene of physical and emotional devastation, to being able to laugh with his unit upon their return from deployment, the three photographs show a life transformed. Through it all, Kyler says the Frank Pierson he’s known for years–the Frank Pierson he considers a best friend and brother–remains. That speaks to a point the Veteran Beer Company seeks to make to America: disabled Veterans, who endure unemployment rates of nearly 90%, aren’t broken. They’re just broken in. If you think for a minute that we’ve seen the best Frank Pierson has to offer, you’re surely mistaken. Frank’s best is yet to come, and we’re lucky he’s with us.
Veteran Beer Company