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Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category

BPW JOINS FORCES WITH REDBOOK AND MICHELLE OBAMA

Posted by Crystal Williams on October 9, 2014

redbookBPW Foundation is proud to share an online preview of the November issue of RedBook magazine, featuring two Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® participants, who met with First Lady Michelle Obama during a private July 2014 White House roundtable on women veterans.

Good Morning America highlighted the article today and The First Lady’s attention to the challenges women veterans face. BPW Foundation was asked by the White House to partner on the roundtable, to lend subject matter expertise and to recommend participants for the discussion.

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Veterans Charity Challenge

Posted by BPW Foundation Contributer on July 2, 2014

As you may have heard BPW Foundation is in the midst of the Veterans Charity Challenge, an online fundraising campaign through CrowdRise. The founders of Craigslist have pledged $20,000 to the top fundraising organization, $10,000 to second place and $5,000 to third.

The last four weeks of the Challenge has seen great success for us, but as we reach this final DAY, it is time to go into over-drive to reach our goal. Thanks to donors like you, we are almost there! We need your help to finish strong and raise an additional $2,000 by the end of the Challenge at 10am on July 3rd to win.

No amount is too small please visit www.crowdrise.com/jfmp and show your support for woman veterans, military spouses, caregivers of a wounded warrior and survivors of fallen service members.

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Your Network is Your Greatest Recruiter: 5 Tips to Re-energize Your Networking Techniques

Posted by BPW Foundation Contributer on July 2, 2014

Second in the “The Strength of Your Service …and Beyond” blog series targeting the military and military family community who are seeking opportunities in the civilian workforce.  Look for more installments of this series in the near future.

By Chris Rath

10012587_sThe value of your network, even after separation, can lead to opportunities you never expected.  Many companies receive thousands of applicants.  Responding to every candidate is impossible and positions are competitive.  The key is to network so the opportunities find YOU.  In the service, your network grew with each assignment and just happened by design of your career.  In your job search, you are connecting in a new area.  Here are 5 ways to re-energize your networking techniques to be successful in your job search:

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Your Job Search is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Posted by BPW Foundation Contributer on June 13, 2014

The first in the series The Strength of Your Service…and Beyond 

By Chris Rath

Before my first marathon, I could not fathom running 26.2 miles.  Training for a long distance takes preparation, commitment and tenacity.  Your job search requires the same philosophy.  Finding a new job does not typically happen overnight neither does running a marathon with no training.  Here are tips to running one of the biggest races of your life – finding a job to your second career.

  1. Set a goal.  Right, it’s to find a job.  But not so fast.  Is your goal to find a job or a career? Are you looking for something long term or short term? What is your target industry or company size? Just as in race training, I had to plan for my pace, water breaks, etc.  So, take time to make a plan to help you focus and measure your process so you can make adjustments and move forward.
  2. Rely on a support system. For me, having running buddies and my family’s support got me through the long haul.  The same can make a tremendous difference in your search.  Build upon your existing network and reconnect. If you do not have a mentor, consider someone who has recently separated find military-friendly organizations who offer mentoring through free career mentors and professional resources. Your support system will only continue to grow with people who want to help you.
  3. Practice.  Marathon training often includes a few shorter races to help you prepare for race day.  Preparation for your job search activities should also be done.  As many of you are aware, have a good elevator speech and prepare for common interview questions.  But, take it one step further and continue to evaluate and refine.  Use your support system to work out the bugs so you can feel more relaxed and competitive on interview day.
  4. Change it up.  Conditioning through a variety of exercises better prepared me.  Some days I ran intervals; other days I ran hills – all with the same goal of helping me finish the race successfully.  The same goes for your resume.  While many of you know that refining and tailoring your resume is a constant process, it does get time consuming.  But remember, the end goal is to get you through finish line…with a new job!
  5. Take it easy. Don’t give up.  Stay positive.

To learn more about job searching for your second career, look for more installments of our series, “The Strength of Your Service…and Beyond.”

christine RathChris Rath leads the Veteran Recruiting Program for Booz Allen Hamilton, a publicly traded strategy and technology consulting firm based in Mclean, VA.  The program is focused on employment opportunities for former military, transitioning military, military spouses, guard and reservists.  Candidates may connect with me, other Booz Allen employees/recruiters, and transitioning military colleagues through our Booz Allen Transitioning Military Recruiting LinkedIn Group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostRecent=&gid=5144107&trk=my_groups-tile-flipgrp

Booz Allen is an Employer of Choice for former military personnel, who make up a third of our workforce. We’re committed to supporting veterans, Reservists, National Guardsmen and women, and other employees with military backgrounds through outreach, training programs, and our Armed Services Forum, which provides support, camaraderie, and resources for employees formerly or currently serving our nation.

Visit www.boozallen.com/careers/transitioningmilitary to find out more about these and other unparalleled opportunities for transitioning military personnel and veterans, and to learn about webinars and other upcoming events.

Joining Forces Mentoring Plus offers free unlimited personal career and employment coaching and professional guidance – including working women mentors – for women veterans, female military spouses, caregivers of wounded warriors and survivors of fallen soldiers.  Visit www.JoiningForcesMentoringPlus.org. Volunteer women employees from partners including Booz Allen Hamilton and others are waiting to share their expertise and experience with you!

Posted in Joining Forces, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Military, Military Families, Veterans, Women Veterans | Leave a Comment »

Honoring Our Fallen Sisters This Memorial Day

Posted by Crystal Williams on May 22, 2014

Memorial Day is one of our nation’s most solemn and revered holidays— we extend our sincere gratitude to these servicemen and women in uniform who gave their lives so we might live in freedom. We honor their memory and pray for peace.

This is also a day when we would like to bring special attention to the sacrifice of our fallen sisters who have died during the war on terror. Since the war began there have been over 157 service women who have bravely perished in defense of our great country. A complete list of the fallen servicewomen can be found by visiting Women in Military Service in America (WIMSA) we invite you to take a moment and remember these women and consider making a donation to WIMSA Memorial to honor them.

We also encourage you to visit the Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen. Faces of the Fallen provides information about each U.S. service member who died as a result of the War on Terror. Please take a moment to remember and honor these mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and friends this Memorial Day.

 

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Pictures taken from Washingtonpost.com Faces of the Fallen

Research by Magda Jean-Louis, Greg Linch, Whitney Fetterhoff and Mary Hadar.

Application design and development by Sisi Wei, Jeremy Bowers and Wilson Andrews.

Posted in Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Military, Military Families, Veterans | Leave a Comment »

At the crossroads where I am and where you are

Posted by YWM on January 22, 2014

By Jacque Hillman, President BPW/Tennessee

Jacquemug-HillHelenGroupToday, I’m president of Business and Professional Women of Tennessee, an entrepreneur with two companies, and I’m on a mission. But in 1969, at age 21, I took my husband, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, to board a plane leaving for Vietnam. He became a forward observer calling in artillery strikes.

Two years later he came home with a Bronze Star for valor and nightmares about incoming rockets. Other than malaria, he was not wounded, except in his soul. My husband wrote about calling in artillery strikes on Viet Cong families in clearings when the men came out from the jungle. He wrote: “If there is a hell, I’m going there.”

We were fortunate that he had a scholarship for Tulane University Law School. I had a degree in English and secondary education and a teacher’s license. So we became civilians. Yet as a former military wife, I looked at everyone with “new” eyes – no time for whiners and complainers.

I heard people complain about the golf course fairways or food in the school cafeteria. I listened to the good church women who wanted to install carpet in the minister’s bathroom and were miffed that his wife thought it was silly. My reaction was “Get real.”
War and military service changes everything – it changes everyone. How can it not? How can you see what you see, hear it, feel it, and not be changed?

My first marriage made it 18 years and died for various reasons – mostly we grew apart. It happens. Today I’m happily married (25 years in May) to an Air Force veteran. My first husband is happily married and has a two-week old baby! Yes, life happens.
Everyone starts over at some point. As we begin 2014, it is time for fresh starts.

Many women military veterans – YOU — are returning home and need jobs. You need help. You come home to people who cannot possibly understand where you’ve been or what you’ve done. You look at them with “new” eyes. You wonder how to begin, where to begin.

As BPW/TN president and a Jackson Area BPW member, I said, “It’s time for a change.”

So my amazing convention team and I have redesigned our convention June 13-15 in Jackson, Tenn., to offer YOU — women veterans — a full day of meetings with representatives of colleges, universities and colleges of applied technology, two days of business session training that will help your resume. We will have veterans’ representatives present from our counties to help you with whatever questions you may have. We have sponsors for our state convention who want to help you find jobs. We’ll teach you how to network, how to write a resume, how to ace an interview and more.

Want to become an entrepreneur? We’ll help you do that. Serving on the Entrepreneur Development Center board in Jackson. I see enterprising people with great ideas get started. That’s what you need, isn’t it? A start?

I’m an alumnus of the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy where leaders in eight states learned about just what you face in the Delta Region to get started. It’s hard to get your business started in rural Tennessee if you still have dial up or you can’t get connectivity where you are. Some folks in business assume we all have the same resources. It’s hard to do homework in school if you don’t have a computer. This is real.

I will be writing blogs each week on points that will help you. If you live in Tennessee, we have women who are eager to become your mentors. Check us out at bpwtn.org.

All you have to do is reach out. You see, there are people like me who know where you’ve been. And we just want to get you where you need – and want — to be.

Contact me anytime.

Jacque is a senior partner in The HillHelen Group LLC media services and the owner/designer of Reconfigured Art Jewelry.

Posted in Career Advancement, Military Families, Uncategorized, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Veteran Uses Exercise to Tame His Demons

Posted by YWM on January 17, 2014

By Liz McLean: Liz is a staffing advisor at Hewlett Packard, a veteran, Ironman triathlete and guest blogger.

How does one cope with stress?  Common methods are journaling, lighting scented candles, working in the garden or perhaps ferociously shopping on Amazon.com.  More harmful methods include turning to alcohol, excessive sleep or withdrawing from society.  All that being said, when you suffer from stress as severe as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and treat it with alcoholism….in the end an outsider looking in can only hope the outcome is positive.  For Aaron Autler, a 28 year old Marine Infantry veteran, the healthiest methods to cure-all was introduced…..an intense exercise regimen to cope with the demons.  That is the journey that Aaron has started and I am here to help him finish not a 5k.…but an Ironman.

When we think of the typical homeless vet, we envision the older toothless gentlemen with a frayed beard on the street corner, dressed in military garb simply wanting a handout based on the merits of his cardboard sign.  We don’t think of a strapping young, physical specimen of a then 25 year old boy who simply couldn’t cope with reality.

When Aaron returned from his deployment overseas in 2010, there was not a welcoming team to ensure he was on the precise path to civilian populace integration.  Aaron returned to the US without a sense of belonging and without believing he truly deserved a chance to be a contributing member of society.  Fighting the medical systems to get the help that needed and deserved, Aaron’s biggest obstacle was his PTSD.  This (coupled with a faulty reintegration process) left him questioning his purpose and ultimately vet americamigrating on the streets as a homeless veteran.  My personal awareness of the homeless vet population was reinforced from my competition in the Inaugural Miss Veteran America Competition in 2012, where I represented Final Salute in the quest to remove women vets specifically from the alleyways.  Staggeringly, approximately 131,000 homeless vets line the street corners on any given night.

In the instance of Aaron, while on the streets the entity that quieted his dismal voices the most was alcohol.  Sadly alcohol became Aaron’s closest ally as he removed himself further away from the eyes of those who were capable of lending a helping hand.  Fortunately, over time those who saw his struggle eventually reached out and he was pulled from the downward spiral as a date was set for him to enter the Men’s Trauma Recovery Center in Menlo Park, CA.  Through the detox, the torment and countless hours of counseling, the once stellar athlete was then introduced to the art of cycling.  With hours of practice and the support of his trauma group, Aaron was able to not just meet, but exceed all expectations.

Now one year sober and working on his path to become a functioning member of society, Aaron is on the quest to become not just a triathlete…but an Ironman.  Having been a veteran myself who has dealt with personal traumatic struggles and competes in Ironman events, I was elated to coach Aaron on his journey.

The most recent contribution to Aaron’s success was made by Joe Santos of Davis Wheelworks in Davis, CA.  Joe selflessly santos and Autlerreconstructed Aaron’s gifted road bike into the dream triathlon bike.  Joe is a globally respected biomechanic whose precision in the art of cycling has led countless cyclist and triathlete victories.  Thanks to the help of Joe, his astute cycling knowledge and compassion, Aaron will now be able to take the next steps of traumatic recovery by putting his body to the ultimate test in an efficient way.

autler with tri bikeThe discipline of training and the adrenaline of completing a goal that less than 1% of the world’s population has completed is a triumph for any human being….but for someone like Aaron Autler the quest has an entirely new meaning.  Autler says,  “ I want to compete in Triathlons because I love to be challenged; that is why I became a Marine.  It allows me to train in multiple sports and helps occupy a lot of time by keeping my mind focused on improving myself and off the things that keep me stuck and moving backwards. It is a long and short term set of goals and I can measure the progress by competing in events and it is something I can continue to improve for the rest of life.” Cheers to athletics being civilization’s best medicine.

Posted in Friendship, Homelessness, sports, Uncategorized, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Joining Forces Mentoring Plus to Support Caregivers of Wounded Warriors

Posted by YWM on July 18, 2013

BPW JFMPlogo.lowBooz Allen Hamilton and Business and Professional Women’s Foundation have announced  a partnership to support women veterans and military/veteran spouses as they navigate the path to success in the civilian workplace. This new partnership enlists women who work at Booz Allen Hamilton to connect with women veterans and military/veteran spouses and create sustaining “high-tech, high-touch” mentoring relationships.

Booz Allen Hamilton-Joining Forces Mentoring Plus partnership will also include an important new focus on caregivers of wounded warriors. These women face unique challenges in adapting their lives—and employment—often either abandoning successful careers to become full-time caregivers to their disabled loved ones or re-entering the workforce to assume responsibility as primary breadwinners.

Booz Allen’s interest in reaching out to caregivers of wounded warriors grew out of the company’s involvement at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where employee volunteers noted the gap in support for the family members and loved ones attending to the needs of their wounded warriors. Executive Vice President Robin Portman, who serves on the Advisory Council that assisted in the development of BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® , immediately saw the opportunity to expand the program’s resources to embrace caregivers. “Military Caregivers serve our nation each day by providing round-the-clock emotional and physical care to our American heroes,” says Portman. “Booz Allen’s partnership with the BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® program will support these hidden heroes whose challenges are virtually unseen.”

“We are very excited about the range of expertise and value-added that Booz Allen Hamilton will bring to Joining Forces Mentoring Plus®, and to the women veterans and military/veteran spouses they will assist,” said Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO. “These women veterans, military/veteran spouses, and caregivers will benefit greatly from the passion and extensive knowledge Booz Allen Hamilton women employee mentors can share,” Frett said, noting that Booz Allen’s consulting practice includes both federal and corporate clients in myriad industries. “We are proud to welcome Booz Allen Hamilton as a Leadership Partner and look forward to working with them and learning from—and alongside–them.”

Booz Allen Hamilton-Joining Forces Mentoring Plus will enlist mentors from the company’s diverse population of women employees across the country to be trained as mentors to serve thousands of caregivers and spouses who make daily sacrifices to care for and support their service members. This initiative will spotlight women among Booz Allen Hamilton’s numerous efforts to support military veterans and their families with career opportunities, community partnerships, and services tailored to meet the unique needs of the greater military community.

In addition to regular meetings with mentees, Booz Allen Hamilton mentors will utilize a custom portal within BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® internet platform, which provides mentor training and a wide range of resources, information, and subject matter experts to support them as mentors.

Posted in Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Military Families, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Still Serving!

Posted by YWM on July 16, 2013

Jas BootheCongratulations to Jas Boothe as she joins the the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), on July 1, 2013 as the new Women Veterans Outreach Coordinator.

Jas is the founding president of Final Salute, a Joining Forces Mentoring Plus Community/Resources Partner.  Final Salute has been successfully assisting Northern Virginia and Columbus, OH  homeless women veterans and their families with support services and transitional housing.  Part of the process is helping the woman veteran develop and establish a plan for her future success.

Jas served in the military for 13 years, having to end her career sooner than she wanted because treatments for cancer meant she  couldn’t be the soldier she wanted to be.

The VA is working to better assist women veterans in need of support services of all kinds and adding Jas to their team is certainly step in the right direction.

BPW Foundation salutes you Jas!

Posted in Homelessness, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Women Veterans Speak Out: Women Are Fit for Combat

Posted by YWM on January 28, 2013

By Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton
This article first appeared on the Huffington Post

Sue FultonWhen the first class of women at West Point were introduced to the infamous Indoor Obstacle Course, we were confronted with a series of challenges almost entirely geared to upper body strength. About ¾ of the way through, we had to get over “the wall” — an eight foot vertical chunk of heavy wood. We were coached in the “approved solution”: jump up and grab the top of the wall, do a pull-up to get your shoulders above the top of the wall, then flip your body over.

A solution that violated the laws of physics for non-male people whose center of gravity was somewhere below their shoulders.

In short order, we figured it out for ourselves: grab the top of the wall, hook your ankle over it, then your knee, then leverage the rest of your body over. Instructors observed, and taught subsequent classes the new technique, and soon women were conquering the obstacle at the same speed as the men.

In the wake of Secretary Panetta’s historic decision to eliminate the combat exclusion rule for women, there will be much angst about women lacking the physical strength to perform in combat. The handwringing ignores some key “facts on the ground.”

First, the business about the “average woman” being unable to carry a 200-lb man to safety. For starters, most service members are wiry and lean; they weigh far less than 200 lbs. And not for nothin’, I’m six feet tall, and when I graduated West Point in 1980, weighed 175 pounds. Today’s average infantryman couldn’t carry ME off the battlefield. And the “average” woman (or man) doesn’t volunteer for the military. My West Point roommate could do 13 pull-ups. Ran the two mile in 12:50… in combat boots. My classmate Lil Pfluke — a world-class athlete, even in her fifties, after surviving breast cancer — once fought to enter Ranger School, and the guys who know her believed she could pass easily.

Yes, these are West Pointers. And yes, many military women — like many military men — have no interest in the combat arms. But why would we deny an otherwise-qualified individual the right to serve in whatever capacity they choose?

Finally, there is the most important fact: women are already in combat. They have been fighting, winning, getting wounded, losing limbs and dying on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan (and earlier) for as long as we have fought those wars.

So, we can argue about push-ups, pull-ups, and body-carries — but just as in the Indoor Obstacle Course, it’s not about how you do it, it’s about getting it done. Women have been fighting, in MP units, in convoys, in FETs, everywhere, and they have figured out how to get the job done. They get over the wall.

So why does it matter?

If we continue to pretend that women aren’t in combat, and close some roles to them, we deny them the promotions that go to the men they fought next to, because “the guy is a combat vet.” We make it much harder for them to access care for combat-related health issues, including PTSD, that women sometimes find themselves “ineligible” for. We perpetuate the myth that women aren’t really warriors — and in the military culture that means you are worth less.

We can, and must, show the respect due our women warriors: fitness for service is not limited by your gender. Secretary Panetta has taken the first step. I look forward to a thoughtful, data-based, but not endless process where we do this right. The new Defense Secretary must lead the Pentagon to set gender-neutral standards that pertain to the job that must be done. Integrate women effectively into units in ways that are constructive, not disruptive. And we will make our military better and stronger by assigning and promoting based on merit, nothing else.

We may even discover that push-ups are not the best measure of combat survival and victory.

Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton is a 1980 West Point graduate, part of the first class to admit women. She was commissioned in the Army, served as a platoon leader and company commander in Germany, and was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain. She currently serves on the board of OutServe-SLDN, and was appointed by President Obama as the first openly gay member of the West Point Board of Visitors. Fulton lives in Asbury Park, NJ, with her wife Penny Gnesin.

Posted in Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Military, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »