Kirstie Ennis: Going “Full Throttle”

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Kirstie Ennis

By Brady Rhoades

Veteran Kirstie Ennis is one of the best Paralympian snowboarders in the world, and she’s also eying the seven great summits, recently climbing 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and 16,024-foot Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia. On one leg.

As a Marine Corps sergeant. in Afghanistan—a helicopter door gunner—she wrecked a leg when the helicopter she was in crashed. That leg was amputated above the knee in 2015.

Her jaw was destroyed, she lost teeth, she injured discs in her spine, and she suffered facial lacerations, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD.

In the process of undergoing more than 40 surgeries, she came to a realization, acquiring a come-to-terms toughness and wisdom that would help motivate her to train as a snowboarder for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang County, in the Gangwon region of South Korea.

And to attempt to conquer the tallest peaks on all seven continents.

Countless times a day, she repeats one of her mantras: Stop worrying about what you lost. Look at what you’ve got. Or: What counts is what’s behind your rib cage and six inches between your ears.

She’s only 26, but her near-death experience offered an invaluable lesson on how precious time is.

“I go full throttle,” she said. “I come up with obnoxious goals and I go after them.”

It’s hard to believe that this fifth-gear athlete chasing Paralympian goals—and literally ascending historic heights for an above-the-knee-amputee mountain climber—spent months in hospital beds, nearly lifeless, filled with doubt, enveloped in depression. She wondered how she’d ever get around, go on. What would she do? Would she ever wear a dress again? Would anyone ever be attracted to her?

Idle time can be a wounded warrior’s worst enemy. Fathers can be their best friends.

“Dad said, ‘People in the Middle East couldn’t kill you, and now you’re going to collapse?'” she recalls. “The light went on and I said, ‘I made it home. Nobody owes me a damn thing.'”

Kirstie Ennis

Ennis had to mine for the toughness that is at her core, but her sense of humor? That comes effortlessly.

The same year her leg was amputated, she participated in the Walking with the Wounded event, in which wounded warriors trek 1,000 miles, ending at Buckingham Palace in London. Ennis left dozens of dog tags bearing the names of fallen comrades along the way. She also met Prince Harry, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry, not one to shirk his duties, logged many miles during the event. At one point, he turned to Ennis and complained that his knee ached.

“I looked over and was like, ‘That’s (expletive) cute, really,’” Ennis said. Prince Harry cracked up.

Ennis and Prince Harry became fast friends. At the conclusion of her walk, she presented the final dog tag to him.

Their embrace was photographed and zoomed across the wires, making her a celebrity in a matter of minutes.

For her service to the country, Ennis has earned the NATO Medal, Combat Action Wings with three gold stars, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan National Campaign Medal, two Letters of Appreciation, Certificate of Commendation, and a Certificate of Appreciation.

But who says you can’t be uber-tough and sexy?

ESPN called, asking her to grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine‘s 2017 Body Issue, with rather risqué photos of her on the inside pages. They wanted her to climb Joshua Tree, sans clothes.

She had her doubts. But Ennis tends to run toward challenges, toward fear.

“I thought about it and considered the demographic and the people Kirstie Ennisthat would see it, and I realized that it wasn’t about me anymore,” she said. “Any man, woman, or child facing some sort of adversity has the potential to be inspired by these pictures of someone who has only been missing her leg for a few years go out and do things she wasn’t doing with two legs.”

Ennis appeared in the Body Issue, along with other great athletes, such as Javier Baez (baseball), A.J. Andrews (softball), and Malakai Fekitoa (rugby).

The daughter of two Marines, Ennis enlisted out of Florida when she was 17 years old, in 2008. She served for four years as a helicopter door gunner and airframes mechanic when disaster struck on June 23, 2012.

While on her second deployment in Afghanistan, Ennis’ CH-53D helicopter crashed in the Helmand Province.

Badly injured, she fought to remain on active duty but was medically retired in 2014. After her below-the-knee amputation on November 23, 2015, Ennis contracted the antibiotic-resistant MRSA and, because of a resulting infection, doctors were forced to remove her knee a month later.

“A below-the-knee amputation is night-and-day from above-the-knee,” she said. “You have to relearn everything. You’re basically a toddler.”

When she was told that surgeons would have to perform above-the-knee surgery, she said she “lost it.” She cried. She wailed.

“It’s one curveball after another,” she said.

She still struggles, emotionally. “I’d be lying if I said it’s easy,” she said.

Two years after her life-altering surgery, she’s adapted, and she’s developed coping skills, which is a critical component of recovery.

Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.

Set lofty goals.

Stay busy.

And true to her military training, be of service to others.

“When I’m having a bad day, I help someone who’s missing three limbs,” she said. “There’s this common misconception about what strength is. In the grand scheme of things, we’re in this together. You have to realize that you have to turn to somebody.”

Some of her best days involving helping other wounded warriors—whether it be through her notoriety as a star Paralympian or simply visiting a hospital.

“I know I’m on a platform,” she said. “I want to inspire people to reach their potential.”

She recalls a wounded warrior uttering eight words that she’ll never forget and that make her journey—as harrowing as it has been—worth it.

“You inspired me to walk another 10 steps,” the woman said.

 

Local Charity Creates Barber/Beauty Salon Expressly for Homeless Veterans

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Haircuts-for-Veterans

Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation (RBCF) is well known for managing projects in Maryland that provide no-charge haircuts and hairstyles services to children and adults who lack access to regular grooming services. Therefore, on June 25, 2018 at 5PM the RBCF and the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) will cut the ribbon on a single chair barber/beauty salon that will exclusively provide no-charge grooming services homeless veterans.

Located in Southeast Baltimore, the shop will serve up to 175 of our Country’s former armed service men and women. The shop is the first of its kind in Baltimore, with the cost of the installation is funded with private grants and donations from individuals.

MCVET has operated a 175 bed transitional shelter for homeless veterans (both male and female service members) for more than twenty-five years. The facility addresses employment training and placement, housing assistance, addiction, mental health issues, and more. The goal of full employment, independence, and reintegration into the community is not fully attainable if these veterans’ appearance is suffering from a lack of access to regular grooming,” says Robert Cradle, Managing Director of the RBCF. “When the new barber/salon is installed, MCVET will enlist volunteer barbers and hairstylists to provide haircuts, hairstyles, shaves and needed chemical treatments”. RBCF: therbcf.com; MCVET: mcvet.org/

How to Recruit Veterans to Your Business

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hiring-managers

So many businesses today have discovered how much veterans have to offer their company and are scrambling to hire as many military veterans as possible.

With more and more service members transitioning to civilian life every year, many businesses are searching for those well-educated, well-disciplined, professional men and women.

Not so long ago, it was veterans that were having trouble finding suitable work, today, this has changed. Companies are competing to get the best of the best, trying to promote themselves as military and veteran friendly, and attract veterans to their door.

Whether you are trying to recruit a veteran on your own, or are working with a recruiting firm, there are several practices that will help your company attract veterans. They are:

  • Become known as a military company. You can do this by simply attending and sponsoring military events. For example, attend military job fairs, post jobs on military job boards, and sponsor military events. This will help you become known as a military friendly employer and when searching for jobs, they will look to you.
  • Network with military groups. Whether you volunteer to speak for a military group, or attend other social functions, it is important to network with these groups. These will be great resources to you when it comes time to hire for a position. Make sure that you allow your military staff to participate as well. When they network and keep in touch with fellow military veterans, they will be great sources of referrals.
  • Build your brand towards being an organization that is military and veteran friendly. This can be done in a multitude of ways; the key is making sure that you are known in the community as a veteran friendly business.
  • Take the time to set up your job ads and job descriptions to relate to military jargon. It will be easier for veterans to understand how their skills will relate to your job when you break it down for them in words they understand. This will also help them in their transition to civilian life.
  • Use your current employees, who are veterans, as mentors and trainers within your organization. Again this will help your new veteran employees to feel more comfortable during their transition. This kind of comfort will translate for you as well, as they will tell other veterans looking for position.

If you are looking to recruit veterans into your business environment, consider these implementing these practices into your business culture. When you do, you will become known as a military and/or veteran friendly business and will have more candidates than you can hire.

Source: absolutelyamerican.com

One Company Gives Back to Injured Veterans, Helping them Every Step of the Way

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Leslie Smith

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 18.5 million veterans in the country. Like the rest of the population, they experience lower leg injuries, resulting from any number of issues.

One company has created a way to help them every step of the way, making it more comfortable for them to have better mobility as they recover. The iWALKFree company gives back to veterans, by giving those with lower leg injuries the iWALK2.0.

“We are extremely grateful for everything veterans have done for our country,” explains Brad Hunter, the innovator of iWALK2.0 and the chief executive officer of the company, iWALKFree, Inc. “Being able to give back and help them even a little is the least that we can do. We are happy to know that our device helps make their injury recovery a lot more tolerable.”

The iWALK2.0 has been designed to help with all types of common lower leg injuries, as well as those with amputations. To provide veterans with the iWALK2.0, the company has teamed up with the Travis Mills Foundation. The foundation was created by Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, who is a wounded warrior, having lost of his arms and legs during combat. He became an advocate for veterans and amputees, starting the foundation to help with those efforts. During 2017, they helped 84 veteran families with being able to attend a healing retreat that included such as activities as yoga, archery, boating, fishing, hiking, painting, culinary arts, and much more.

One of the wounded veterans helped by the iWALK2.0 is Leslie Smith, a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Bosnia in 2001-2002. Her rigorous training required her to wear combat boots that lead to a blood clot. The condition led to an amputation of her left leg. Though she was fitted for a prosthetic leg, what many people don’t realize is that wearing them for any length of time can lead to severe skin irritation and extreme pain at the knee and upper thigh. Typically amputees give up their prosthetics from time to time so that these side effects can heal.  And many military vets who have lost their legs have given up on prosthetics altogether due to these side effects. The iWALK2.0 helps her through those healing periods.

“The iWalk allows me to be and feel like a whole person,” explains Leslie SmithLeslie Smith. ““The iWalk gives me freedom, confidence, and independence. I do not have to rely on a wheelchair or crutches. Having the ability to use my hands freely is of great importance especially being legally blind and having a service dog. The iWalk has removed any and all stress or worry that I will not be able to continue daily activities, work, travel, and anything fun, like shopping. I have no fear of missing out on what I need to do!”

With the iWALK2.0, Smith no longer has to hop, crawl, use a wheelchair or crutches, in order to get around when she was taking a break from her prosthetic to heal. This helps to avoid injuries, bruising, falls, and soreness.  Plus, it’s empowered her life because she can get around with ease and feel safe doing so.

The program that iWALKFree has in place to give back to those in need provides people with the opportunity to donate their used iWALK2.0 to a variety of charities. Along with the Travis Mills Foundation, they provide devices to the Adaptive Training Foundation, Canada Africa Community Health Alliance, Serving Us Veterans in Need, Globus Relief, Hands of Hope, Physicians for Peace, Limbs for Life, World Rehabilitation Fund, Marshall-Legacy Institute, and Volunteers for Inter-American Development Assistance.

In addition to giving back to veterans to help with their injury recovery, the company also provides help to other charities where they provide free iWALK2.0 units to those in need who do not have the means to otherwise pay for them. The device retails for $149, but their mission with that charity is to help those in need have access to a more comfortable way to recover from injury that will also help them be more mobile.

The product does provide benefits to those veterans who used it, because the iWALK2.0 offered them easier mobility while they were recovering from an injury. Rather than them spending their time recovering from a lower leg injury using crutches, which can be painful and limit mobility, they were able to get around easier and with less pain.

The iWALK2.0 is hands-free, pain-free alternative to using crutches and leg scooters.  It’s easy to learn to use, intuitive, and safe. From the knee up, the leg is doing the same walking motion that comes naturally to it. The device is essentially a temporary lower leg, which gives people their independence and mobility back as they recover from an injury. The device is pain-free, and makes it possible for people to engage in many of their normal routine activities, such as walking the dog, grocery shopping, and walking up or down stairs.

Clinical research, the results of which are on the company website, shows that patients using the iWALK2.0 heal faster, and have a higher sense of satisfaction and a higher rate of compliance. The iWALK2.0 sells for $149 and is available online and through select retailers. Some insurance companies may cover the cost of the device. The device can be used with a cast or boot, and comes with a limited warranty. For more information on the iWALK2.0, visit the site at: iwalk-free.com. To see a video of the iWALK2.0 in action, visit: iWalkFree.com.

About iWALKFree

The iWALK2.0 is a hands-free knee crutch, made by iWALKFree, Inc.  It’s a mobility device used instead of traditional crutches and knee scooters. It offers more comfort and independence, with the hands and arms remaining free. The device offers people a functional and independent lifestyle as they are recovering from many common lower leg injuries. For more information on the iWALK2.0, visit the site at: iwalk-free.com.

# # #

Source:
U.S. Census Bureau Veterans Day 2017.

Paws of War to Take Therapy Dogs to Nursing Home

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Therapy Dog

Dogs can often brighten the day of anyone, providing them with companionship, laughs, and giving them a reason to smile. The senior residents at the Dominican Village Assisted Living Community, located at 565 Albany Avenue in Amityville, New York, will be all smiles on June 15, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. That’s because the Paws of War organization will be stopping by with seven therapy dogs to visit with the residents, many of whom are veterans and retired police officers.

“This is going to be a real treat for the residents of Dominican Village,” says Joanne Contegiacomo, director of the dog therapy program at Paws of War. “Many of these heroes we will be visiting are humble, yet have saved many lives. We want them to know their courage and valor has not been forgotten.”

Paws of War is an organization that focuses on serving veterans, law enforcement, and first responders. Some of the seniors that the therapy dogs visit are suffering from such conditions as dementia, while others are in good health. Numerous of the veterans that will be visited have been awarded Purple Hearts. Everyone typically gets something beneficial from the time they spend with the dogs. Paws of War is also partnering with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) New York lodge 911 to provide this beneficial service to the assisted living community. The FOP will also have therapy dogs at the event.

Therapy DogThe purpose of the visits is to provide the residents with an opportunity to connect with the dogs, have their spirits lifted, and to benefit from the calming, soothing nature that they bring with them. According to the National Institutes of Health, interacting with animals has been shown to decrease stress-related hormones and lower blood pressure. Other studies have shown that interactions help to reduce loneliness, boost your mood, and provide feelings of social support.

“Being able to take our dogs there to spend an hour is exciting,” added Joanne Contegiacomo, director of the dog therapy program at Paws of War. “It’s our mission to help and give back when and where we can, and we know this is going to help lift some spirits.”

Paws of War is an non profit organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets, and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit their site at:pawsofwar.org

Therapy DogAbout Paws of War
Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at pawsofwar.org

Daymond John’s Advice To The Founder Of Mutt’s Sauce And Other Veteran Entrepreneurs

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After Charlynda Scales’ grandfather, Charlie Ferrell, Jr., passed away in 2005, she honored the Vietnam and Korean War veteran’s memory by serving in the U.S. Air Force. Eight years later, she’d honor him again by launching Mutt’s Sauce, LLC.

She started the business in 2013 when her mother handed her the secret family recipe that had been locked in a safe for years. Ferrell, whose military nickname was “The Mutt” for “his ability to blend in with all types of cultures and make friends with anyone,” created the sauce in 1956 when he was deployed to Japan. While there, he and his family hosted many dinners for troops stationed in East Asia. According to family lore, his sweet and peppery tomato-based sauce was the highlight of parties, bringing military families of all backgrounds together during the 1950s. “It was never a business, he would just make it for friends and family,” said Scales. “He’d give them as gifts to break the ice with whoever he met at military parties or cookouts in his hometown of Cookeville, Tennessee.”

Ferrell created the multipurpose sauce because he wanted to declutter his refrigerator and rely on one bottle to flavor every meal. It would take his granddaughter multiple tries to recreate the original recipe. She used $15,000 in savings to hire a manufacturer operated by an Amish family in Chillicothe, Ohio. With their home-cooking techniques and equipment, they managed to replicate the sauce in large batches. “They literally hand-poured the sauce into 700 bottles,” says Scales, who took them door-to-door to mom-and-pop groceries and farmers’ markets. At $5 a bottle, Mutt’s Sauce sold out within its first week.

She was eager to increase output and lower prices to compete with other condiments. But she had to find a larger manufacturer that she could afford and that would be able to maintain the same tanginess while producing mass quantities. “We want the sauce to be used by everyday families. We don’t want to be too high-end,” says Scales.

In 2016 she attended a military conference in Dallas where she learned of the Heroes to CEOs grant contest run by Bob Evans Foods, which produces and distributes frozen foods and side dishes. Candidates had to submit a video and story about their business’s military or veteran roots in order to win a $25,000 grant.

Mike Townsley, CEO of Bob Evans Foods, says this program is one way to carry on the spirit of Bob Evans, the company’s late founder. “He had a soft spot for the military and veterans because he served in the Army,” said Townsley.

The company has kicked off its second annual Heroes to CEOs contest. In addition to the grant, three finalists win a trip to New York City where they will receive mentoring from BEF executives and a half-day coaching session with Shark Tank judge Daymond John. “He’s equipped to teach them ways to gain momentum that are unique to an entrepreneur,” says Townsley. “It’s so much more different starting a small business wearing many hats, versus a large corporation that I run.”

According to John, all military and veteran business owners should act like supportive partners: “Their biggest asset is a large network of other men and women who they’ve served with. Tap this core group and symbiotically learn from them and serve them.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Overcoming tragedy to become a champion

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Ce-Ce Mayczk

By all rights, any fear of heights that Army veteran Centra “Ce-Ce” Mazyck might have had would be justified. On a particularly windy day in November 2003, she and other members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division went on their final parachute jump before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The wind carried Mazyck into the canopy of another soldier’s parachute and they plummeted toward the earth. Mazyck was able to free herself from the other soldier’s chute, but her recovery came too late. She came down. Hard. Her feet and knees were apart, out of position for a proper landing.

“It felt like a rough landing, but that had happened before. I remember trying to get up, but I couldn’t move. My legs were crossed, and when I tried to roll over, I knew something was wrong,” Mazyck said.

The jump had injured Mazyck’s L1 and L2 vertebrae, leaving her instantly paralyzed from the waist down. The doctor told her family she would never walk again. For a single mother of a young toddler, her greatest fear was that she would not be able to provide for her son.

“It didn’t make me feel good that someone would tell that to my family. I always go against the odds. When I heard the doctor say that, I said, ‘We’ll see,’” recalled Mazyck. “I want to go back to the hospital and walk up to that doctor today just to show him.”

As part of her road to recovery, Mazyck braved the altitude to attend the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado, which is co-sponsored by DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and the Department of Veteran Affairs. Mazyck was among more than 400 participants at the event, which is open to military veterans with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, certain neurological problems and other disabilities, who receive care at a VA or military treatment facility. Clinic activities encourage intensive physical rehabilitation. But more importantly, participants build their confidence.

“The clinic gives people a sense of hope. There’s a camaraderie, a fellowship,” said Mazyck.

At the culmination of the event, Mazyck was presented with the DAV Freedom Award for the inspiration she provided her fellow participants.

After attending the clinic, Mazyck worked to finish her degree in sociology and trained five days a week in the gym. She tried a number of wheelchair sports including powerlifting, but soon realized her passion was throwing the javelin. She placed first at the Paralympics trials in 2012. The following year she attended the IPC Athletics World Championships and won a bronze medal. She has competed and placed in several other competitions such as the Endeavor Games, the Czech Open and the Desert Challenge.

“I’m Centra Mazyck. I’m Ce-Ce. You didn’t know? I’m an achiever,” she said. “I’m an athlete. I was an athlete before I was disabled. I’m still an athlete. I’m still a soldier.”

She reaches out to her fellow veterans whenever she feels her story can inspire them to overcome obstacles in their lives.

“You have to believe in yourself, not in what someone tells you.”

 

I’m Qualified, Why Can’t I Find a Job?

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Transitioning Veteran

By Ryan Guina

I’ve been using LinkedIn a lot more frequently lately. It’s a great place to connect with people, offer advice, and ask for assistance if you need it. If you are on LinkedIn, I recommend joining some of the many veterans groups on there, which offer a lot of great support and advice for finding a job.

You Have to Know Where to Look For Work

The job market is tough right now, but not impossible. One of the most important things to know is that most jobs aren’t listed publicly. They are part of the “hidden job market” which means they simply aren’t advertised when they become open—they are typically filled internally, through referrals from current employees, or through headhunters. Why? Because most jobs posted publicly receive anywhere from 50 to 100 (or more) applications. Hiring managers use these three methods to screen potential employees. This saves employers time and money.

Networking is Essential for Finding a Job in Today’s Economy

The best way to find a job in the current economy is through your professional network or through a recruiter. Start by contacting someone in your professional network and ask them to peer review your resume. This will give you a good idea of where your resume can be improved. They may also let you know about potential job openings at their employer if there are any. If most of your peers are still in the military, then consider joining some professional organizations or clubs, doing volunteer work at your church or with a charity, or finding other ways you can expand your network and show other people your skills.

You may also benefit by reaching out to a staffing agency or head hunter. Some of the jobs they offer are only temporary positions, but they are still worth taking as it helps put money in your pocket and keeps your skills fresh. These positions may sometimes lead to a full time job, or they may give you the opportunity to learn new skills or gain additional experience.

Seek Out Positions That Use Your Military Skills

Your military experience is incredibly valuable, especially for government agencies and contractors who work with the government. Many people have the skills you have, but don’t speak the “same language” the military speaks. That was the selling point I used when I landed my first post-military job. It’s often easier to teach vets specific skills than it is to teach non-veterans how the military operates.

A security clearance can also be a very valuable tool in helping you get a job. There are even career sites that specialize in posting openings for people with a various levels of security clearances. If you have a security clearance, try to keep it active long enough to use it at your next job. You may also be able to reactivate an expired security clearance in less time than it takes for someone to get one from scratch—which is an expensive and time-consuming process for employers. This gives you a leg up over someone who doesn’t have a security clearance.

Review your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

It is essential to take care when crafting your first post-military resume. Pay special attention to translating your military skills into civilian terms, so that a layman can understand what you bring to the table. When writing a resume, it’s also essential to create a unique resume for each job application and include specific skills and keywords from the job description to ensure it is selected by the automatic filters many companies use to screen resumes.

Take some time to go through your LinkedIn profile and any other digital profiles or resumes—you may find ways to improve your digital profiles to make them more attractive to employers.

Look Into Government Employment and Programs

There are many government programs for veterans, including the Veterans Job Corps, which will create public service jobs for veterans. Other veteran career programs include My Next Move for Veterans, the Veterans Job Bank, and the Veterans Gold Card. You may also consider a job with the civil service or a state agency, many of which give a veterans preference.

Consider Further Education

If you still have education benefits available to you, then consider going back to school on a full- or part-time basis. The GI Bill can help you obtain a degree or other certification, which can help you enhance your employability. If you are unemployed and meet the requirements, you may also be eligible for the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which gives GI Bill benefits to unemployed vets.

About the Author
Ryan Guina is the founder of TheMilitaryWallet.com, a military and veterans benefits site. He has served more than 6 years on active duty and currently serves in the Air National Guard.

Find the original article and more from TheMilitaryWallet here

Why is U.S. Veterans Magazine a top magazine for veteran entrepreneurs?

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Career Tips

Some of the most trusted individuals in American society are the brave men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. In fact, 87 percent of citizens say they have confidence in the military, making it the highest rated institution in the U.S., according to this NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll from January 2018.

That said, it comes as no surprise that veterans make great entrepreneurs and that reputable and relevant publications like U.S. Veterans Magazine are a top magazine for entrepreneurs. The magazine exists to celebrate the accomplishments of veterans and being a veteran entrepreneur is one such accomplishment.

It makes sense that military service members are a natural fit for entrepreneurship– they are some of America’s best leaders and they have a dedication and loyalty that is unmatched by most. Because of their integrity-focused background, mission-oriented nature and call to fulfill a higher purpose, veterans are primed to run a successful business.

Despite having the right mindset, there has been a steady decline in the number of veteran entrepreneurs in America. According to a survey by the nonprofit Bunker Labs, young veterans are significantly less likely to become entrepreneurs than veterans from previous generations. The report finds that fewer than 5% of veteran business owners belong to the generation that served after 9/11.

As veterans pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, it is important that they continue to feel supported, respected and represented and that is what makes U.S. Veterans Magazine a top magazine for entrepreneurs.

The magazine covers the most important veteran news, including up-to-date statistics on workforce diversity, as well as business-to-business trends. Topics include business, career, and disability news and articles on education, finance, government, health, lifestyle and transitioning to civilian life.

U.S. Veterans Magazine also links companies and government entities to qualified career and business candidates from the ranks of the nation’s veterans. The publication highlights immediate and lucrative employment as well as business and supplier opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, disabled veterans and veteran business owners.

If you’re a veteran looking for advice on how to start your business, or need training on how to become an entrepreneur, U.S. Veterans Magazine has resources to guide you down the right path.

The informational articles and links to suppliers and partners that support veterans are accompanied by featured articles about celebrity veterans like comedian Rob Riggle.

All of the stories shared by U.S. Veterans Magazine illustrate the inspiring and honorable qualities of service men and women and this is why many select it as their top magazine for entrepreneurs.

Veterans are proven leaders, and as a community, they’ve shown they can deliver on their entrepreneurial pursuits. ‘U.S. Veterans Magazine’ believes we need to turn around the shrinking military entrepreneur rate in America and we can do that by empowering the best-trained and most-trusted people in the country.

Whether you are a veteran just starting out, or have seen your business evolve into a well-known, veteran-owned brand like FedEx, GoDaddy, Walmart or Nike, U.S. Veterans Magazine is a resource on your journey as an entrepreneur.

This publication tells the stories that are going to empower veterans to reinvigorate America with a different kind of service to their country and that is what U.S. Veterans Magazine is about.

 

Podcast for Military Members is here!

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Milresourceradio.com is a special place for veterans and service members alike to receive stories and support. This podcast is for veterans by veterans. Hear directly from organization leaders—and those who’ve benefited from their services. Host Les Davis is U.S. Army (ret) and a Gulf War Veteran. He has built mil/vet recruitment strategies for AMVETS and Fortune 100 companies, helping other vets post-service personally and professionally. His advocacy specialties are transition, PTS, employment, education, and leadership change and growth.

Check out his podcast on taking care of mental health for veterans with special guest Linda Kreter,  founder and CEO of Healing Household 6, a non-profit organization supporting caregivers, spouses, and partners of veterans.

militarynetworkradio.com/healing-household

Electrical Apprenticeship Offers Vet a Bright Future

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By Rhonda Burke

As a 17-year-old student at St. Charles High School in Illinois, Kyle Horn knew he was interested in a career as an electrician. He had his eye on a local apprenticeship program but first joined the Army Reserve as an interior electrician upon graduation in 2007.

With a few years of real-world experience under his belt, he applied in 2011 – and was accepted – as an apprentice while remaining in the Reserve. The program is run through the Northern Illinois Electrical Joint Apprentice Training Center in Crystal Lake, known as the JATC, and partners with the U.S. Department of Labor.

“The JATC has been extremely accommodating of my Army duties,” the 28-year-old veteran said. “Prior to my last deployment, they worked with me off-hours and extra days to help me finish my fourth year in the program so I’d be ready to finish up when I returned.”

Sgt. Horn returned in March 2017 from his second deployment to Iraq, where he was assigned to the 863rd Engineer Battalion, 945th Engineer Detachment, Utilities Detachment in support of Combined Joint Task Force−Operation Inherent Resolve, the multi-national coalition working to defeat ISIS and stabilize the region. He was also deployed to the country in 2010.

Today, Horn is nearly finished with the five-year apprenticeship − which also involves taking college courses − and is working at Associated Electrical, a Northern Illinois company that provides commercial and industrial services.

“I really like my job because the work environment changes every day. You never stop learning and it is never monotonous,” he said. Another benefit: “I have no student loans and have been paid to learn on the job. It is a tremendous opportunity,” he said, noting he has several friends who incurred significant student debt while learning their vocation. The same is true for his wife, Nicole, who is an architect.

Upon completing 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 1,000 hours of instructional learning, Horn will receive an industry-issued, nationally recognized journeyman certificate from the training center. Electricians in Illinois can expect to earn close to $80,000 per year on average.

His long-term goals include completing his bachelor’s degree; he has nearly enough credits now through his apprenticeship training. He is also committed to a 20-year career in the Army Reserve.

“I feel truly blessed,” he said. “I have a baby son due in January and two great careers that will enable me to take great care of my family.”

There are more than 500,000 apprentices across the country, with more apprenticeship opportunities added every day. Learn more at dol.gov/apprenticeship. Information about career services available for veterans, transitioning service members and their spouses is available at veterans.gov.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor