Josh Kramer

Josh Kramer

We take care of each other. That’s it!

The we-take-care-of-each-other mindset, in my opinion, must be present for teams, organizations, cooperatives, communities, groups, families or even society to be successful.

As I was reflecting on this theme, I did what any inquisitive mind might do: I “Googled” it. And guess what, my search revealed a quote from someone I greatly admire and respect – who sadly passed away a mere day before I wrote this editorial – Gen. Colin Powell.

“You touched my soul and reminded me about what this country is all about and why it is so great. Let’s stop screaming at each other. Let’s just take care of each other. You made my day,” he said.

May he rest in peace. Powell reminds us of our humanity and some of the challenges of the human condition: remaining compassionate, sympathetic and generous.

November is a month to pay special tribute to those who have served, our veterans. It is also a time when we count our blessings and give thanks. Let’s pay special attention to the meaning behind Powell’s words and the sacrifices of the man who uttered them. And may we strive to be better, always.

As this issue of North Dakota Living came together, the feature story about veterans’ mental health struck a chord with me. This story brings attention to the challenges many veterans face each day to live well after war. You see, when servicemembers are “in theater,” every one of us knows “we take care of each other.” But taking care of each other becomes more difficult as veterans return home and reintegrate into everyday life.

This is the juncture where we all – family, friends, community and cooperatives – must join together and look out for one another, especially our veterans.

Electric cooperatives in North Dakota and across our country employ many veterans. Through a national veteran engagement campaign, our cooperative network is working to raise awareness of hiring and caring for veterans and military spouses. The Vets Power Us initiative will connect veterans to jobs at America’s electric cooperatives and reinforce co-op support and involvement with local veteran communities.

What can you do within your community or organization to support veterans and their families? Learn what their sacrifice truly means. Be a good neighbor. Remain compassionate, sympathetic and generous. Take care of each other.

To every woman and man, who honorably put on a uniform for others who could not, we thank you for your service. We thank you not just on Veterans Day, or during the month of November, but every day of the year.

Josh Kramer, editor-in-chief of North Dakota Living, is executive vice president and general manager of NDAREC. Contact him at