Local businesses, help your local veteran
Veterans’ Voices is directed toward veterans and their families who have given so much to ensure our freedom in this country. This is an area where you may share your experiences, or read of other veterans’ experiences. We thank you for your service, and hope that you know how much you are loved and appreciated.
A reminder: Nov. 11, 2022 is Veterans Day.
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Whether your company employs veterans or not, or maybe just a few veterans, or just now starting to attract and hire veterans, celebrating Veterans Day is a great opportunity to enhance your commitment to supporting those who wore our nation’s uniform. Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday and observed on November 11 each year, that honors our military veterans, which are those who served in the United States armed forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of the World War I.
Major hostilities of World War 1 were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
There are many ways to honor and celebrate the men and women in your company or community who have served in the military. I have listed a few below.
1. Make them feel special. Consider honoring and recognizing veterans at your company by hosting a lunch in their honor. Invite civilian colleagues to learn about the military experience, show their appreciation for the veteran employees’ military service and build camaraderie among the teams. Whether formal or casual, a special lunch or reception honoring your veterans shows respect and appreciation.
2. Recognize them. Does your company have an internal newsletter or other forms of internal communications? Maybe highlight the experiences of several veteran employees, showing their successful transition, emphasizing their transferable skills (from military to their civilian careers) and their hobbies, families, and interests. Such an effort not only reinforces the value veterans bring to the civilian workplace, but reminds civilian colleagues that veterans are people first, employees second. Do you have their military pictures hanging in your lobby showing how much you appreciate them and all veterans?
3. Share their story. With respect and sensitivity, share the story of the veterans who work for and with you. Oftentimes, civilians are intimidated to inquire about the career choice to serve in uniform, and this is an opportunity to show what military service is like, the challenges and accomplishments of your veteran employees, and the sacrifices made to ensure our nation’s liberties. Consider sharing your veteran employees’ stories with clients, vendors, and the community. As you employers know, when you seek a person to hire for a position within your company, you look for three things: Attitude, aptitude and the big one… work ethics. Most of our veterans have all three of those attributes.
4. Serve their family. When a service member commits to military service, their commitment impacts their family significantly. If the service member is married and has children, these people’s lives dramatically change as they learn to live a military lifestyle alongside their spouse and parent. For parents of service members, putting on the uniform is filled with pride and fear. Honoring the families of those who serve — through events, special gifts or recognition — builds positive feelings for your veteran employees. Especially, when those veterans are gone to war, it is not just them that are in that war. It is also their families.
5. Serve the community. Every community has veterans service organizations, whose focus is to provide support to military veterans and families. These organizations focus on issues from PTSD (post-traumatic stress-disorder) to suicide prevention to career transition services to temporary housing to equine therapy and everything in between. There is no shortage of organizations positively impacting the post-military life of the service member. Engaging your team in volunteering to build a house for a veteran, providing on-site coaching at a workforce center or handing out supplies at a veteran homeless center brings to light the issues facing our veterans, and can raise appreciation for their service with your civilian team members.
6. Do a flag presentation explaining what each red and white stripe represent on a flag. Also, did you know that there is a reason for each fold when you fold it in a triangle and the reason behind that? If you have never experienced the presentation, contact me. I will bring out our Honor Guard and perform that ceremony for your company at no charge. It is very interesting.
7. Go on a field trip to the Veterans Memorial Museum downtown Fresno. Take your entire company to experience all branches of military. Let your veterans show you around and give them a chance to tell their stories. They all deserve it. The museum is free and so big, it is almost impossible to see and experience it all. Call in advance and they can set up a movie to watch. You will not forget it. I volunteer there each Wednesday. I find something new each time I go into the museum. Give it a try. You won’t be sorry.
Veterans Day is a day to honor those who have served our nation. Consider the veterans you currently employ and broaden your perspective to include military spouses and families and enlist your civilian employees in showing appreciation for the freedoms and liberties we enjoy because of the men and women who have bravely worn our countries uniform.
Any comments email me at AboutVets@yahoo.com.
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— Royal D. Goodman, U.S. Army / Vietnam,
1st Cav/9th Infantry