To start, I’m a veteran (not a company veteran), and I’m pretty active here locally in the veteran community. You’re not going to ever see my name on a billboard or on some ad saying all that I do for veterans because that’s not my style. If you want to see what me and some close friends of mine are doing on a regular basis, check out www.meetup.com/veterans-in-business and see for yourself. We take more of an organic, grass roots approach. Most of us feel like we owe something to the men and women who are returning to the civilian sector as they are all truly heroes. The last 10+ years has been riddled in conflict and most veterans getting out of the military nowadays have spent numbers of years overseas in Iraq and/or Afghanistan on multiple occasions. That’s why me and my cohorts do what we do. These heroes deserve our help.
So, that’s a great segue way into what I wanted to talk about today. There are always announcements from big companies, small companies, etc. about their veteran hiring initiatives. And these announcements of course get blasted out all over the internet, in periodicals, etc. and don’t get me wrong, some of this is necessary. I’m not necessarily questioning the sharing of this info, what I am questioning is the “why” behind it. I feel like a lot of companies are saying they want to hire vets to get some PR, but at the end of the day they don’t really ever hire any and they have none on staff. This is what I have a problem with.
Hiring veterans should not be a media campaign or a PR stunt. It should be what we are all doing because we owe it to these men and women who have put their lives on the line for all of us who are sitting back here at our cushy jobs getting to watch TV and see our families every day. It’s these freedoms that our veterans have provided us and are providing us every single day. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the AT&Ts and the Chases of the world who have committed to veteran hiring initiatives. I just hope they are doing these things for the right reasons. Our veterans have been used by our country enough; let’s not make their return and their hiring into the civilian sector a PR stunt.