Editor’s note: This story was updated on April 24, 2020.
Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School
Co-founder and CEO of With Honor Action, a nonprofit organization that aims to bridge partisanship in U.S. politics by supporting military veterans in Congress
GAZETTE: How is the coronavirus impacting With Honor Action?
BARCOTT: This health crisis called for fast, decisive action and cooperation to put country above all else — the type of scenario that many veterans trained for and executed while in the military. Under great pressure, 20 military veteran members of Congress who are part of the For Country caucus worked together to successfully push for expanding service opportunities for volunteers who want to serve right now and rebuild in the months to come. Specifically, they advocated for establishing a Public Health Ready Reserve Corps and limiting legal liabilities for volunteer health professionals, both of which are critical as our health care system sees capacity surges as never before.
GAZETTE: How is your community pulling together right now?
BARCOTT: During moments of crisis, Americans have supported each other and we’re already seeing campaigns refocus efforts toward safely helping those in need. Several military veterans running for Congress have been called up to serve in active duty to help with the coronavirus pandemic. Looking toward our recovery, more Americans will be needed to answer the call to serve.
GAZETTE: What brings you joy at the moment?
BARCOTT: Previously, I traveled most workdays for With Honor Action. So, it’s been a joy to spend so much time with my kids, who are 9, 7, and 6 months, and see how they learn with our homeschooling led by my amazing wife, Tracy Barcott, a child psychologist who completed her postdoc at Boston Children’s Hospital. I hope there will be many positive unintended consequences from this crisis, not the least a deeper appreciation for and more investment in our nation’s teachers.