Jodie Frankl’s N2 career is impressive: It includes running two publications, and countless previous leadership roles. These accomplishments are a result of her hard work, dedication, and what she calls “grit.” It was no surprise to learn that, in her past life, she excelled in Basic Training and went on to a successful career in the Army National Guard, earning the Sergeant E5 rank and completing a 14-month tour in Iraq.
When asked about her time in the National Guard, Jodie said, “The biggest part of who I am and who I’ve become has been defined by my military background. And my overall grit – I just have a ‘go hard or go home’ mentality.” In the military, doing something halfway can mean putting lives in danger. That is not an option.
And today, the lessons Jodie learned in the military are ones she teaches her daughters, Kinley (10) and Emrie (7). The North Dakotan believes in putting everything you have into anything you’re doing. Fortunately, her family shares her discipline. Her husband, Jamie, is an active-duty Air National Guardsman and has been serving for more than 19 years, earning an E8 Senior Master Sergeant position. She also has a stepson, Colton, who plays baseball in college.
Jodie’s resilience doesn’t keep her from having difficult days. How does she deal with obstacles? “I can be comfortable knowing I gave it my all and the rest of it is always in God’s hands,” she explained. “I just keep coming here and putting in the work and if the sales come… all the glory to Him.”
Honoring and supporting military veterans is also a very big part of Jodie’s life. For N2 Serves Day one year, N2’s company-wide day of volunteering, she spent countless hours baking cookies for the Airmen in her husband’s unit who were deployed to the missile field. The gesture sweetened their day with an unexpected, home-baked surprise. But her kindness didn’t stop there. Jodie also took cookies to her local law enforcement officers; the fire stations, including where her husband is a volunteer firefighter; and area EMTs.
Jodie is also on call for a local veterans’ group, which meets for coffee monthly so former military members can share their stories. “They like to talk a lot and I think a lot of that is therapeutic,” she said. “And that’s our approach – letting them be heard and letting them share their stories so it’s not just left in their mind. They feel like others are getting to hear what they did and what they contributed to society.”
And every November, Jodie uses her publications to highlight a veteran and their family in honor of Veteran’s Day. In fact, it’s crucial military spouses aren’t forgotten. “I’ve been on both sides,” Jodie acknowledged. “I’ve been ripped from my family and sent on unexpected deployments [and I’ve] experienced what it’s like to be the one feeling abandoned on the home front when Jamie’s been sent on deployments, [where I have to] find a way to hold everything together when it feels like your world is falling apart. So I like to recognize the families as much as the soldiers who are deployed.”
Find Your Tribe
Jodie is particularly passionate about fellow veterans and military families finding their community. The camaraderie runs strong between brothers and sisters who serve together, and many times new veterans have a hard time adjusting to civilian life because they are looking for that same camaraderie they knew while in the service.
Jodie’s advice? Find your tribe. “Get connected… A lot of people struggle with the loss of community. Reach out and build your tribe.” And since camaraderie is ingrained in the culture of N2, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with fellow veterans and find that sense of belonging here. From team phoning to Conferences, no one has to be alone.
There is one song Jodie holds close to her heart, one her mom sang to her time and again during her military career and still does now that she’s with N2: “One Day at a Time” by Wanda Jackson. The first time was during Basic Training, when Jodie was given her first call and heard her parents’ voices for the first time in months. Jodie’s mom sang her the lyrics: One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from you.
Later, when Jodie was able to call after months in Iraq to tell her parents she was well, her mom sang her those lines again. And when she wasn’t sure about ramping up N2 publications, her mom reminded her once more: Just take it one day at a time, do your best, and trust God for the rest.