It's no secret that as veterans transition to civilian life, they face unique challenges. Often, they also face unrealistic stereotypes from the public that only add to their woes.
For many veterans today, returning home feels like another battle that they have to face - problems requiring a lot of acceptance and understanding from their communities to overcome.
Some of the unique challenges veterans today face include adjusting back to civilian life, unemployment, healthcare issues, PTSD, personal finance issues, homelessness, depression, and suicide. A helping hand from concerned people, organizations, and the government goes a long way in helping the integration process and allow veterans to become productive in their communities.
Statistics of Veterans in Business
Presently, the U.S. has over 18.8 million veterans, which represents 7.6 percent of the population. Surprisingly, veterans are better educated compared to non-veterans. 37.1 percent have a college or an associate degree, while 27.7 percent have at least a bachelor's degree.
Despite the challenges facing veterans, they have a history of being superior employees and business owners. Data from the U.S. Small Business Administrators Office of Advocacy shows the following:
- There are 2.5 million U.S. businesses majority-owned by veterans.
- There are 442,485 veteran-owned U.S. businesses with employees.
- There are 2.08 million Self-employed veteran businesses.
- 9.1 percent of all U.S. businesses are majority-owned by veterans.
- Veteran-owned businesses generate annual revenues of over $1.14 trillion.
- Veteran-owned businesses employ 5.03 million employees.
- Veteran-owned businesses have an annual payroll of $195 billion.
Here are five veteran success stories that highlight the successful transition that can occur for veterans who continue chasing their career dreams and work to improve society around them.
Dan Brillman (U.S. Air Force pilot), Taylor Justice (U.S. Army, Infantry), and Andrew Price started UniteUS in 2013. The company is located in New York, NY, and has 30 employees.
UniteUS revolutionizes the delivery of human, health, and social services through designing, building, and deploying top-notch technologies for case management and care coordination.
The company's software empowers nonprofits, public, and private resources within communities across the U.S. to leverage a common platform.
UniteUS networks address everyday issues such as housing, employment, and healthcare by coordinating resources via collaborative case management and electronic referrals tools that track 100 percent outcomes.
2. Visiting Angels in-Home Senior Care
William Bruck (United States Army) owns the Visiting Angels senior care franchise in Monroe, Michigan. The company assists senior citizens with care services in the comfort of their homes. It provides 24/7 care that includes personal care needs, companionship visits, errand service, cleaning, transportation, laundry services, etc.
According to Bruck, he did not foresee home care as a possible career path after his service. However, thanks to his life philosophy, service background, and the desire to start a business, he eventually ended up in the home care sector.
Bruck says that military training complements the skills needed in business, but it's not a direct transfer. He, however, believes that the discipline and experiences that veterans attain prepare them for the stress of owning or managing a business.
3. Gracefully Global Group LLC
Graciela Tiscareno-Sato (United States Air Force) owns Gracefully Global Group LLC. The company is an award-winning educational publisher. It's also a recipient of ten international literary awards for unique literature that celebrates the entrepreneurial Latin American community and women veterans.
Graciela states that she has been an insatiable writer and storyteller since her first published byline in a newspaper at 15. She created the publishing platform to write inspirational children's books in both English and Spanish. Her global experience as an aviator inspired her to share her insight with the world.
She started the publishing company after successfully transitioning into a global marketing role and gaining experience in business, P.R., and brand marketing.
4. Veterans Combating Child Hunger
J. Holden Gibbons owns Veterans Combating Child Hunger (VCCH). It's an initiative that utilizes volunteer labor to farm vacant and delinquent land sustainably within the Cleveland area. It aims to engage more people in the area. It also wants to:
- Reduce the community's carbon footprint
- Reducing government budget waste
- Reduce the reliance on government food subsidy by producing locally sourced food
Gibbons' inspiration to start VCCH was born while serving in Afghanistan, where he witnessed abject poverty everywhere. When he returned home to Cleveland and found many vacant lots sitting idle, he got the idea to use the land to produce food. He credits his success to the leadership skills he attained from the military.
5. JDog Franchises LLC
Jerry Flanagan (U.S. Army, Combat Signaler) founded JDog Junk Removal in 2014. The company uses a highly recognizable brand exclusive to veterans. Its mission is the provision of easy-to-deliver, highly effective services that are in high demand and enable clients to build successful enterprises and ensure their financial security. It has nine employees.
Flanagan credits the military for imparting him with three core values – trust, respect, and integrity, which he translated into his business venture.
Help a Veteran in Your Life Find Entrepreneurial Success
As veterans transition to civilian life after their military service, they need help adjusting back to society. While there are many service organizations in the U.S. dedicated to veteran affairs, they still need the acceptance and assistance of their local communities.
You can do your part today by starting a crowdsourcing campaign on dreamOway for a veteran in need to help them land on their feet and work towards achieving their dream.
Scientist-turned-founder and CEO Justine Sinclair believes a supportive community composed of like-minded people can turn dreams into reality.
To date, dreamOway hosts hundreds of crowdfunding campaigns and gives a voice to aspiring dreamers - like you! Our success stories include veterans as well. Read their stories to find inspiration on you can positively impact a veteran in your life.
Using the platform's simple goal structure share your dream with the in-app community and across all your social media channels. Share your story by creating a video and posting it in the app.
Don't wait till tomorrow - live your dream today!