August 5, 2021

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Veteran voices in the workplace


Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and while many offer different services in different industries, many share a similar view: they want to hire veterans. That’s what I know, but as a founder of Bridge My Return (BMR), a free, military hiring platform, I asked several of our employer partners why they were hiring veterans. And then I spoke to veterans myself about what that means for them.

Here’s what I found out from these veteran voices in the workplace.

Why is it important for you as an employer to hire veterans?

  • “The thing that I keep focusing on is the skills we look for in a solid new employee. So many of them are most often received with veteran status. Intangible values ​​like honor and integrity are vital when we work in homes or businesses. Customer service and helpfulness are high on the list. Compassion and empathy … and I could go on like this. ”Chris Kushmaul, Disabled Veteran, Franchise Owner, Restoration 1
  • “Veterans are able to learn and work under pressure, which is all too common for our business during the high season. In addition, veterans have worked alongside individuals of all races, genders, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and physical abilities throughout their military careers. They usually bring the same sensibility into the civilian workplace. ”Teresa Fiduccia, Recruitment and Retention Manager, American Residential Services (ARS).
  • “NewDay USA is a leading VA mortgage company. We see the practicality of hiring veterans. No one knows the unique challenges veterans face when buying a home better than veterans themselves. ”Rear Admiral Tom Lynch, NewDay USA chairman.
  • “Former military leaders bring leadership, focus, loyalty, and self-discipline to their practice, and these are the most common characteristics of successful financial officials. You are passionate about helping people with integrity and character achieve financial security, and that is at the heart of what we do. ”Billye Survis, Northwestern Mutual.
  • Similar to Northwestern Mutual Financial, technology start-up Origin8 is building its business on solid veteran foundations. “Our legal role requires skills such as social awareness, relationship building, service orientation, discipline, enthusiasm and active learning,” said co-founder Mike Corey, a Vietnam veteran. “We’re not looking for industry experience; Instead, we look for people with these traits and see them in veterans. We are excited to have hundreds of veterans join our team – working virtually in a community and security environment. “
  • Blackstone – and the portfolio of 200 companies they have invested in – pride themselves on the 90,000+ veterans, spouses, and caregivers they have hired to date. “Our continued commitment to recruiting, developing and retaining these people is rooted in our company’s appreciation for their service to our country and in the adaptability, ingenuity, determination and resilience they demonstrate every day in the private sector, from the front line up to C-level leadership. ”Jason Santamaria, Blackstone General Manager and Marine Corps Veteran.

As a veteran, what does it mean to join an organization that is honestly committed to hiring and retaining military talent?

  • “After a career in infantry, I struggled to find the right fit after transitioning to civilian life. I didn’t know then, but now I realize I was looking for that familiar sense of camaraderie and pride. Organizations run or supported by real veterans understand this and allow their business to grow. ”Gabe Arreola, Operations Manager at Restoration 1.
  • “When I see our efforts and actions, large and small, those feelings of integration and belonging that I had in the army come back to life. Like others, I am encouraged to share my thoughts and it is so uplifting to see them set in motion. ”Joshua Will, Area Recruiter at ARS.
  • “We say ‘ship, shipmate, self.’ In essence, it means that we put our customers and teammates above us. ”Alexander Lee Hess, NewDay USA.
  • “I could be behind a company with the same morals, beliefs, duties, and honor as I do, and that meant a lot to me.” Pete Martinez, Financial Agent, Northwestern Mutual.
  • “The veteran community here at Blackstone has supported us throughout the recruitment process and was an important factor in my decision to join the team. Since joining, Blackstone has also supported my non-profit mobile app, ReferVets.orgthat connects veterans with companies like Blackstone who understand the value of our veteran community. ”Kevin Kennedy, Senior Vice President, Cybersecurity, Blackstone.

Bridge My Return is a series of stories

We believe we are a series of stories. The interconnected lives of veterans, military-ready employers, and veteran support organizations encompass and reflect a shared adventure. We are your bridge to career, community and character. We invite you to join Bridge My Return on this adventure. To get started, click Here.


Contact us: [email protected]

Take a look at that too Video that sums up our mission.

(1) Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries. NM and its subsidiaries are located in Milwaukee, WI. Northwestern Mutual’s financial agents are independent contractors whose income is based solely on production.

Passing on information that does not originate from VA does not constitute approval of products and services on the part of VA.

Bob Hogan is the founder of Bridge My Return (BMR).