DROPOUT TO MEMBER OF U.S. AIR FORCE TO SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN REAL ESTATE
Upon graduating from high school in 1967, I realized attending college was not my number one priority—pretty far from it. However, seeking an education, I decided to attend a local community college. My grades quickly reflected my poor attitude towards school, and I eventually dropped out. Soon after, I received an offer from Uncle Sam to join the Army. I elected to enlist in the Air Force, knowing it was a commitment two years beyond what was required if drafted, but figured it was a good and needed solution that would allow me to do some maturing. And I was right, because it worked.
The military taught us important life skills, including teamwork and discipline and accepting adversity. I have been able to apply each of these principles, and more, to my 41 years in commercial real estate as both a developer and a broker. Just about every broker I encountered as a developer had prior military service during the Vietnam War, and nearly all were pilots or navigators. That experience allowed them to maintain focus and successfully work through the day-to-day conflicts. Such a profession required a great detail of commitment, discipline, and perseverance, especially when a paycheck was not always guaranteed. Even more so, it also required building relationships and working together with others—as we did in the service.
As I reflect, my military experience had a significantly positive impact on my life and those I have had the pleasure to work with over the years. Upon my discharge, I am also happy to say I returned to college and received my degree in business. While my path to ultimately join the U.S. Air Force may have been bumpy, I could not have asked for a better decision to lead me on the right path in life.
Learn more about Cushman & Wakefield’s Veterans Initiative Program.