One of the things I like best about our company is that at the end of the day, we create a fabulous product that we enjoy ourselves and can share with others. The work of everyone in the organization–all Veterans–contributes directly to our brewing award-winning craft beers. The fruit of our collective labor is something tangible, something we can all hold in our hands and interact with on a personal and community level.
Veterans Day 2016 marks our third anniversary. For three years we’ve been brewing these amazing products for people to enjoy in the states around our breweries in the upper Midwest. In the three years since we bottled our first beer we’ve won dozens of awards for the taste and the quality of our beer. We’ve donated thousands of dollars (more than 20% of everything we’ve ever made!) to local charities that support Veterans. Most importantly, we’ve done it all employing only Veterans (most of us disabled) in every role within the company.
Veterans Day is the perfect holiday for VBC, and not just because we share the name. Veterans Day is unique among national holidays in that it celebrates something tangible and not just a concept or an ideal, like other holidays. In Veterans Day we have the opportunity to reflect upon the fact that for centuries, Veterans have built this country and shaped this country and led this country and protected it and defended it and served it. Without Veterans, there is no United States.
The Veteran community is more important now than it has ever been in our nation’s history. America needs Veteran leadership, and needs the singularity of purpose Veterans are conditioned to exhibit. Veterans remind the broader populace of the successful unity of diversity that has been a military trademark for decades.
This Veterans Day, celebrate the many things that make us a joyful nation of achievers, the keepers of the flame of hope for so much of the rest of the world. If you can, celebrate with a Veteran (and with a Veteran).
Paul Jenkins, President and CEO