May is not just the unofficial start to summer, it is also National Military Appreciation Month where we honor and recognize members of the Military and their families. And while controversy may be the word of the day lately here in D.C. and across the country, there’s one thing that I think we can agree on – the need to recognize the successes and sacrifices of service members and their families.
I have always had incredible respect and admiration for the support and sacrifice that military family give. By the time I met my husband, he had finished serving (or grew up, he might say) in the Air Force – enlisting just after high school and earning both an honorable career and a college degree while active. His education and training prepared him for many things in life, but it was still a challenge to enter the civilian workforce. These transitions can not only be challenging for the military member but for family as well. Luckily, there are support programs and other groups that can make this process easier.
Local Goodwill® organizations across the country are engaged in just that type of support – in fact, last year local Goodwill organizations collectively served more than 60,000 veterans as well as active and reserve soldiers and their families in a variety of programs that help people thrive after serving. Through the Hiring Our Heroes partnership, dozens of local Goodwill organizations engaged thousands of military members transitioning to civilian life and military spouses as well as more than 1,000 employers to assist with resume writing, mock interviews and continued employment support in their communities. In the Tacoma, Washington area, Goodwill of Olympics & Rainier offers four separate programs for service members and military families to provide training, hiring networks, employer relationships and basic support for living as they transition out of the military.
These programs are exactly what an eager service member and their family might need to be successful and self-sufficient as they develop a new normal outside of the military. Continued funding for soldiers, veterans and military families must incorporate job training and education as well as basic living support if they need it – it’s just one concrete way we can show our appreciation as a nation.
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