How to Honor Veterans – Today and Every Day

flagVeterans Day honors all American veterans who served our country. Having led a company whose mission was to protect life and liberty, this holiday holds special significance for me. Our team at ForceX included approximately 40% military veterans, and additional members were military spouses and family members of service people. This group helped ensure we focused on the meaning and importance of this important day – every day of the year.

Military professionals rely on a tremendous array of skills, for example, working well in teams, demonstrating flexibility and adaptability, problem solving and conflict resolution, among other abilities. When they transition to civilian life, these serve them well, no matter what professions they pursue.

Veterans also possess fortitude and bravery, which are key skills for entrepreneurs. This might be one reason so many veterans plan to pursue starting their own businesses when they leave the military. Bunker Labs, an organization dedicated to helping military veterans start and grow businesses, estimates there will be 200,000 service members transitioning from active duty every year for the next five years. Their web site notes, “25% of them want to start a business.”

The organization provides workshops and training to inspire early-stage entrepreneurs. In addition, they invite veterans and non-veterans to help serve as mentors for those who are starting veteran-owned businesses. They also offer connections to venture capital, angel investors and other sources of funding.

Bunker Labs has locations around the country, including right here in Nashville. On Monday, December 5th, from 6:00 – 9:00pm, they are hosting “Bunker Nashville Business Awards and Mess Night.” Their site invites you to, “Join leaders and innovators as we mix military tradition with the entrepreneurial spirit to honor those who have both fought for, and achieved, the American Dream.” Learn more on their website.

Another organization in Nashville making a difference for veterans is Operation Stand Down Tennessee (OSDTN). Their web site explains, “OSDTN is the only Veteran Service Center in Tennessee recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Serving Veterans is our sole focus.”  The non-profit organization provides a variety of services to Veterans and their families. They offer employment and job training, transitional housing and an array of goods and services for homeless veterans. They also operate a  Thrift Store, provide no-cost clothes to Veterans and their families and earn money to provide services to area veterans. Their mission is to assist “Veterans and their families so they can be self-sustaining and better connected to the community.”

It’s always a good time to thank a veteran for his or her service and to support organizations who provide resources and assistance to men and women who served our country. Don’t let this Veterans Day pass without stopping to think about how you might be able to give back to those who give up so much for our freedoms. These two organizations are a great place to start.

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