Retired Lieutenant Colonel David Cooper of the United States Army joined Kerry on the Friday before Veteran's Day to talk about his service.
Colonel Cooper was a Medivac Helicopter Pilot in the Vietnam DMZ. After watching the recent AETN Vietnam War documentary, I understand just how dangerous helicopter missions were. The Colonel continues to live a life of danger and risk, by recently migrating from California to Arkansas in pursuit of his college sweetheart. Now that is living dangerously!
The interview includes war stories about Vietnam from his time flying DUSTOFF and get David’s take on the challenges facing our returning veterans now and find out what he sees for the future of our military personnel.
Even in retirement David is still serving his country through his advocacy work as President of the Arkansas Association of the United States Army.
Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com
[0:00:07.2] TB: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Be sure to stay tuned until the end of the show to hear how you can get a copy of this program and other helpful documents.
Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.
[0:00:17.2] KC: Thank you Tim, like Tim said, I’m Kerry McCoy, it’s time for me to get up in your business. Tomorrow’s Veteran’s Day. Who better to have on your show than retired lieutenant colonel David Cooper. Through our conversation and storytelling, we hope you will learn something, want to get involved or be inspired to take action in your own life.
For me, the taking action began over 40 years ago when I founded Arkansas Flag and Banner. During the last four decades, Arkansas Flag and Banner has grown and morphed from door to door sales to telemarketing, to mail order and catalog sales and now relies heavily on the internet.
Each change in sales strategy required a change in the company thinking and procedures. My confidence, leadership knowledge and my company grew. My initial $400 investment now produces nearly four million in annual sales.
Each week on this show, you’ll hear candid conversations between me and my guest about real world experiences. On a variety of businesses and topics that I hope you’ll find interesting.
Starting and running a business or organization is like so many things. It takes persistence, perseverance and patience. No one, and I mean, no one has a straight path to success. I worked part time jobs for nine years before Arkansas Flag and Banner grew enough to support just me. Today, we have 10 departments and 25 coworkers, thus reminding us all, small businesses are the fuel of our country’s economic engine and empower people’s lives.
Before we start, I want to introduce you to the people of the table, we have my cohost and coworker at Flag and Banner, Tim, say hello Tim.
[0:01:49.8] TB: Hello Tim.
[0:01:51.7] KM: Running the board and taking your calls is our technician Jesse, thank you Jesse.
[0:01:56.3] Jesse: Hello.
[0:01:59.1] KM: My guest today is, like I said, the retired lieutenant colonel David Cooper of the United States army. Colonel Cooper served as an, active duty in the united states army for 10 years. During this time, he was stationed in the Korean DMZ, demilitarized zone and in Germany.
His job there was medivac helicopter pilot. After retiring from the military, David retired to the San Francisco bay area where he went to work in the tire business for the next 15 years, he would be promoted to senior management for Good Year Tyre working in product placement and logistics for 27 states, West Canada and Asia.
Today, he lives in Little Rock, brought here by no less than the love of a woman, his college sweetheart. He’s smiling. And my friend. Never one to rest on his laurels. David quickly found some like minded people when he joined the association of the United States Army where he has served as Arkansas State presidency since 2016.
It is a pleasure to welcome to the table, retired lieutenant colonel David Cooper of the United States Army. Hey David.
[0:03:06.8] DC: Hey Kerry, how are you doing?
[0:03:08.5] KM: I’m fine. How old were you when you joined the military and what brought about that decision?
[0:03:16.6] DC: Well, I attended Southwest Missouri State College which was language college and at that time, if you joined — if you're a freshman in college, you also joined ROTC. I was a ROTC student for four years, during those four years I went to summer camp and I saw a helicopter flying into the landing zone there and I said, that’s what I want to do and the rest is history on that part of it.
[0:03:47.1] KM: Why did you join the ROTC?
[0:03:52.8] DC: First, it was required but then, the first years are recorded and the second two years, you’re on your own. My dad served in the army.
[0:04:01.9] KM: In World War II.
[0:04:02.9] DC: World War II. It was always kind of a patriotic thing that you want to do but I had a choice of staying in the ROTC program and we did commission lieutenant and that’s what I chose to do.
[0:04:17.2] KM: You know, wasn’t Vietnam war going on when you joined?
[0:04:20.9] DC: It was, yes.
[0:04:22.7] KM: That was not a very popular decision you made?
[0:04:28.4] DC: It was kind of a group of people that just, you know, we wanted to be in the commissioned officer program, not be drafted. The driving force was to stay in school, get your commission and then go on.
[0:04:40.8] KM: Because if you got commission, you don’t think you’d be on the front line as much?
[0:04:43.7] DC: No, as an officer, you get drafted as a private which is fine, that’s enlisted a little bit as you get through college, you can become an officer, that’s why I chose to do.
[0:04:54.1] KM: You saw a helicopter come in and you were like, “That’s what I want to do.”
[0:04:59.1] DC: Yeah, it’s a long story, in ROTC, they had an aviation program where they had just the 150s and you got your license there so that’s what I did as a senior and then from there on, my branch was medical service core which is the medivac part of the aviation field. Also basic then you reapply again to be for helicopter school, I did that and got accepted to fort Walters Texas for primary school.
[0:05:27.5] KM: I looked at your resume and it has so many words that were only military language but there was a lot of medical awards and education, and then there was a lot of pilot awards and education. To be a medivac pilot, what kind of education do you have to have?
[0:05:43.9] DC: First of all, it requires your passed your science and then you go to off your basic school, pass that and then again, you apply for helicopter school and you have always tell the story that at that time, you had one week to hover and two weeks to solo and you're out.
That was the pressure you had and it wasn’t just on my class, every two weeks, we were going through Fort Walters at that rate.
[0:06:12.1] KM: This sounds like words I used when I was doing potty training with my kids, you go, how many days to hover and then you’re solo.
[0:06:17.5] DC: It’s effective anyway, right?
[0:06:20.3] KM: Looking at your resume, you were in for 10 years. Was there something that looked like you were going to go as a lifer.
[0:06:27.5] DC: It was in 10 years that I got out. There was a lot of traveling, a lot of moving from place to place so I wanted to settle down but when I did get out, I stayed in reserves. I did 10 years of reserves after that. That allowed me to get retirement.
[0:06:45.0] KM: Full retirement. Because you got to be in 20 years.
[0:06:47.7] DC: Yes.
[0:06:48.4] KM: Why did you get out? You just wanted to quit traveling so much? You want to stay home and raise a family?
[0:06:52.7] DC: Probably doing that, yeah, I’ve looked back on it and in 11 years, or 10 years I’d been in 12 different locations, it was time to-
[0:07:02.8] KM: Were you married at the time?
[0:07:04.1] DC: Yes.
[0:07:06.1] KM: You already had children?
[0:07:07.1] DC: No. It was another thing, tired, got out, my son, Scott.
[0:07:14.2] KM: Do you recommend to other people to follow your career path? If this was your — if you were talking to yourself 20 years ago or during that time, what advice would you have given your young self?
[0:07:24.8] DC: Well, you know. The military, like everything else is just changing. It’s a program where it’s, I say stuff for everybody but once you are in the military, you’re in military for life. In our group, we say, “Soldier for life," well that holds true for marine for life or airman for life or sailor for life.
Once you’re in the military, it’s in your soul and so if you do two years or do 20, it doesn’t really make any difference, you’re still are a soldier for life and I recommend just do what you think is right for yourself but don’t join for the wrong reasons, you know?
[0:08:01.7] KM: I mean, I think anybody that joins the military will come out a better person for it.
[0:08:05.4] DC: Yeah, that’s true. But you need to join, not to make money, not to get, you want to join because you believe in your country.
[0:08:15.1] KM: That’s a great place to take a break. When we come back, we’re going to learn more about retired lieutenant colonel David Cooper. Hear a few war stories, talk about what he’s doing today as president of the Association of the United States Army and learn how you can get involved.
[0:08:28.6] TB: You're listening to up in your business with Kerry McCoy. If you miss any part of the show, a podcast will be made available next week at flagandbanner.com’s website. If you prefer to listen on iTunes, YouTube or sound cloud, you’ll find those links there as well. Lots of listening options, we’ll be right back.
[0:08:58.7] KM: You're listening to Up In Your Business with me Kerry McCoy, I’m speaking today with retired lieutenant colonel David Cooper. All right David, tell us about your tour of duty, a lot of people went to Vietnam, you’re a helicopter pilot, you’re a medivac helicopter pilot, how did you end up in Korea and not Vietnam?
[0:09:13.7] DC: It was 1970 actually, in December 1970 and there’s always been a unit in Korea, they call it the DMZ medivac and that supports the DMZ. Our soldiers in the Korean marines up there in the DMZ no fire zone. Some of my class went to Vietnam and a group of us went to Korea instead.
That was in the 377th medivac company. Had none of the – in Vietnam it was like day to day danger, there wasn’t that much in Korea, we had some that was never like Korea. Like Vietnam. It was one of those things that happened, you know, I kind of looked back on it, wished maybe I’d gone over the other way.
[0:10:06.4] KM: What? Nobody wanted to go the other way.
[0:10:08.2] DC: The medivac units are, we’re a closed knit group so I have a lot of good friends that did serve in Vietnam and some that served in Korea. By large, we all one team.
[0:10:11.4] KM:I mean, really, how did you draw the short straw? I mean, everybody went to Vietnam.
[0:10:27.3] DC: That time period, we still had sources in Korea and still do today, that it just happened.
[0:10:34.9] KM: I just watched the Vietnam war special in AETN in Arkansas Flag and Banner was proud to be one of the sponsors. I didn’t know this but whenever you watch a Vietnam war show, they always have the helicopter flying with Jim Croce blaring or you know, 1960s song, you know, anti-war song or whatever, blaring and I thought it was just the TV show. I found out in that Vietnam war special that they actually flew in with that music blaring because it scared the Viet Cong and they would all run and hide, that with the helicopter could scoop down, pick up the wounded and get out. Is that what you all did?
[0:11:11.4] DC: Not exactly. We didn’t have that – I know where that music was coming from but we didn’t have music like that though, it’s pretty wonder why, I could talk to the person on the ground, you recon the pilot’s talking to the person on the ground and saying which way to land, what’s going on and how many injured.
Back and forth and you land and get the people on board and then get out of there as fast as you can.
[0:11:37.1] KM: How many helicopters land in a group like this? There’s been a shootout?
[0:11:41.2] DC: Okay, it all depends. In our group, we were just one helicopter, with the cab, there would be a 12 or 14 helicopters come in but in medivac, by themselves, we’re just one helicopter.
[0:11:52.9] KM: Then you would put them on stretchers and then put them in the-now, you were the pilot, you wouldn’t get out would you?
[0:12:01.3] DC: This kind of go back, you have a crew of four people, you have a pilot and a copilot. You have a medic and you have a crew chief. Crew chief takes care of the maintenance of the helicopter, the medic, we call them doc because he’s an old timer, back there, back in the helicopter, he’s it or she is it.
They take care of the wounded, the pilot, copilot communicate with the medic and relay that message on to the hospital and the copilot take turns flying the aircraft.
[0:12:30.8] KM: You jump out and did you ever get shot out? While you were landing on the ground?
[0:12:35.6] DC: Not shot out of the ground, no.
[0:12:37.1] KM: Really?
[0:12:38.1] DC: We were in LZ’s that where people being shot but not shot at.
[0:12:41.9] KM: Because DMZ stands for demilitarized zone. In Vietnam, I also learned, I mean, I love that Vietnam special, I also learned on that Vietnam special that DMZ, they used to call it the ‘dead marine zone’ because it was so dangerous. You heard that before?
[0:12:56.9] DC: No.
[0:12:57.2] KM: You haven’t? Have you been watching that Vietnam war special on AETN? A lot of it can’t watch it.
[0:13:03.6] DC: I watched part of it, I wanted to see one episode and I saw that and that was enough.
[0:13:08.2] KM: It’s too hard to watch isn’t it?
[0:13:10.1] DC: It’s okay, I’ve seen many little shots before so it’s not why we want to watch.
[0:13:18.4] KM: I know, we had Terry Hartwork go in here, used to be the mayor of North Little Rock and he said he couldn’t watch it.
[0:13:26.1] DC: I think it’s well done, I think it’s very well done actually. That Kim Burns does great job of whatever he does. I think it’s good to show most sides of that, it’s kind of funny, my son went back to, just on a trip, he chose south Vietnam or he chose Vietnam to visit. It’s interesting how that kind of full circles around.
[0:13:50.0] KM: You don’t think flying, I would have thought flying in, picking up the wounded would be the most dangerous part of your job, would you?
[0:13:56.0] DC: Yes, because you’re flying low and slow and it could be hostile.
[0:14:00.3] KM: When you got home, are you like missing that adrenaline rush?
[0:14:05.6] DC: I think once you fly, you’ll always miss it when you aren’t flying but yeah, it was fun.
[0:14:12.1] KM: It was fun?
[0:14:15.8] DC: It was probably the most rewarding job I could ever have in my life. You know, based on what I’ve gone through. Yeah, it was very good.
[0:14:25.2] KM: What was the hardest part when you came back? When you said, “Okay," how many tours did you do? I can’t remember.
[0:14:30.1] DC: Just one. I did 10 years but I did a medivac for — nine of those years, I was at aviation medivac, different units, Germany, United States and Korea.
[0:14:41.4] KM: That’s not one, is that considered one tour?
[0:14:44.9] DC: Yeah.
[0:14:45.8] KM: But you were in Korea for a while and then how did you end up in Germany?
[0:14:50.1] DC: That’s another place we have, the military, you know, we have at that time, it was the Cold War and you’re in Germany and they’re stationed there and we had like a, five different units medivaced in Germany.
[0:15:05.3] KM: Did you bring your wife with you?
[0:15:07.0] DC: No.
[0:15:08.9] KM: You got to live in some pretty cool places I guess.
[0:15:13.1] DC: Really neat places, I was able to fly and that’s kind of too because you fly different parts of Europe and Germany which is fun.
[0:15:20.2] KM: What’s the hardest part about being in service and doing your job that you were doing?
[0:15:26.1] DC: You know, it’s a lot of time away from home, you know, you are away from home, it’s a 24/7 job, you do maneuvers or you go on different missions and you have to leave what you have gone and pack up and away from home a week or so, you don’t know, that’s probably the hardest part.
[0:15:46.0] KM: It’s the most rewarding job you ever had, why?
[0:15:48.6] DC: Because you’re working with a team that we have — it’s kind of funny, this is really where they have all these team building programs where you’re out in the woods for a couple of days and got back and you think you’re a team. Well, we work together for months doing the medivac routine where you have four people that pilot, co-pilot, medical crew chief and you’re one.
You’re one team, doing things together and don’t ask why you would do this, you just say, clearly the crew chief says, “Your right sir, your left sir.” It just stamps teamwork.
[0:16:21.8] KM: A lot of trust.
[0:16:22.5] DC: A lot of trust, and respect.
[0:16:25.0] KM: A lot of trust and respect. Really builds character I would imagine working together like that.
[0:16:29.2] DC: Well, you know, like I said, if I ever got injured or shot, I’d want my medic working on me more than anybody else because that’s how they ask you, how they were and how good they were.
[0:16:39.8] KM: You come back, you need to make the decision to get out of the military and you come home and now you leave these guys that have become family to you, I can’t imagine what that’s like.
[0:16:47.3] DC: Well, you just have good memories.
[0:16:51.9] KM: I’d miss them though, I guess now you’re like, Facebook you probably can find them on Facebook.
[0:16:55.5] DC: We also have a dust off group, we get back together every a year or so. You know, Facebook and internet so you know. I was back in the San Antonio two years ago and saw a lot of good friends.
[0:17:12.0] KM: What did you call it? A dust off?
[0:17:15.0] DC: Yeah, dust off.
[0:17:17.9] KM: That’s when you get back together.
[0:17:19.9] DC: That’s what you call the medivacs.
[0:17:23.1] KM: It is.
[0:17:24.0] DC: Dust off one two or dust off two one, whatever your call sign is.
[0:17:27.9] KM: Wow.
[0:17:29.3] DC: Okay, I’m going to try and get this right. Dedicated, unselfish service to our fighting forces.
[0:17:35.2] KM: Wow, did you hear that?
[0:17:37.1] TB: That’s great.
[0:17:38.6] KM: That is, I never knew that. All right, you come home, what’s the hardest thing about coming back? You get back in the civilian life. You hear about that all the time?
[0:17:48.2] DC: I think just of myself but for all your veterans that come back is the transition from military life to civilian world. You have a job and you’re looking for work, that’s probably the hardest part because you want to continue to work.
It’s hard to match what you were doing in the military to the outside world. Since I had a degree, I just went ahead and got a job that they wanted — got in the sales force with Michelin Tyre Corporation and worked with them for a while.
Then, at the same time, I got involved with the reserves so I was with the reserves, so I still had that connection.
[0:18:29.5] KM: Do you recommend everybody to maybe stay – maybe that’s a great thing for everybody to do, you get out of the service, you’re decompressing, your wife’s worried about her hair appointment and you just saved someone’s life last month. Maybe the decompression, everybody should join the reserves.
[0:18:44.8] DC: It’s an option, yeah.
[0:18:46.8] KM: I mean, it seemed to work for you.
[0:18:48.8] DC: I think what was important was you still can be part of the military. When I was in the reserves, I was an umpire controller, we did training exercises, all experience I gave when I was inactive duty, I could apply it to reserve training and it was a real great fit for me and then I really enjoyed it and plus, I’m able to retire, go to the PX and commissary of the air force base up here in little rock, I enjoyed doing it.
[0:19:21.2] KM: We talked about the language to that people talk, I just read your resume and I can’t even understand it because the language in the military is so different.
[0:19:30.6] DC: It is. When you’re in the military, it’s really simple to pick it up but I even notice when I’m out right now, there’s been some new acronyms have come in, you know, that I don’t understand but yeah, it’s a whole different language, it’s from rank structure to — it’s all there in black and white but it’s different language.
[0:19:56.8] KM: Yeah, I’ll say, you have to just go, “Speak English please”. What do you compare about today’s war that we’re in that I recently? Maybe everybody knows this but I didn’t know it was longer than the Vietnam war. How does someone say that the other day?
[0:20:14.4] DC: I could tell you, it’s the longest war in our history. It was served by the fewest percent of our population. Think about that, longest war in our history, 12 plus years, served by the fewest percent of our population.
[0:20:28.6] KM: How long was Vietnam?
[0:20:31.0] DC: I don’t know, it wasn’t 13 or 14 years. It’s all voluntary army now and back then, it was a draft, that’s different vouchers too.
[0:20:43.8] KM: Maybe we don’t need as many people now because there’s drones and their technology.
[0:20:49.8] DC: It’s something we got to understand that we — during this last war, we set people on multiple tours four or five times. We’ve used, really, our soldiers and our marines or air men, really hard the last 12 years. There’s no question about that.
It’s very important for days like tomorrow that we understand what importance the veterans are to us and how many we have coming home now from this last war.
[0:21:20.5] KM: Maybe that’s why PTSD seems to be higher is they keep going back and going back.
[0:21:25.7] DC: It’s accumulative. So is TBI.
[0:21:29.9] KM: What’s TBI?
[0:21:30.5] DC: traumatic Brain Injury. Once you're in a lot of explosions, first tour, the second tour, the third, it accumulates in your system in your body. But PTSD is also the same. Because everybody has that, you know, everybody’s witnessed a car accident that you know, you see, something will trigger it, maybe down your road, you see a car accident and I remember how it was.
Well, just think about it happening every day and then that’s a whole different trigger system.
[0:22:01.1] KM: You were there long time, you never came home so I don’t understand. I guess maybe you were not in the actual front lines?
[0:22:09.0] DC: Tours of duty in Vietnam are one year. The tour’s about the same.
[0:22:16.1] KM: I don’t understand because —
[0:22:19.8] DC: Okay, let’s just talk about today’s situation, you’re deployed for 12 months and then you come back and you train again, you relax, build up and then another 15 months, you go back. Back in Vietnam, you’re the only one down, one time you would go out, one time — unless you wanted to — you could do it again if you wanted to but-
[0:22:40.3] KM: You want to reenlist?
[0:22:40.6] DC: Yeah.
[0:22:41.3] KM: But you were in Korea and then you were in Germany, isn’t that considered two tours of duty?
[0:22:45.5] DC: Yeah.
[0:22:46.3] KM: Well, you keep saying I had one tour of duty but you really didn’t.
[0:22:48.9] DC: No, I had tour in united states. I had probably five different tours, yes.
[0:22:54.3] KM: Now you’re starting to make sense out of everything. I still want to talk about the difference between today’s war and that war too, I’m going to pick your brain on that a little bit more. When we come back, I want to talk with him about his advocacy work with the Arkansas Association of the United States Army where he has been the president since 2016 and what they’re doing to help the veterans and how you can get involved.
[0:23:16.4] TB: you’re listening to up in your business with Kerry McCoy. If you miss any part of this show, a podcast will be made available next week at flagandbanner.com’s website. If you prefer to listen on iTunes, YouTube or Soundcloud, you’ll find those links there as well. Lots of listening options.
[0:23:45.6] KM: You’re listening to up in your business with me Kerry McCoy. I’m speaking today with retired lieutenant colonel David Cooper. All right David. Now you can’t rest on your laurels, you’re retired, you could be doing anything you want, you chase a college girlfriend back to Arkansas form California, who is a friend of mine and you get involved here in Arkansas, you’re now the president of the Arkansas Association of the United States Army and you’re always knocking on Arkansas Flag and Banner door with a hand out.
What is that and why did you decide to get involved?
[0:24:26.5] DC: Like our saying, you know, all of us who are soldiers once, we’re always soldiers. It was an opportunity for me to get involved, we have a chapter, president Harold Tucker did a great job with the Arkansas chapter and we needed a little position for the state president so I volunteered and that was two years ago and the Association of The United States Army is a nonprofit professional and educational group.
We support the soldier and the family in DC, we have our lobbyist, we’re acting — you know let’s say what we call —
[0:25:06.9] KM: Advocacy?
[0:25:07.5] DC: We’re advocacy, we advocate for the Army.
[0:25:10.3] KM: But you’re in Arkansas but you have a lobbyist in Washington.
[0:25:13.3] DC: We have our headquarters. So we have a chapter in Arkansas but we have a headquarters and in the headquarters that’s where they do the advocacy for the soldier and families and we’re unique that we are both enlisted and officer which works both of those groups and we support the National Guard, Army reserves and the active Army.
[0:25:33.4] KM: And by supporting, what do you mean by that?
[0:25:36.0] DC: Advocate for, we advocate them. We still hear our medical benefits. We advocate for pay increases, we advocate to take care of the Army. Only one percent of our population is in the military. One percent of our population is in the military.
[0:25:53.6] KM: Not in the Army but in the military.
[0:25:54.9] DC: The military.
[0:25:55.8] KM: Really? I had no idea.
[0:25:57.4] DC: So we’re the one percent and with that one percent, you have to look at it. That one percent that defends our country so it’s important that we take care of that one percent and make sure that they have taken, well-trained, well-equipped and well paid.
[0:26:10.2] KM: I don’t think people realize this or at least I didn’t realize this for a long time but soldiers are only in the Army. Sometimes people, service men are everybody. Soldiers are only Army.
[0:26:21.7] DC: We have a range of Marines and Airman are airman and sailors are sailors, yes.
[0:26:25.4] KM: So Armies are soldiers.
[0:26:26.4] DC: And what’s unique about it, you know, we hit that run where we have Army-Navy game and all of that and so I equate it to brothers and sisters of a big family. You can fight like brothers and sisters but when someone comes to your backyard, you’re a team.
[0:26:40.4] KM: That’s right and in your organization that you are in was started in the 1950s.
[0:26:44.9] DC: Yes.
[0:26:47.6] KM: And why did that come about? What need did they see that was not being met?
[0:26:51.4] DC: It was post World War II event, every time there was a major war, traditionally in our country there has been a downsizing. So you will downsize it down to a point where it’s very small and the theory is they save money but in actuality you need to keep a level of military strength throughout because to go from a small army to a big army, it doesn’t do, it overnight. It takes years to do that. So you try to keep your membership constant. That’s why that group is formed to help —
[0:27:24.5] KM: Keep the membership up?
[0:27:26.2] DC: Keep the congress aware of the needs of the military.
[0:27:29.8] KM: So it doesn’t ever wane and like you said, become not supported enough by our military in case there is — we need to have enough military in the reserve. In the Army reserve.
[0:27:39.6] DC: Yeah and you know for the first time ever too we have a very low percent of our military represented in congress by membership of congress.
[0:27:48.9] KM: You know that’s true, you almost used to never be a politician if you haven’t served in the military. You couldn’t even be a President of the United States if you didn’t have military experience and it seems like a lot of them don’t now.
[0:27:59.9] DC: It is. I think this is going to reverse itself because of all the people involved with the last war because so many evolved and I think we’ve got some good people coming up.
[0:28:08.2] KM: Well I think it should because it creates like you said, it teaches you how to teamwork, together. Wouldn’t that be nice if we had that in Washington and it’s about service? It keeps the ball of service in front of you all the time to go, “Oh yeah, our job is about service. Serving our nation”.
[0:28:28.3] DC: Yes, it’s important for people to realize what war is and what the sacrifice that are made in war and military people know that. Like our chief, General Miles said two weeks ago he was in a convention back there, “We pray for peace but we train for war”. Those are two big opposites you know? But that’s what they do. That’s what we know, that’s what the military is about, it is keeping peace.
[0:28:58.2] KM: You know a lot of people think that the expense of a war which is what, not Dessert Storm but the last one, what was the one freedom?
[0:29:09.9] DC: It was OYF-OEF those are the combination, Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Operation Enduring Freedom, those were the two.
[0:29:16.9] KM: Well, General Powell tried to talk about the expense of war. It’s not just about war but it’s about, it’s actually more expensive to take care of your veterans after a war than the war itself. The Vietnam veterans right now, taking care of them is more than the Vietnam War ever cost us.
[0:29:37.1] DC: And as we go on forward, it’s going to be even more expensive than the folks who just got back this last war.
[0:29:43.8] KM: And our government doesn’t have the staff to take care of all these veterans. Even if you can get a veteran, I listened to a gentleman at rotary on Tuesday at downtown Little Rock and he was talking about PTSD. He has it’s really bad and he said even if you can get through the stigma of going and asking for help and going into therapy which is hard for a lot of men to do when they come back and even if you can get through that stigma and get there, there’s not necessarily enough support from the VA because there’s so many people that need help.
[0:30:23.0] DC: Well let’s go back, there’s a lot of strong veterans out there that don’t have injuries that are working in our society. They are very good but the ones that are injured do need to be taken care off. That’s the truth of the matter and like every war, there is an injury that comes out of it. Like in the Vietnam War there was the burns, so we designed burn units throughout the country. Now burns duplicate what the Milicade did for the Vietnam War because they’ve learned from it.
Likewise, the TBI injury and the PTSD injury, we are learning so much about that now because of this war that it will literary help all of our society down the road.
[0:31:08.7] KM: What an interesting positive way to think about it. That I’m going to hate to think about our military as being the guinea pigs for us to grow and learn in the medical world but it is true.
[0:31:18.5] DC: It’s true and we’ve come a long way so you know that some of those real stigmas that they had before are no longer there and there is a quote though that I want to share with you. I’m going to try to get through it because it was written years ago and they spoke a little differently in English. It says, “The willingness for which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified shall be directly proportion to how they perceive the veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by their nation," George Washington, November 10th 1781.
[0:32:01.0] KM: Wow, so you want to join the military because you have a great perception of how they were treated before.
[0:32:06.2] DC: Yes.
[0:32:07.2] KM: Profound.
[0:32:09.6] DC: Well, I was back in this meeting and two weeks ago it was in DC and we had a speaker who was trade dock commander, General Perkins, a smart guy and he was saying how he had these things because when we pre-trained 10,000, we produce 10,000 soldiers a month in training. That is huge and he said we have a lot of things in our plate. He said, “Well you know probably George Washington had a lot on his plate when he crossed Delaware”. That’s a true story.
[0:32:40.9] KM: I think Theodore Roosevelt was the last president that went into war. Actually went to war.
[0:32:45.6] DC: Well you know, Bush senior was a Navy Pilot who got shot down.
[0:32:50.4] KM: Oh really?
[0:32:51.8] DC: Yeah.
[0:32:52.4] KM: Okay but he wasn’t president yet?
[0:32:54.3] DC: No.
[0:32:56.6] KM: So I mean Theodore Roosevelt was actually the president and he rode into war.
[0:33:00.9] DC: Yes, you’re exactly right.
[0:33:03.7] KM: In the Mexican, Spanish-American War or what was it? He was a Texas Ranger I think.
[0:33:09.2] DC: He was a character.
[0:33:11.7] KM: He was, he’s my favorite president. I know everybody else loves Abraham Lincoln but I love Theodore. He rode in on horseback. So your advocacy group is the Association of the United States Army and you help veterans.
[0:33:26.4] DC: What we do locally, that’s what we do nationally and we talked about that but locally, we look through, we have objectives. Past is the retirees and veterans, we work with the VA on the veteran’s volunteer services group and support them. We are looking at different ways to help veterans that pass veterans. Presently, we work with a knife brigade out here in Camp Robinson where they have a function we would support them and future, we support 24 JROTC groups of five, ROTC groups here in the State and —
[0:34:00.4] KM: So that keeps your recruits coming in and then you?
[0:34:04.0] DC: Yeah, the JROTC list, let’s talk about that for a second. That’s for high schools okay? We know that from JROTC only 10 to 15% will go on to military but I don’t know if you know this but only 71% of our youth do not qualify for military service.
[0:34:25.6] KM: For health reasons?
[0:34:26.8] DC: A couple of them, academics, drugs, physical and medical reasons.
[0:34:32.7] KM: Wow.
[0:34:34.1] DC: So let’s think about that that 71% do not qualify. So in JROTC we approach that as you have physical activities. They graduate and they go in and about our country and they have a good peer group. So that itself even though they may not all get in the military, we’ve done some real good citizen support with them.
[0:34:54.5] KM: So if you are a JROTC, Junior ROTC and you want to go and be ROTC in college, will they pay for your college education?
[0:35:01.7] DC: You can get a scholarship, yes.
[0:35:03.8] KM: And that means you have already signed up to serving the military.
[0:35:07.1] DC: There is an obligation, yes, when you take that scholarship.
[0:35:11.0] KM: And then you also work with the veterans and I heard 19 veterans are killing themselves a day right now.
[0:35:16.9] DC: Well there’s a lot of veterans but yes, we work with veterans in Arkansas. There is 197,000.
[0:35:24.5] KM: 197,000 veterans.
[0:35:27.6] DC: It’s 8.7% of our population, adult population.
[0:35:32.4] KM: Really, that’s a lot.
[0:35:34.4] DC: Yeah, you know we ranked 22nd in the nation of veterans.
[0:35:44.4] KM: Of veterans, I guess that is not surprising. Don’t you think the more rural areas, people join the military because they want to get out. They are looking for options.
[0:35:55.3] DC: Well I think Arkansas is very patriotic anyway. I think we have that, south eastern part of the country is. The number one state for recruits is California because it has so many people and that’s in Texas that I think population wise, we have a good percent that join the military.
[0:36:16.3] KM: Well we got plenty of arsenal.
We’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about Veterans Day.
[0:36:26.1] DC: Sure.
[0:36:27.9] KM: We are going to talk about Veterans Day.
[0:36:29.6] TB: You are listening to Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy. If you missed any part of this, a podcast will be made available next week at flagandbanner.com website. If you prefer to listen on iTunes, YouTube or Sound Cloud, you’ll find those links there as well. Lots of listening options.
[0:36:58.6] KM: You are listening to Up In Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. I am speaking today with retired lieutenant colonel, David Cooper. I really like that song. I want to make a play around and it’s very emotional and up and down. I will look to see who wrote that.
[0:37:11.0] TB: That’s the music from the movie, Patent.
[0:37:12.9] KM: Is it an army song before that or was it a score written just for Patent I wonder?
[0:37:18.2] TB: I don’t know that particularly.
[0:37:20.1] DC: I don’t know that but it's-
[0:37:21.8] KM: It really sounds like army.
[0:37:23.3] TB: I wouldn’t be surprised if they did it just for the movie.
[0:37:25.9] KM: I wouldn’t either if it’s probably a score for the movie but you know, if any —
[0:37:29.2] TB: But now that it is in the national conscious hear and they think of the army.
[0:37:32.4] KM: All right, enough of that. You are back in Little Rock, you are the president of the Arkansas Association of the Army. You’re making sure that we have enough people trained in America in the army, you’re recruiting people but you also need sponsors and how do people get involved?
[0:37:49.7] DC: Okay, so let’s go back a little bit. We support the Army here in Arkansas, the retired Army, the ones that are down at Camp Robinson and our future ROTC, JROTC with membership we have 290 members at Arkansas and we also have corporate members and that’s like Flag and Banner. It’s from corporate members, we get part of their membership. It comes back to their chapter so we can do events.
[0:38:21.0] KM: Can anybody be a member or do you have to be in Army?
[0:38:23.8] DC: No, if you love the army, you have a corporation and you want to help the Army, you could be a corporate member.
[0:38:29.8] KM: But the non-corporate members, do they have to be army-civilian?
[0:38:33.2] DC: No, anybody can join.
[0:38:34.5] KM: And when you came how many members did it have?
[0:38:37.5] DC: I’m going to put this back on Herald Tucker’s play coast, he got the membership going here. We had about 150.
[0:38:46.5] KM: What have we got now?
[0:38:47.4] DC: 290.
[0:38:49.0] KM: Oh you doubled it, almost.
[0:38:49.8] DC: Yeah in our corporate membership which I got to work a little bit, we’ve doubled it also. So our corporate members help us out. It’s like if we are in, if you have employees because half of our military is retired, is National Guard and reserve that’s our neighbors. So there is a good chance that if you have employees, some of them will be in the reserves.
[0:39:16.5] KM: That is one of the problems and people come back from their service and they can’t find jobs, talk to me about that a little bit. How can we hire more of these service men? How can we find these men? How can we train them? How can we help them and get them back in the community?
[0:39:28.6] DC: There is a program and it’s – I will get this right, US Army Pays. If you go online, it has it all written out. There is some good ways to doing it. We are just now getting into that part of it Kerry.
[0:39:44.7] KM: US Army Pays.
[0:39:47.1] DC: P-A-Y-S yes.
[0:39:48.8] KM: And can you go there and hire military people?
[0:39:51.9] DC: It will show you how to do it, yes.
[0:39:54.0] KM: And then military people can come back and go to that also and sign up and put their resumes in there and say help me get a job?
[0:39:59.9] DC: Well the other thing is I know for a fact that there’s several groups here that had job fairs for veterans and I recommend employers to use those however they can.
[0:40:14.3] KM: I don’t know why every employer wouldn’t hire veterans. I mean they’re trained, they’re disciplined, they’re team oriented.
[0:40:19.9] DC: Did you see that not too many people qualify. So you get a good quality group of people to work with.
[0:40:26.5] KM: Yeah, you said only 30% of the population can even qualify to join the service. So you are getting healthy people.
[0:40:35.2] DC: I think, unlike years ago, I think people are realizing that and we talked about it before. We only have a different terminology for what we do in the military which is a civilian world. There is ways to connect this. So that is one of the projects we are looking at to help. There is AR Vets I know has job fairs and they’re work with us every single year.
[0:41:00.6] KM: So you’ve got a website now and what does it do? What’s the name of it?
[0:41:05.3] DC: Here we go, www.ausa.org/arkansas.
[0:41:12.3] KM: All right, say it again, another one of those acronyms from the Army.
[0:41:17.6] DC: www.ausa.org/arkansas.
[0:41:24.3] KM: That will get you to Arkansas website and why do we want to go in there for?
[0:41:29.4] DC: Well, I don’t know if you have seen it, we’ve got a journal that we published three or four times a year where it’s out quarterly but it’s called The Hog Call and we have, back to corporate sponsors, Flag and Banner is on our corporate page.
[0:41:42.8] KM: And the Hog is not for Razor Back hog? tell everybody what HAWG stands for. Doesn’t it say for something else in the military?
[0:41:50.0] DC: No.
[0:41:50.5] KM: Yes it does. Yes it does because we just had a HAWG, we just had a submarine or something that’s up in — we are having a boat being launched out of Washington DC from Arkansas but it’s HAWG I think
[0:42:07.4] DC: Yeah, well this has something to do with the Razor Backs.
[0:42:10.9] KM: Oh it does and they let you use that? I’m surprised.
[0:42:13.0] DC: It’s a Hog.
[0:42:15.0] KM: I don’t know.
[0:42:17.7] DC: Hog’s are brown before Razor Backs.
[0:42:20.0] KM: They don’t think so.
[0:42:21.2] TB: If there is anyone that can get bypassed the SCC’s trademark offices, it’s the US Army.
[0:42:28.0] KM: That’s just right.
[0:42:29.0] TB: That’s the one people that the SCC trademark people are probably afraid of.
[0:42:35.0] DC: So anyway, we have the journal and in the journal for all of our members that have gotten away from the military, there is a lot of information in it and there’s something that happens just tomorrow.
[0:42:45.3] KM: Yeah, what’s going on tomorrow? Tomorrow is Veterans Day everybody, salute a vet, kiss a vet, hug a vet.
[0:42:50.4] DC: So the PX actually the exchange system is like a department store on basis and post throughout the country, okay? And before, you have to be retired to get on the base or to get or use the PX. Well, they passed a plan just recently that starting tomorrow all you have to have is your DD214.
[0:43:13.9] KM: What’s a DD214?
[0:43:15.0] DC: That’s when you leave the military, that’s what you get with that you could do business with the PX online for the first time ever. So everybody, that is over there are all veterans.
[0:43:24.8] KM: Tomorrow?
[0:43:25.1] DC: Starting tomorrow from now on.
[0:43:27.7] KM: Forever, if you have ever been a veteran and you’ve got your DD?
[0:43:31.9] DC: 214, go online.
[0:43:33.6] KM: Put in your number and you can start getting PBX prices.
[0:43:37.6] DC: Online yes.
[0:43:39.2] KM: Online, well my father would have loved that.
[0:43:43.1] DC: Yeah so I’d say that is a good sign. So let’s talk about Veterans Day. First of all you are right, it’s tomorrow. We’re celebrating it today, for some people have and I relayed a little bit to you my coffee group is well up in Boulevard. We have coffee every… and Paul came in which is a Navy veteran and we’ve known each other. We said, “Hey you know congratulations on being a vet” and he says, “You know Dave I am worried that people think that Veterans Day is just about sales and department stores and getting the day off” and I said, “Well I think you’re right”.
In about the same time a gentleman came down and he says, “You know we work for the State and I got the day off. I might as well kickback” and I said, “You know Veterans Day is November 11th” he says, “I didn’t know that”. I said, “Yeah, it was first called Armistice Day” and he says, “Yeah it was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when World War One ended”, ceasefire and that’s why we have Veterans Day on the 11th of November.
[0:44:59.3] KM: Did anybody know that? Tim you’re a trivia nut.
[0:45:04.2] TB: I know that you are supposed to make wishes at 11-11 right? If you look up at clock and you see that it is 11:11, you’re supposed to make a wish, is that where that comes from?
[0:45:14.2] KM: I think that’s 4:20, I think.
[0:45:16.1] DC: It’s 4:20 I’ve got to be in that place. That’s when you are making wishes.
[0:45:19.6] DC: Anyway, I just think it’s important for us to know why we have Veterans Day and it’s important because-
[0:45:26.6] KM: It’s the 11th day, say it again for us.
[0:45:28.8] DC: The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
[0:45:33.7] KM: Because that’s when World War II.
[0:45:35.9] DC: World War I cease fired.
[0:45:38.5] KM: Wow, that’s heavy.
[0:45:43.1] DC: So I had the opportunity a couple of years ago go to Verdun, France and they have a monument of World War I and you still have the trenches that are still in the soil.
[0:45:52.8] KM: No.
[0:45:53.5] DC: Yeah, I’ve been to Normandy, I’ve been to Verdun and it’s sobering. Verdun is about sobering, it is a very quiet place and that’s because trench warfare at the most.
[0:46:10.4] KM: I think it was a draft. I think World War I is a draft also.
[0:46:12.8] DC: Anyway, yes so anyway that’s Veterans Day I think we all should remember that why we have it.
[0:46:23.1] KM: I love it, thank you very, very much. You know we have something for you. Hand it to me. So for David, gets a desk set because he’s in the Army. He gets an Army flag on his desk set. He lives in Arkansas so he gets an Arkansas flag, he came from California so he gets a California flag and of course, the US flag oversees it all.
[0:46:48.3] DC: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. You know I like flags very much and I had the American flag flying every day.
[0:46:58.0] KM: At your home?
[0:46:58.8] DC: Essex, yeah. It’s always up there.
[0:47:00.3] KM: You have an in ground flag pole hanging out of your house?
[0:47:02.4] DC: It goes on my house, we got it to where it doesn’t wrap around the pole anymore. So it’s up there every day.
[0:47:07.6] KM: That’s tricky.
[0:47:08.2] DC: Anyway, thank you very much.
[0:47:10.1] KM: Do you have an Army flag?
[0:47:11.2] DC: I do now.
[0:47:13.4] KM: If you could be remembered for anything what would it be?
[0:47:15.5] DC: As a soldier.
[0:47:18.3] KM: Really? That’s great. Who worked with the wind and boyars? You worked much with the wind and boyars?
[0:47:26.6] DC: When I was — before I came here, I worked five years with the Army wind and boyar program and that was I was an advocate for the Army’s most severely injured soldiers and we used different non-profits. I’ve used wind and war project sometimes.
[0:47:47.9] KM: Was that in California?
[0:47:48.6] DC: Yes.
[0:47:49.7] KM: I would think that would be hard to do. You just got to keep your chin up, I mean they come back these great guys.
[0:47:55.7] DC: You know one thing on that, not one of them said they were sorry they were in the military and almost every one of them want to get back if they could.
[0:48:05.7] KM: Wow, special people we have to celebrate in the honor and tomorrow, everybody it is Veterans Day tomorrow, 11-11-11. Tim who’s our guest next week?
[0:48:18.8] TB: Next week is going to be Aaron Lubin from the Executive Recruiting Agency.
[0:48:23.5] KM: So Aaron has been a recruiter for years. He has tons of experience, I happen to know him, he’s probably going to talk about resumes, how to get jobs, we should talk about veterans and how veterans should get jobs on that show next week. He has lots and lots of advice to our listeners probably about the future of careers in America because it’s forever changing. So If you have a great entrepreneurial story that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.
You could send a brief bio or your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will be in touch and finally, to our listeners, thank you for spending time with me. If you think this program has been about you, you are right but it’s also been for me. Thank you for letting me fulfill my destiny. My hope today is that you’ve heard or learned something that’s been inspiring or enlightening and that it, whatever it is will help you up your business, your independence or your life. I’m Kerry McCoy and I’ll see you next time on Up In Your Business. Until then, be brave and keep it up.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:49:27.1] TB: You’ve been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Want to hear today’s program again or want someone else to benefit from it? Jot this down. Within 48 hours the podcast will be available at flagandbanner.com. Click the tab labeled “Radio Show," there you’ll find today’s segments with links to resources you heard discussed on this program. Kerry’s goal: to help you live the American Dream.