Posts in Veteran Life
What Bothers Me About Veterans 'Day'​

If veterans need anything, it is your active involvement in the reintegration process. The military tradition is an inseparable part of our national conscience, but veterans are a shrinking minority across our population. The civil-military cultural gap continues to widen as the percentage of service members, veterans, and their families continues to fall. Let’s facilitate their continued growth beyond the military by harnessing their intrinsic drive, addressing the cultural nuances of the military style, and expanding the aperture for commensurate leadership opportunities as veterans in the civilian workplace.

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Call to Action: Remembering the Day After the Day that Changed the World

This year - as we have every year since 2001 - we will reflect on the traumatic events of that day. Beginning at 8:46 Eastern Standard Time, we will recount the play by play that culminated in the worst attack in the history of our nation. By lunchtime, we will forget where we were and what we were doing in 2001 to focus on the urgency of our 2018 problems. But this year, I challenge you to do something different…

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3 Reasons Why Transition is Harder on Senior Leaders and 3 Things You Can Do About It

Thank you for your service. You've had an impressive career . . . but you're not what we're looking for.

Sound familiar? I've heard that before, and if you're a senior leader, perhaps you've heard it too. Interestingly enough, I didn't hear it when I left the army as a junior captain. I remember attending only one hiring conference about three months before my separation date. From that one event, I had eleven follow-up interviews that landed six job offers! Three of the six offers had compensation packages that exceeded what I was making in the army. Finding a job as a junior officer was easy. But this was not the case when I left the army for a second time after more than 20 years of service. So why does this happen?

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Reintegration from the Inside-Out: How to Tell a Better Story about Life Beyond the Military

Given the relatively low unemployment rate, veterans don't seem to have a hard time finding a job. Given the high turnover and underemployment, they do have a hard time finding that sense of fulfillment and connection in life beyond the military. Perhaps we think that when we start a new job, we can just stop being the soldier. Changing your external reality in order to change your internal state of being doesn't work. Maybe we should invert that process. Successful reintegration from the inside-out is how we discover our sense of purpose, meaning, and connection in the right job for a better story about life beyond the military.

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Securing the Rights for the Next Generation of Veterans

When I wore the uniform, no date on the calendar had more meaning for me than the Fourth of July. I was inspired by the courage of colonial settlers who risked everything for the hope of a better life. They founded a new nation on the belief that we were born to be free. Ordinary citizens became the first soldiers to fight for that belief. We celebrate them as heroes in the birth of our nation, and for the next 242 years, soldiers have deployed to far away lands and dangerous places to protect and defend that belief. I may no longer wear the uniform, but I still feel that sense of connection to soldiers past and present.

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How Do You Measure Success When You Leave the Military?

I recently celebrated my 47th birthday, a rather unremarkable milestone. With each passing year, it becomes harder to convince myself that I am on the windward side of middle age. These occasions have become more of a time for reflection than celebration. Birthdays are the time of year when I assess how I am progressing along the journey of life. I typically include familiar metrics like wealth and status in my assessment, but this year was different…

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5 Things I Wish I Did During the First Year After Military Transition

I remember what it felt like to get that last stamp on my clearing papers. After more than two decades of service, the subtlety of that final act seemed somewhat anticlimactic, but I was finished! The day that seemed so elusive for so long had finally arrived. I was overcome with a sense of accomplishment and nostalgia. Like you, I had my fair share of difficult days, but I was grateful for the fond memories and the wonderful people I met through the military. I couldn't contain my smile as I walked proudly out of the personnel processing center for the last time.

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An Open Letter to the Criminal, the Athlete, the Basket Case, the Princess, and the Brain

This message is for the generation that identifies with the Valley Girls, the Lost Boys, Bo and Luke Duke, Micky and, of course, Jack and Diane. To the rest of the preppies, jocks, stoners, poindexters, punkers, rockers, hicks, drama jocks, superstars, homebodies, farmers, new wavers and soc's, your voice as the new generation is rapidly approaching middle age. Ferris was right. Life moves pretty fast. I need just a moment of your time because our nation needs us now more than ever.

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