Unflappable in combat?


My social media calendar is going to require a total makeover. 

I am supposed to be sharing something with you about building your business to sell, and tying it into the Spring Break theme so it’s timely and relevant. 

We can toss that out the window. 

Suddenly everyone is an expert offering tips for working remotely, setting up the ideal home office, or home schooling the kids. I hear from some of my friends that the golf courses that remain open are really crowded. And I am trying to host a virtual cocktail party later this evening with a few of our friends. 

I have an alarm system, a big dog and a Remington 870.

So as I sat down to write something, my thoughts drifted to my Dad.

He has been gone almost four years now. Like anyone who has lost a parent, I do wish he was here today, in this situation. I have so much to ask him.

So I asked myself, “What would Dad do?”

And just like that, I was blessed with a memory. I can hear his voice, and from the other side one of the lessons he shared came back to me with crystal clarity, as if he phoned me from the beyond. 

Dad was an artillery officer, commissioned into the Army on his 21st birthday. He crossed Omaha Beach a few weeks after D-Day, part of Patton’s Third Army, and after participating in Operation Cobra, and the Normandy breakout, basically went due east across France and into Germany. He saw some “gruesome things,” like Dachau, and thus rarely talked about them.

When he did share things, he had my rapt attention.

“I discovered that I was unflappable in combat,” he told me. 

“In all of the noise and chaos, I was able to tune all of that out and think clearly. That knowledge has served me very well all of my life.”

Are you unflappable in combat? 

Are you calm in stressful situations? Do you have the ability to think clearly, make sound decisions, focus, and tune out the noise?

Do you manage the things within your control and accept the things you cannot change? Do you adapt and overcome?  

How are you behaving in these critical times?

During his webinar Tuesday, Bob Pizzini talked about how brain health, breathing and heart rate impact your ability to lead. Sleep, hydration, nutrition, and exercise have profound effects on your ability to lead. 

So does training.

You can train yourself to manage your breathing, your heart rate, and in turn control how well you think in stressful situations. 

You certainly know someone who is profoundly calm in the most stressful of circumstances. 

“Take a deep breath and stay calm.” 

“Slow is smooth…and smooth is fast.”

Unlike Dad, I will never know if I am “unflappable in combat” like him. I am one of many millions of veterans who never stared into the face of the elephant – I trained and served, but never in combat.  

But I have learned that I am calm in stressful situations. I am unflappable in an emergency. I am able to tune out all of the noise and chaos, and to think clearly. 

That knowledge has served me very well all of my life.

Thank you Dad. I miss you.


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Bob Louthan is the Founder of VeteranCrowd, LLC.

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