The first time that I recall hearing the phrase “One Team One Fight” was in a bunker during a mortar attack while deployed at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan in 2007. One of the Marines taking shelter in the bunker said this to a fellow Airman while helping him secure his body armor. At that point, I realized that neither branch of service nor rank mattered. We all had the same instinctual mission; survive the attack and live! Unfortunately, servicemen and women are fighting a whole new battle when they transition out of the military.
Heroes need help too: A CNN report states that “Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That’s a suicide every 65 minutes”. In 2014, a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Department of Labor found that over 573,000 veterans were unemployed. These numbers are proof of the saddening reality that we are failing our hero’s as a nation.
My name is Nigel LeBlanc, I’m an Air Force Veteran, entrepreneur, and proud father of three amazing sons. I’m passionate about veteran entrepreneurship and self-improvement.
The Struggle: Many veterans struggle to find employment, health care, housing and resources needed to be successful in their civilian lives. This blog is not about calling out the Veterans Administration (VA) or Department of Defense (maybe a little), nor is it about demanding entitlements “owed” to veterans. It’s about educating, empowering, motivating and inspiring veterans to attain their goals and dreams. We are still charged to be good “battle buddies” to each other as we embark on new personal missions.
The Challenge: I challenge everyone; especially veterans with the means to help, to step up and actively find ways to help less fortunate veterans. If you’re a CEO or C-level executive of a “Fortune whatever” company; consider mentoring a veteran. If you’re an Angel Investor; consider funding a veteran startup. If you give to charity; consider giving to a veteran organization. If you’re hiring; hire a veteran. Corporations also share the social responsibility to step up and help veterans as well. I challenge anyone reading this to give a hand-up; not a handout.