Military veteran offers advice to Americans on surviving COVID-19 pandemic

An American hero who spent decades as a high ranking leader in the Army has advice to survive the global turmoil we're facing now.

Retired Sgt. Major Keith Craig is a highly decorated war veteran who's now a Disney Studios executive and contributed to bringing the world Black Panther.

“My advice is don't rush out to try to make tomorrow be like it used to be,” says Sgt. Major Craig who equates surviving what's happening right now to surviving war knows a thing or two about surviving war.  He's been in several. "I've served in six combat campaigns. I was in Iraq. In 1995, I went to Bosnia on a peacekeeping mission. 2011 to 2012 I was in Afghanistan."

Since the death of George Floyd, unity among races seems to be growing and many hope that will continue. "I think it's very important that we be more understanding. It's ok to understand that other people don't understand and just have those conversations. I'm a pretty optimistic person and I feel this is a different feeling than I've felt in my lifetime so I think change is coming."

Sgt. Major Craig speaks in his book Serving To Lead about how mentally you have to prepare yourself to make it through tough situations such as war.

"I always draw up a mission statement. What is the mission and what direction do we want to go?  Once you have the mission statement you create a plan.”

He believes it would be helpful for each household, each family to come up with a mission statement.

"You have to have a plan, a program of how you do everything. From going to get groceries. Do you have groceries delivered or do you go get groceries? You must also always have a contingency plan for the plan you already have.”

For instance, during wars strategies change all the time.

“When we initially went down in 2003 to face that enemy in Iraq we had kevlar on and we had flack vests on, armored vests. Initially, when we would take incoming fire they would shoot us in our chests, in the kevlar and there would be no bodily harm. They began to know how to shoot us in the neck or in the armpit. They got smart and they adjusted. Therefore we had to adjust with our gear as well.”

After decades in the Army and surviving several wars Sgt. Major Craig made it through some very dark and tough times. He believes staying positive plays a major role in survival.

“The glass has to always be half full because it really is mind over matter".

Sgt. Major Keith Craig also suggests eating properly, exercising regularly, and being honest with your loved ones about what you're feeling during trying times.