I have never been part of the military. I know a few people who have, but frankly, not many. We have been at war for 15 years and I can count all of the veterans that I personally know who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan and still have several fingers left over. I am neither proud nor ashamed of this; it’s simply an observation. Having spent my entire life in “corporate America”, I can’t help but feel that I am not alone; that I am not the exception.
Like everyone in life that you encounter, there is a big difference between the veterans you meet. Points-of-view, interests, behaviors, etc. vary. Although by no means monolithic, the veterans I do know, share common threads. There is a sense of duty, pride, esprit de corps, and honor that is common in, literally, every veteran I know. Since contemplating the creation of Project Relo, I have reflected how these are the many of the attributes that exist in my most effective colleagues. With individual diversity, combined with these winning attitudes, why aren’t more of my colleagues veterans?
Several years ago, I joined up with a group of colleagues who would spend several weekends a year going off-road, and camping. We’d load up our rigs and head out into the National Forests of Michigan. As the group grew, we realized that there was a magnetic pull towards the military veterans amongst us. They demonstrated leadership, problem-solving abilities, competitiveness, patience and were always people we could count on the most.
Project Relo brings this all together. We are creating a network of hiring authorities and military veterans with the goal of educating these executives on the benefit of enabling the careers of the veterans. Our culminating networking events have both executives and veterans joining us on one of our off-road adventures.
I’m proud to be part of this effort. We need everyone’s help in creating this valuable network. If you’re a veteran, a member of the business community, or you simply agree with our mission and want to help out, we encourage you to join Project Relo today.