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Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at PayPal committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. PayPal is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
The mood was somber in Washington D.C. at the Washington National Cathedral on Dec. 5, 2018. Jill Anderson, the program manager for a team of Air Force social aides at the White House, welcomed presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump to George H. W. Bush's funeral service, which she had helped organize.
"I really wanted to have all these conversations, Anderson recalls. "But my job is to let them be their most authentic selves, and have that control of 'Hey, this is just another person that's having a hard day by attending a funeral.' To be so intimately involved in such a unique point in history was really a powerful experience."
You can't see Bobby Grey's scars.
On the surface, he's just an ordinary 35-year-old husband. FedEx driver. Racing fan. Philadelphia Eagles diehard. Dog owner.
He's also a former Marine, 2003 to 2007 — a mission that has given him great pride and great anguish. Twelve years later — anguish or not — he still loves the Corps to the core. Semper Fi — always faithful.
Grey acknowledges, though, that that's where the scars originated.
As a young devil dog, a PFC scarcely six months out of boot camp, Grey deployed to Iraq and got his first taste of combat when he was only 20 years old. One day, Marines in his convoy — guys he knew — died when a roadside bomb blew up beneath them. On another day, during a firefight with Iraqi insurgents, bullets whizzed over Grey's head, close enough that he could hear them. Seconds later, when the bullets shattered the windows behind him, a shower of glass rained down on his head.
But those days were nothing compared to Dec. 3, 2004, the day a suicide bomber rocked his unit's base with an explosion so violent that it literally blew him out of the chow hall where he'd been dining. He suffered a concussion and a mild traumatic brain injury — as if anything traumatic could be mild — but several comrades fared worse, suffering broken bones and dislocated hips. Two of his buddies died in the blast, and Grey had to put them in body bags himself.
"It's like losing a brother," he says softly. "No, it is losing a brother."
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Comcast committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Comcast is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
The night of September 11, 2001, Kimberly Bryant drove her boyfriend to the airport to deploy immediately to the Middle East. "That was the last time I saw the man I knew, the man I fell in love with," she recalls. On that deployment, her boyfriend was severely injured and returned home with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. When he was medically retired and deemed unemployable, with 100 percent disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs, various people told her that she had no obligation to him, but she couldn't walk away.
"I knew the person he was before this happened," she says. They got engaged, married, and raised a family together.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on The Conversation.
Many Americans donate to charities that help military veterans as a way to honor them for their service to the country. It can, however, be daunting to choose from the more than
8,000 such groups operating nationwide.
Donor trepidation is magnified by the scandals that have embroiled vets' groups. In fact, more than 10 percent of the charities tagged as “America's Worst Charities" by the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2013 focus on veterans.
As a professor who researches nonprofit organizations and teaches about their finances, I have observed that while some veterans' charities do squander donors' dollars, others make the most of donations in meeting their mission. Fortunately, a little research goes a long way toward spotting the difference between a good cause and a lost cause.
The following four tips will help you vet these charities.
EULESS, Texas — Six months ago, Larry Fromme rarely left his apartment, and he worried that he might get evicted as he struggled to pay his rent and buy groceries.
Fromme, 80, is a disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Army as a private first class in Germany at the height of the Cold War. He was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, and said he often had nightmares about serving in a stressful environment.
Fromme recalled what it was like to be isolated and the difficulties of finding people who understood his struggles.
"I was down in the dumps," he said. "I was looking for people to talk to."
Fromme described how it was difficult for him to leave his apartment as no one thanked him for his service, although he wore his cap displaying the words, "disabled veteran" when he went shopping.
But now life is getting better for Fromme as he regularly meets with veterans who understand the stress of serving in the military and what it is like to be ignored.
If everyone is an expert on mental health and wellness, are we listening to those who are actually experts?There seems to be a gulf, a gap, between the veteran community and the clinical mental health community that focuses on veteran mental health.