To honor our veterans, Gettysburg Foundation invites veterans to enjoy a special discount and programming at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. U.S. military veterans will receive free admission to the Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience. Ticket holders also have the unique opportunity to see the historic Gettysburg Cyclorama painting in a different light. Unlike the traditional experience with a light and sound show in which visitors ‘experience’ Pickett’s Charge depicted in the Cyclorama painting, a special 'lights up' program will feature an introductory talk while in full light of the painting. Guests see a very different view of the artwork with the lights up and gain an understanding of the history and scenes in the painting. Start with the film A New Birth of Freedom, followed by the ‘lights up’ program on the Cyclorama painting. Explore the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War at leisure throughout the day. Located at 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, Pa., the Museum & Visitor Center offers Veterans Day hours from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The last film and cyclorama show begins at 4 p.m. Veterans are encouraged to arrive early and need to show proof of veteran status for free tickets. U.S. military active-duty personnel receive free admission to the experience daily. Gettysburg Foundation thanks our military service members for their service and sacrifice to our country. GivingTuesday is Nov. 30, 2021. Gettysburg Foundation’s annual GivingTuesday fundraising campaign will help maintain Gettysburg’s symbol of peace and unity, focusing on the Eternal Light Peace Memorial at Gettysburg National Military Park. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial July 3, 1938, during the Battle of Gettysburg’s 75th anniversary. A symbol of “peace eternal in a nation reunited,” the memorial’s 1938 dedication was a tribute to peace, honoring soldiers and veterans who served and continue to serve our country to promote peace in the world. Since then, the memorial has been a focal point for visitors and our service men and women to gather and reflect, holding a special significance for U.S. veterans and active-duty military personnel. Gettysburg Foundation is on a mission to raise $50,000 to continue the ‘eternal’ flame. Join our efforts and unite with us to keep the flame of this significant memorial shining. While this symbolic light is enduring, so is the responsibility of keeping the flame bright. Your generosity will keep this symbolic flame for peace bright for years to come. To support our history’s preservation, visit GettysburgFoundation.org to make your GivingTuesday donation. Click here to Visit & Donate:
WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded the Shallow Subsidy initiative and will grant $200 million to 238 nonprofit organizations across the country and territories to provide housing rental assistance to extremely and very low-income Veteran households eligible under VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. The initiative funded by The American Rescue Plan, is now available in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam and promotes long-term housing stability by providing rental assistance payments directly to landlords on behalf of eligible Veteran households for up to two years. “VA’s Shallow Subsidy initiative is a vital tool in addressing the widening gap between incomes and rising housing costs,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “The recent expansion enables VA to provide relief to many more Veterans burdened by high housing rental costs while they attempt to increase their incomes by pursuing training or better employment opportunities.” The SSVF Shallow Subsidy initiative covers 35% of eligible Veterans’ rent for two years without the risk of the subsidy decreasing if the Veteran’s income increases during the two-year period. The purpose is to incentivize Veterans to increase their income through employment or other means. The initiative also works closely with the Labor Department’s Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program to help Veterans secure employment. There are 7.2 million more affordable housing units needed for low-income families according to data published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, highlighting the need for this VA initiative, particularly in communities with high rental costs and low housing rental vacancy rates. The Shallow Subsidy initiative aligns with the White House’s priority to promote housing stability by supporting vulnerable tenants and preventing foreclosures. Learn more about VA’s mission to end Veteran homelessness and how you can help.
(VAntage Point) This is about moral injury… and suicide. Starting at a young age, we learn about right and wrong. Our life experiences, education, and environment help us to develop a moral code, or a set of deeply held beliefs and expectations. When we experience potentially morally injurious events, our moral code is violated either by our own or other peoples’ actions or inactions. These experiences tend to result in painful emotions (shame, guilt, contempt, anger, disgust) and cognitions (“I am a monster”). When individuals engage in efforts to try to avoid or control these painful emotions and cognitions, social, psychological and spiritual suffering can result. We describe that as moral injury. Veterans’ moral injury from combat experiences Service members and Veterans can experience moral injury as a result of their experiences in combat. Experiencing a potentially morally injurious event may result in severe distress or functional impairment. Recent research suggests exposure to potentially morally injurious events is a risk factor for suicidal ideation and behavior among Veterans and military personnel. Some common experiences associated with moral injury include: Isolation in relationships Getting caught up in stories about oneself or others related to these morally injurious events Engaging in behaviors to try to get rid of painful and moral emotions (such as drinking) Disconnecting from spirituality Not keeping up with self-care Understanding the injury VA researcher Lauren Borges is a suicide prevention expert. She strives to understand more about the link between suicide prevention and moral injury. She often uses chain analysis, a technique designed to help understand the function of a particular behavior. It explains that successfully identifying and treating moral injury can help prevent suicide among Veterans. However, treating this type of injury comes with a unique set of obstacles and challenges. An influx of recent research helps providers identify moral injury. Still, patients are often reluctant to share their true feelings due to concerns around feeling judged or even ashamed. “In a qualitative study we found that moral injury was often not discussed in treatment. A key component of our approach to therapeutic risk management of suicidal behavior involves the application of chain analysis to understand the function of suicidal behavior. “If suicidal behavior is functioning to avoid or control painful moral emotions, such as shame, guilt, contempt, anger and disgust, we will often assess exposure to potentially morally injurious events to determine if this is influencing the Veteran’s suicidal behavior.” VA supports providers treating Veterans at risk Borges is a consultant and lecturer for the Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program (SRM). This month, she will present how clinicians and health care teams can conceptualize and effectively target suicidal behavior in the context of moral injury. These free, live webinars are offered on the second Wednesday of every month from 2 to 3 p.m. ET. Interested providers can register here, and a recording will also be available for those who are unable to attend the live event. SRM offers free consultation, support and resources that promote therapeutic best practices for providers working with Veterans at risk. SRM providers can help VA and community providers identify and treat moral injury among their Veteran patients. Providers can learn more and request a free consult here.
WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs and the PenFed Foundation brought together 80 women Veteran entrepreneurs for a six-month accelerator program, July 13 that would prepare them for sustainability and growth in federal and commercial marketplaces. Participants came from 29 states and are VA Center for Verification and Evaluation verified, have three to five years in business and have past performance as a prime or subcontractor. “It’s important we provide an environment where women entrepreneurs can receive strategic and deliberate education, empowerment, engagement and access to enhance their businesses,” said VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Executive Director Sharon Ridley. "Through entrepreneurship, women Veterans have an opportunity to leverage their military and leadership skills to increase and create economic opportuites.” Classes are focused on relationship building, product/market analysis, business development and growth preparation. Participants meet in small groups and receive coaching from industry leaders such as AstraZeneca and Halfaker & Associates and OptumServe. The program culminates with a pitch competition in October. The participant with the winning pitch will receive a PenFed Foundation grant to be used to grow their business. “We have a shared goal: to empower women Veterans and create access to capital and system to support them,” said PenFed Foundation President and retired U.S. Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr. “We believe in creating a business ecosystem that establishes service in the U.S. military as the most reliable pathway to successful entrepreneurship." Learn more about the Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program. Learn more about VA’s mission to empower and educate Women Veteran entrepreneurs for success and economic opportunities at the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
By Mackenzie Wolf American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford expressed “deep disappointment” the White House isn’t offering a better plan to evacuate interpreters, family members and other Afghan allies who have served alongside U.S. forces during the last 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The White House announced on Thursday the United States’ military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on Aug. 31, putting the end to a “forever war” in sight. However, that does not go far enough to protect the 18,000 Afghan interpreters who are still waiting for approval of their Special Immigrants Visas — a promise the U.S. made to them in return for their service. Earlier, the White House said they would house the interpreters and others in a third country pending their visa approval. The American Legion does not believe this action will ensure the safety of all the Afghanistan allies, due to the number and time remaining before the pullout. There is a precedent of such a mass evacuation that the U.S. could emulate in this scenario. In 1975, the United States evacuated about 130,000 Vietnamese refugees after the fall of Saigon. Most refugees were held temporarily in Guam before going to the U.S. as their visas were processed. More recently, in 1996, the U.S. evacuated thousands of Kurds at the end of the Iraqi Kurdish Civil War, with a stopover in Guam. Calling the Taliban “the enemy of all human rights,” and welcoming an end to U.S. involvement in 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan, Oxford said the withdrawal must be conducted in an honorable and orderly manner and that the current pace of withdrawal is falling short on these counts. “Abandonment of those who assisted us is literally an issue of life or death,” Oxford said. “Any veteran who has worked with Afghan interpreters will tell you how valuable these brave heroes were to our mission there.” Their service alongside American forces has made them — along with their families — targets for retribution by the Taliban as the militant group gains ground across Afghanistan. “It is a moral imperative that we offer them immediate and safe passage away from the enemy and to the United States,” Oxford added. “If we abandon such friends, how could we expect any assistance by potential allies in future missions?”
WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded $418 million in grants to more than 260 non-profit organizations in June, allowing low-income Veteran families around the nation to access services under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. SSVF grantees are authorized to use the funds to rapidly re-house Veterans who become homeless or to prevent Veterans from becoming homeless. “As a result of VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program and other housing assistance efforts, Veteran homelessness has been cut in half since the launch of 2010’s Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Since then, hundreds of thousands of Veterans and their families have been placed into permanent housing or prevented from falling into homelessness by VA’s homelessness programs and targeted housing vouchers provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” SSVF grantees are in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through partnerships with VA and community programs, SSVF provides eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management and assistance obtaining VA and other benefits, which can include health care, financial planning, childcare, legal and fiduciary payee assistance, transportation, housing counseling and other services. Helping Veterans in need of permanent housing remains a critical priority for VA. In fiscal year 2020, VA served 112,070 participants, including 77,590 Veterans and 19,919 children through the SSVF program. This year’s grant recipients successfully competed under a Notice of Fund Availability published November 19, 2020. The funding will support SSVF services from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022. Learn more about the SSVF program.
(VAntage Point) Transitioning from active duty to the private sector is jarring for many Veterans. As many as 27% of Veterans struggle with adjusting to civilian life according to the Pew Research Center. This can be particularly difficult for female Veterans, but VA and other private sector organizations are stepping up to support these women. One organization, Dress For Success Austin (DFSA), provides a network of professional support, business attire and development tools to help all women thrive in work and life. DFSA and its affiliates across the country have three programs for any woman who would like career development assistance: Suiting – work with women to choose an interview outfit and provide guidance and support for the upcoming interview. Career Advancement – support and assist women in identifying and striving towards their professional and personal goals. Includes mapping out the future through financial planning. Leadership Training – teach women to advance their careers and give back to their communities. One former Veteran, Jessica Kirkham, recently landed a job at TikTok using Dress for Success resources, a career change after working for a combined five years as a cryptologic linguist in the Navy and for the NSA. “I was led to DFSA while attending a Veteran Transition seminar hosted by the Texas Veterans Commission,” Kirkham said. “I was looking for guidance on translating my military experience into something civilian recruiters and hiring managers would understand, and DFSA’s Bridge the Gap for Women Veterans program helped me do exactly that. They also set me up with my mentor, Summer McAfee, and she helped steer me in the right direction with numerous phone calls and Zoom sessions, through which we polished and perfected my resume and interviewing skills. “With support from organizations like Dress for Success, people of all ages and stages can build the confidence and soft skills they need to land their dream job,” she added. “Veterans bring strong leadership skills, discipline and other critical competencies to companies in the private sector. Dress for Success Austin and BreakLine (a nonprofit in San Francisco) helped build my confidence and readiness to bring my authentic self to the private sector, specifically to TikTok.” If you or someone you know is interested or would benefit from working with DFSA or any of its affiliates, you can find their contact information at: https://austin.dressforsuccess.org/contact/. DFSA exclusively supports women, but there are other organizations like Career Gear that provide similar services for men actively seeking employment. They can be contacted at: email@example.com. To see more information like this, subscribe to VetResources, visit: https://www.va.gov/vetresources/. Social Media: Dress for Success Austin Facebook: @DFSAustin Instagram: @dressforsuccessATX Twitter: @DFSAustinTX YouTube Dress for Success Worldwide: Facebook: @DressForSuccess Twitter: @dressforsuccess Instagram: @dressforsuccess YouTube LinkedIn: @dress-for-success-worldwide The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on the part of VA. Ian Lacy is a communications specialist in VA’s Veterans Experience Office.
As Americans are managing life with the Coronavirus and now with the vaccine finally rolling out, and mask mandates lifting for the fully vaccinated, the travel industry is continuing to come back. Hotels and travel destinations in many parts of the country are open in anticipation of travelers ready to throw off their cabin fever and venture out. Your plans may be for a weekend get away to a cozy bed and breakfast, or perhaps a fishing trip to catch that “big one” that won’t get away this time. Maybe it’s a camping trip full of hiking adventures with stunning vistas, or possibly you would rather walk through America’s glorious past by taking in all the amenities offered in any of hundreds of museums. How about a week’s stay at a ranch out west? Whatever your travel desires are, your options are plentiful and, more importantly, clean, safe and following all CDC guidelines for Coronavirus. Each week we will list state by state travel options we recommend to help make your vacation choices easy. ALASKA: Kenai Magic Lodge – Anchorage. MD Discovery Alaskan Charters – Ketchikan. ARIZONA: Stampede RV and Bed & Breakfast – Tombstone. Hall of Flame Fire Museum – Phoenix. ARKANSAS: Beaver Lake Hideaway – Garfield. Urban Peddlers Retreat – VRBO-2039106 – Bentonville. Vista del Paradiso – VRBO-1744925 – Bella Vista. CALIFORNIA: Mendo Parks – Mendocino. Catalina Island Museum – Avalon. Orangeland RV Park – Orange. COLORADO: Inn at Lost Creek – Telluride. Valhalla Resort – Estes Park. Alpine Inn – Gunnison. Monarch Spur RV Park & Campground – Salida. CONNECTICUT: Connecticut Trolley Museum – East Windsor. FLORIDA: Pompano Beach Rentals – Pompano Beach. Barbara O’Donnell - 954.953.4992 Ramada Inn – Temple Terrace. Light Tackle Adventures – Odessa. El Caribe Resort and Conference Center – Daytona Beach. GEORGIA: National Civil War Naval Museum – Columbus. IDAHO: Pend Orielle Resort – Hope. The Roosevelt Inn – Coeur D’Alene. ILLINOIS: Rooster Heaven Hunt Club – Forrest. Bear Branch – Eddyville. Keyesport Cabins – Keyesport. 618.749.5413 McLean County Museum of History – Bloomington. INDIANA: Grissom Air Museum – Peru. IOWA: Sanford Museum & Planetarium – Cherokee. Scenic View Ranch – Monona. KANSAS: Combat Air Museum – Topeka. Covered Wagon RV Resort – Abilene. KENTUCKY: Singing Hills RV Resort – Cave City. Riverside Inn Bed and Breakfast – Warsaw. Lynnhurst Family Resort – Murray. OH Kentucky Campground and RV Park – Berea. LOUISIANA: City of Opelousas Tourism – Opelousas. Cajun Country Cottages – Breaux Bridge. Terrell House – New Orleans. La Quinta Inn – Slidell. MAINE: Old Fort Western – Augusta. York Beach Camper Park – York Bench. MICHIGAN: Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham – St. Ignace. Greenwood Acres RV – Jackson. Serendipity Bed & Breakfast – Saugatuck. US National Ski-Snowboard Hall of Fame – Ishpeming. Michigan Heroes Museum – Frankenmuth. Hotel Nichols – South Haven. MINNESOTA: Starck’s Tamarck – Deer River. White Oak Inn & Suites – Deer River. Guest House International Inn & Suites – Rochester. Kecs Kove – Kabetagoma. MISSISSIPPI: Magnolia Cottage Bed & Breakfast – Natchez. MISSOURI: KC Karting Association – Liberty. Best Western Branson Inn – Branson. Driftwater Resort – Branson. MONTANA: Montana Military Museum – Fort Harrison. NEVADA: Nevada Northern Railway Museum – Ely. NEW MEXICO: NM Holocaust Museum – Albequerque. NEW YORK: Adirondak Experience – Blue Mountain Lake. Victorian Bed & Breakfast – Staten Island. Fernbaugh Campground & Rec Center – Corning. NORTH CAROLINA: The Groome Inn – Greensboro. Pinebrook Manor Bed and Breakfast – Hendersonville. NORTH DAKOTA: Dakota Waters Resort – Beulah. McQuoid Outdoors & Lodging – Minnewaukan. OHIO: Good Earth Cabins – Logan. OREGON: The Fort Dalles Museum – The Dalles. PENNSYLVANIA: Manayunk Chambers Guest House – Philadelphia. Inn at White Oak – Gettysburg. TENNESSEE: The Olde Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast – Cumberland Gap. Mountain Breeze Motel – Pigeon Forge. Appleview River Resort – Sevierville. TEXAS: Breeze Lake/Sunset Palms Campgrounds – Brownsville. American Undersea Warfare Museum – Galveston. National Museum of the Pacific War – Fredericksburg. Alamo RV Park – Alamo. Triple Creek RV Music Resort – Woodville. VIRGINIA: Historic Smithfield – Blacksburg. WASHINGTON D.C.: National Museum of the US Navy WEST VIRGINIA: The Lost River Grill, Motel and Bed & Breakfast – Lost River. WISCONSIN: Mid-Continent Railway and Museum – North Freedom. BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: M&M Apartment Suites & Bakery – Spanish Town. When you are ready to travel, we are here to help! Keep checking back every week for more featured locations. Our travel hosts are eager to see you and work with you to provide safe and clean facilities.
(VFW Magazine) KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) are proud to announce they are teaming up with the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America®, to kick off the start of the 2021 “Uniting to Combat Hunger” campaign. Established in 2018, the “Uniting to Combat Hunger” campaign was created to raise awareness of food insecurity, which 1 in 8 people may experience in America and 1 in 4 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans are affected by this. While the pandemic and social-distancing guidelines have made it difficult for the VFW and Humana to host food drives or gleanings, this year’s campaign goal is to help provide 1,000,000 meals* to communities in need. Every dollar donated to Feeding America helps provide at least 10 meals to people facing hunger, and all “Uniting to Combat Hunger” donations received will go directly to support local Feeding America member food banks across the nation. “The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact communities across America. As a result, 42 million people, including 13 million children, may face hunger in 2021,” said Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Feeding America Lauren Biedron. “We are grateful to Humana and the VFW for continuing their commitment to help provide meals for communities experiencing food insecurity through the ‘Uniting to Combat Hunger’ campaign.” “Humana’s unwavering commitment to veterans and their families includes enabling access to food in the communities where they live, said Ed Sandrick, Humana Veterans Channel Director. “We’re honored to join VFW and Feeding America in fighting food insecurity and helping veterans achieve their best health.” “The past year has been increasingly difficult for our military and veteran families, and even more desperate for those already fighting to put food on the table,” said VFW National Commander Hal Roesch. “It is unbearable to think our brave servicemen and women who have sacrificed so much already in service to their nation, would struggle to find their next meal. Together with Humana and Feeding America, I know we can make a tremendous difference in their lives, and others like them.” The “Uniting to Combat Hunger” campaign officially kicks off today, and will run through the end of the year. Help provide meals to families facing hunger and donate today at feedingamerica.org/UTCH. To find out more about the “Uniting to Combat Hunger” campaign and what you can do to help in the fight against food insecurity, visit vfw.org/UTCH. -vfw- Feeding America. 2021. “The Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity.” URL: https://www.feedingamerica.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/National%20Projections%20Brief_3.9.2021_0.pdf *One million meal equivalent includes financial donations raised by UTCH 6/1/2021-12/31/2021 using national and local food bank meal equivalent calculations. National meal claim: $1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks. Local food bank meal claims vary by organization. About the Veterans of Foreign Wars: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation's largest and oldest major war veterans’ organization. Founded in 1899, the congressionally chartered VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With more than 1.5 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in over 6,000 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at vfw.org. About Humana: Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large. To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective. More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of: Annual reports to stockholders Securities and Exchange Commission filings Most recent investor conference presentations Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls Calendar of events Corporate Governance information About Feeding America: Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
(VAntage Point) Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and while many provide varied services in different industries, many also share one similar view: they want to hire Veterans. This is what I know, but as the founder of Bridge My Return (BMR), a free, military hiring platform, I asked several of our employer partners why they hire Veterans. And then I talked to Veterans themselves about what this means to them. Here’s what I found out from these Veteran Voices in the Workplace. As an employer, why does hiring Veterans matter to you? “The thing my mind keeps focusing on is the skills we are looking for in a solid new hire. So many of them are most commonly met with a Veteran status. Intangibles like honor and integrity are vital as we are doing work in people’s homes or businesses. Customer service and a willingness to help others are on the top of the list. Compassion and empathy… and I could go on and on.” Chris Kushmaul, disabled Veteran, franchise owner, Restoration 1 “Veterans are highly capable of learning and working under pressure, which is all too common during the peak season for our business. Plus, Veterans have worked next to individuals of all races, genders, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and physical capabilities throughout their military careers. They usually bring that same sensitivity to the civilian workplace.” Teresa Fiduccia, manager of Recruitment and Retention at American Residential Services (ARS). “NewDay USA is a leading VA mortgage company. We see the practicality of hiring Veterans. Nobody knows the unique challenges Veterans face to buying a home better than Veterans themselves.” Rear Admiral Tom Lynch, executive chairman, NewDay USA. “Former military leaders bring leadership, focus, loyalty and self-discipline to their practice, and these are the most common characteristics of successful financial representatives. They are passionate about helping people achieve financial security with integrity and character, and that’s at the core of what we do.” Billye Survis, Northwestern Mutual. Similar to Northwestern Mutual Financial, technology start-up Origin8 is building its business with a sturdy Veteran foundation. “Our advocate role requires skills such as social perceptiveness, building rapport, service orientation, discipline, enthusiasm and active learning,” says co-founder Mike Corey, a Vietnam Veteran. “We’re not looking for industry experience; rather, we seek employees who possess these traits and we see them in Veterans. We’re excited to add hundreds of Veterans to our team – working virtually in an environment of community and security.” Blackstone – and the portfolio of 200 companies in which they have invested – take pride in the 90,000+ Veterans, spouses and caregivers they’ve hired to date. “Our ongoing commitment to hiring, developing and retaining these individuals is rooted in our firm’s appreciation of their service to our country and in the adaptability, ingenuity, determination and resilience they demonstrate on a daily basis in the private sector, from front-line operational roles to C-level leadership positions.” Jason Santamaria, managing director Blackstone and Marine Corps Veteran. As a Veteran, what does it mean to join an organization with an honest commitment to hiring and retaining military talent? “After a career serving in the infantry, I struggled with finding the right fit after I transitioned to civilian life. I didn’t know it then, but now realize I was searching for that familiar feeling of camaraderie and pride. Organizations led by or supported by actual Veterans understand that and allow it to strengthen their business.” Gabe Arreola, operations manager at Restoration 1. “When I see our efforts and actions – both large and small – those feelings of inclusion and belonging I had in the Army come back to life. Like others, I am encouraged to offer my thoughts and it’s so uplifting when I see them put in motion.” Joshua Will, division recruiter at ARS. “We say ‘Ship, Shipmate, Self.’ At the core, it means we put our customers and teammates ahead of ourselves.” Alexander Lee Hess, NewDay USA. “I could get behind a company that has the same morals, convictions, duty and honor that I do, and that meant a lot to me.” Pete Martinez, financial representative, Northwestern Mutual. “The Veteran community here at Blackstone was supportive throughout the entire recruiting process and was a major factor in my decision to join the team. Since joining, Blackstone has also supported my non-profit mobile app, ReferVets.org, which helps connect Veterans with companies like Blackstone who understand the value of our Veteran community.” Kevin Kennedy, SVP in Cybersecurity, Blackstone. Bridge My Return is a series of stories We believe we are a series of stories. The interconnected lives of Veterans, military-ready employers and Veteran support organizations comprise and reflect a collaborative adventure. We’re your bridge to career, community and character. We invite you to join Bridge My Return in this adventure. To get started, click here. Website: www.bridgemyreturn.com Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org Also feel free to check out this video that summarizes our mission. (1) Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries. NM and its subsidiaries are in Milwaukee, WI. Northwestern Mutual financial representatives are independent contractors whose income is based solely on production. The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on the part of VA.