Friday, March 12, 2010

A story for our time

During World War II patriotic American business executives volunteered to serve on government boards and committees full time. Their compensation, one dollar per year.

They were known as "dollar a year men."

George, a vice president of a large manufacturing company, was one of those men.

In charge of designing and retooling plants to switch from consumer type goods to the necessities of an all out war became a 24/7 obligation to this inspired man.

He began drinking his meals. The day he saw a replacement at his desk he suffered a major breakdown. Leaving the hospital, he found that his wife had locked him out of his expensive apartment.

On the street he begged money or did day labor jobs becoming more unkempt and emaciated.

At his lowest he went by his old residence. There was something in the mailbox. Reaching in he retrieved the government check for one dollar.

In those days he could get his suit cleaned and pressed for one dollar. He went to the Salvation Army where he was offered a breakfast, shave, and shower.

Later he visited his old employer where he was greeted as a returning hero and told his job had been held for him. Soon he was back into his routine as a highly paid executive.

He sent his story to Readers Digest to inspire others who were temporarily down and out.


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