Giving Back – Bob Hoover


Dr. Bob Hoover

Society tends to forget that the reason many of us join the military is because we have a desire to give back, to serve. This service ethos runs deep in the heart of those in uniform, and it doesn’t go away when we return to our communities.

The Wyakin Warriors, as part of their monthly professional development seminar, heard from the man who probably knows more about philanthropy than anyone in the state of Idaho. His name is Bob Hoover, President and CEO of the Idaho Community Foundation.

ADM Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, traveled around the country to encourage communities to participate in the effort to assist veterans returning home. Community foundations, in particular, were singled out as pivotal organizations within the communities who are able to orchestrate the participation by nonprofits wanting to get involved. In the state of Idaho, Bob Hoover runs just that sort of organization.

Dr. Hoover’s presentation, though, did not concentrate on all the services available to veterans. Instead, he talked to the severely wounded and injured veterans in the Wyakin Warrior program about giving back.

That’s right. Giving back.

The news is full of stories about charities and organization who provide services to veterans, but they often overlook the other side of the coin – the service ethos. A setback, an injury, a devastating combat wound…doesn’t change the reason veterans joined in the first place. They may not be in uniform, but they still want to serve their country. As part of the Wyakin Warrior program, each student veteran selects and completes a worthy service project aimed at giving back to someone who needs help.

Bob told them how. He said to choose a project that you are comfortable with – one that you know something about. Scope the plan so that it can be defined (a beginning and an end) and it can be completed in a given time frame. He didn’t talk about “if”. He talked about “when”. There was never a question about whether or not they would restart their service, only about how to do it, and where to get assistance along the way.

Bob Hoover gets it. I think CJCS knew what he was talking about.

Bob Hoover is our hero of the week.


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