Giving Thanks In the Most Difficult of Times

A fellow America First team member recently shared with me a letter written by his great-grandfather in 1918. The correspondence was sent from one brother here at home to another who served in the military during World War I. The brutal and bloody conflict, more than four years long, resulted in some 22 million deaths.

That same year, a terrible influenza virus gripped the planet, lasting over two years and infecting 500 million people—one-third of the world’s population—with 50 million dying from the disease. It’s nearly unthinkable that people would have to face both a world war and a worldwide pandemic.

I felt impressed to share a few quotes from this letter:

‘eight down and no help…’ This refers to all seven of his children and wife having the illness, his wife being sick for 28 days. Fortunately, they all recovered.

‘everybody…scared to death…went it alone’

 ‘I guess folks have told you about all the ones [who] have died…’

‘fought awful hard to live…’

‘Out of work…hoping I can go back’

Some other terms caught my eye: quarantine, careful, hope, happy now.

The letter was truly enlightening, helping me appreciate that generation to an even greater degree. It’s hard to imagine being in quarantine, out of work, your entire family ill, and having little if any help.

Some 100 years later, we are dealing with another pandemic and, while we are not at war, there is an abundance of violence, civil unrest, and uncertainty. Today, we share similar worries, fears, emotions, and challenges. Fortunately, for the most part, we don’t have to go it alone. Communication, health care, and other services are more readily available. Just like this wonderful great-grandfather, we must continue our vigilance, which will bring us hope and the ability to achieve a sense of happiness. I believe a key to being happy is thankfulness.

During November, we celebrate Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving. Even amid our difficulties, we do have much for which to be grateful. I am truly thankful for the country’s veterans and all who protect our freedoms and values; I’m grateful for those who are working so hard to put an end to the pandemic. I’m appreciative of our members and their loyalty to America First. We pledge to continue providing relevant financial help and solutions, no matter the circumstances. We’re here to help, and we look forward to a lifetime relationship with you and your family.

All the best to each of you,



President & Chief Executive Officer