Chuck Laubach transitioned from being an Army pilot to the civilian world and he found the right place to work. “I think State Farm is very friendly to veterans,” he said. “They have a lot of respect for the veterans… I always get a letter in the mail from Phil Hawkins, our Senior Vice President, thanking me for my service and for being a veteran.”
Laubach grew up in the Houston area and graduated high school in Pasadena, Texas. Right out of high school, he enlisted in the Army Reserve. His MOS was a 12B, Combat Engineer and he did his training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. He remembers the winter in Missouri as being a cold one. “I went there in January, and I’m a Texas boy, and during our bivouac, it was three below zero, so I learned some valuable lessons on how to survive in the cold weather.”
After his initial training was over, he returned to Texas and enrolled in the University of Houston. There they had an Army ROTC program that they were recruiting for. “I joined the Houston ROTC program and was able to do that while I was simultaneously doing my Reserve time, and that’s what got my military career going,” he said.
Everything fell into place for him there: he competed for a scholarship while at the university. In his last two years there, he was on a full scholarship which he said, obligated him to Army service at the conclusion of his schooling.
Once he came on active duty as an officer, he branched to the Medical Corps — he wanted to go to aviation but the graduating class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, got first dibs. So, Laubach got the Medical Corps. But, he still got to fly as the Medical Corps had slots to fly their own aircraft to MEDEVAC flights.
Meanwhile, the first Gulf War was heating up.
He was selected for the flight program as a Medical Service Officer and found himself on Ft. Rucker flying UH-1 Huey helicopters, as they are what all aviation cadets are trained on first. His first duty station was Ft. Carson, Colorado and the 571st MEDEVAC, where he transitioned over to UH-60 Blackhawks. By the time his flight school was finished, the first Gulf War was already over.
His unit split its time between Carson and Ft. Bliss, TX; Laubach did the majority of his flying at Ft. Bliss. He completed eight years of active duty and transitioned to the Reserves when the second Gulf War started. Mobilized to be part of the 802nd Medical Command, he was slotted to be the S-3 Air Officer on the staff of a Brigadier General.
But after their equipment had already shipped over to the Gulf, Laubach’s orders changed and he was diverted to a stateside planning cell. So, he missed that one too.
His wife was also in the Reserves and an active-duty JAG officer. Both were mobilized at the same time. Luckily, Laubach’s mother was there to take care of their three-year-old child.
In 2003, he demobilized from active duty and, at the same time, he was forced to sell his business where he’d been a financial planner as he couldn’t be there for his clients during the hard time when the markets tanked. So, when he got out, he was also looking for work. His wife remained in the Reserves, having more flexibility.
Around this same time, State Farm just happened to be recruiting in his area. A State Farm claims rep was in Laubach’s flying club in San Antonio, at Ft. Sam Houston, (Laubach is the part-owner of a Cessna fixed-wing aircraft). He put him in touch with local State Farm independent contractor agents. “I thought it was a good fit for me,” he said. Laubach connected with agent recruiting, went through the process and was selected to start a business with assigned policies and commissions. This got him off and running.
He went through the training and hasn’t looked back since. “State Farm will vary things and give you enough to do where you’ll never get bored,” he said. “With my personality type, I can get bored easily, so I have a lot to juggle but it keeps my days interesting,” he added.
State Farm, he said, wants to be very active in the veteran’s community and there are always lots of opportunities to be had. He spoke about the agents, who are independent contractors, having openings all over the country. “If you like sales, and you want to be in sales, then there isn’t a better opportunity than State Farm. There’s no other company that will give you the same help to become successful.”