It's no secret that the awareness and support of the veteran community is on the rise. Campaigns, initiatives, and support for veterans' quality of life, transition assistance, career placement, and remembrance of those lost are growing more and more visible everywhere from private organizations to corporate sponsors to government funded programs. Helping veterans isn't even something so 'new', as many veteran service organizations were founded generations ago. But if you talk to the veterans' themselves - there is still something missing. There is a gap. There is an umbrella of services that the general population seems to deem "successful in helping the veteran community" and yet if you talk to a veteran, if you live with a veteran, if you ARE a veteran, you may have something different to say. It's not that these organizations aren't effective or important or needed, it's that there is still a disconnect in the transition between lives. That place between the, "Hey, we offer this" and, "Hey, I am literally in the process of changing my life here and I don't know how to use what you are giving me." While it's not unknown territory, it's a hard one to traverse.
So where does that leave us?
The mission, purpose, and values of GuideOn is to bridge this gap and openly acknowledge difficulties in the transition journey. There is nothing to sugar coat. Leaving something you've known, you've become, you've given literal sweat, blood, and tears for is such a deeply personal experience it can be hard to do anything other than try and process that alone. Throw in finding a new job, supporting your family, changing your healthcare, reformulating self-identity, forming new social relationships, leaving behind an era of military affiliation, and walking towards the unknown than you've got yourself one huge reason to feel every emotion under the sun.
So where do we start?
We start by talking to each other. Actively listening and effectively responding. In order to first understand someone's struggles you have to listen, feel, and if not understand, at least empathize not for the good of your campaign or initiative or service but for the individual person sitting right in front of you.
We can say this because we are those people. We are the veteran in transition. The veteran who walked the fine, dusty line between successful transition and succumbing to the pressures and pain of PTSD and soldier life. We are the sibling who has cried, held hands, prayed, searched, and supported. We are the parents who've sat with pride and heavy hearts at the same time. We are the spouse who sees the daily stress in leaving one path of life and embarking on another.
"I believe it’s our duty, as veterans, to welcome back our brother and sister warriors. It’s our duty, as veterans, to be the community that assists with the transition from warrior to farmer, so to speak. No one can do this better than veterans. And every veteran can make an individual difference" says GuideOn CEO, Anthony Garcia.
This is not a sob story.
This is a story of a second wave of bravery. Bravery taking on a different form, a form which still takes on many blurred lines. Transition is hard. Innovation is hard. So in short, No. Veterans do not have enough. Our advantage is that by possessing these personal victories, stories, and experiences as a team, we can match up innovation and transition to create strong, stable veteran career opportunities, strong futures, and fulfilled individuals.
Thanks for believing in GuideOn's service and mission to continue to better the lives of veterans and providing opportunities for veterans to bridge the gap, tap into bravery, and find continuity in quality of life. We all have the power to have a direct impact on a warrior. Keep following for updates and ways to spread the GuideOn message to your fellow service members.