Just what the doctor ordered; medicine for the tough days.
July, 22 2016
By Bren Brown, President/Owner
I’ve been staring at this blank page for what feels like two weeks. Sometimes it is difficult to know how transparent or open you should be in a business setting. Frontier Justice has always been different in that way, but we had different beginnings than most companies. We began as a calling with a mission to build kingdom resources under an awning that says: Faith, Family and Freedom. Here we are, a year and a half from doors open, and last week I found myself sitting at my desk wondering if it was all worth it.
The tough skin that I talked about developing in the last blog seemed to have a few chinks in its armor. It was just one of those days (that seems pretty common in retail) where things were not going right – or so it felt to my type-A perfectionist personality. I sat at my desk pondering a particular Bible study I’m in right now – the part in the book of Ephesians calls us to have the “shoes of peace, shield of faith”. To be honest, I was merely sweating the small stuff.
Right then, a knock on my door brought Chuck. Chuck is a 70-something-year-old veteran who works for us and is a joy to be around. (God brought him in to distract me from myself.) While meeting with Chuck though, the real meaning behind my day came into focus. One of our managers called for Chuck to come to the floor because there was something he “needed to see.” Chuck is our compliance officer – so I followed suit. I figured I would get a glimpse of yet another twist in the business that would necessitate “more training.” However, I followed in the hope that it would be something uplifting – as his voice said positive, not negative. And, this is when something shook me into a moment of understanding, a grateful moment that only God can bring. Followed by the proverbial shoes of peace.
I rounded the corner onto the sales floor and several of our staff were around a pinwheel display filled with firearms. My first thought was, “Disperse team!” Someone will undoubtedly seize this moment to “one-star” us on Google for not being attentive to every single customer, every single moment of the day. (Remember, my feet were not yet shroud in the shoes of peace.) On the other side of the display, there was a beautiful firearm and an elderly man in a wheelchair. On approach, Chuck and I were told that this “Tommy Gun” was number 252 of 500, AND that the 500 were only made for veterans who had to apply for one.
Usher in Dr. Stogsdill. Rachel – whom many of you have met as our special events coordinator, human resources manager, customer service guru – was there beaming. She asked me if I had met Dr. Stogsdill yet. To which, I replied that I had not.
Now, I wish I had this moment on video because it would have stood out to any of you as me merely shaking a customer’s hand and exchanging a few words. But this moment was much more than that to me. You see, God delivers messages that are individual for each of us and mine was being delivered.
Dr. Stogsdill took my hand gently into his and told me what a pleasure it was to meet me. He then went on to tell me how he had shot all over the world and that Frontier Justice was the very best. I thanked him for the compliment. He replied, “It is not a compliment. It is a fact.” Now only God knows why, but I almost went into tears hearing those words. In fact, I had to get up from writing this a week later to wipe the tears I had fought back at that very moment.
Dr. Stogsdill exuded a confidence that only people like veterans and police officers can exude. I didn’t quite know how to respond and told him it was very kind of him to say so. He went on to say that he felt like the staff treated him like family and he loved what we had built. He then thanked me for creating Frontier Justice so he has a place to come to and practice and still shoot his guns.
I looked at Rachel, who knows me better than most, and told her that made me teary. With tears in her eyes, she told me she just loves Dr. Stogsdill and that his wife oddly looks like her grandmother who has passed. Then, I looked up and saw Cody and Scott beaming. I could tell that they, too, love Dr. Stogsdill.
I realized that the things I had been twisting my hands about at my desk an hour before did not matter. We had done it. We had created a staff that works like a family and that they have embraced a group of clients who are also a part of the family. People who work under a banner of faith, family and freedom. A family that is not perfect, but is real. And a mission that is accomplished every day despite when things don’t go perfectly. A mission accomplished that was not about my goals, but about a higher purpose than selling clothes, sandwiches and firearms.
I realized at that moment that each of the people who enter Frontier Justice are searching for what Dr. Stogsdill told me he found. They want faith, family and freedom. I looked at this dear man and knew that he had offered his life for mine and for my freedom during his service. If he felt that wonderful about what we had built, then I have succeeded in conveying just a little appreciation for what he and thousands of soldiers have done. I heard the voice of God say to me, job well done. And, isn’t that what I wanted to hear all along? Isn’t it what we all strive for? Job well done, faithful servant.
Thank you, Dr. Stogsdill, and thank all of you who continue to follow our story and offer us business. For when you contribute to Frontier Justice with your business, you are supporting the cause. And, with all that is happening in our turbulent world, it’s the small things that make a big difference.
*Story told with permission of Dr. Stogsdill.
About Dr. William F. Stogsdill
Dr. Stogsdill served not only in the U.S. Army, but also spent time in the U.S. Navy. His rank in the Army was Sergeant, and his rank in the Navy was Chief Petty Officer. The firearm featured in the story is a .45 caliber Thompson sub-machine gun or “Tommy Gun.” He carried one just like it in Vietnam. Though it wasn’t as gold plated as the special edition one he showed us. And he carried an M1 rifle in Korea. Dr. Stogsdill has two sons who also served in the armed forces. The older one was killed. His younger son lives in Oregon and Dr. Stogsdill just sent the gun there to share it with him. (Dr. Stogsdill prefers to be called “Bill” as being called “Dr.” makes him want to wash his hands.)