Celebrating Veteran's Day

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"  

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 am.  

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday - - a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

--From the Department of Veterans Affairs 

Today is Veteran's Day 2008, at time for us to reflect on the heroism and sacrifice of those who took up arms and served their country with honor and pride. It is a day to reflect on what we owe these brave men and women and how we might best repay them. 

To that end, I thought I would put together a collection of websites that specialize in helping veterans in and out of the business world. After the day's ceremonies commemorating our heroes, both past and present, you may want to check out some of these sites.

The Center For Veterans Enterprise Web Portal, set up by the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs, has a stated objective "to improve the business climate for veterans, to minimize access barriers and to inform the public about the benefits of working with veteran-owned small businesses."

With links to various government and non government websites, it is a good place to start for any veteran seeking information on starting their own business.

The Veterans Corporation (TVC) sees its mission in these terms: "To create more prosperous communities and a stronger national economy by fostering entrepreneurship and business opportunities for veterans and service-disabled veterans." TVC provides veterans with tools and resources needed to be successful in business including:

·       Access to Capital
·       Access to Bonding
·       Access to Entrepreneurial Education 

The National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) bills itself as the "Voice of the Veteran's Business Movement" They host several events across the country every year as well as have a magazine "Vetrepreneur" that is geared toward veteran related business issues.

Primarily a site for helping veterans or active duty personnel reunite with friends and family, they have a great business directory with only veteran-owned business listings. With links to military photos, jokes, and lingo, it is a little less business, but a lot more fun! 

The Small Business Administration has a program office titled "Office of Veterans Business Development" and they state their mission "is to maximize the availability, applicability and usability of all administration small business programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their Dependents or Survivors." 

The official business link to the U.S. government has a special section dedicated to veteran related hiring issues. With links to the HireVetsFirst program as well as information on legislation that covers employers understanding employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits and remedies.

America’s Heroes at Work
Here you will find information the conditions affecting today's wounded veterans, learn something of the importance of work to those veterans recovering from physical and psychological trauma of war, and find resources to give you access to this pool of exceptional employees. 

The Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to helping wounded veterans make the transition back to civilian life. The Project's Warriors to Work program helps individuals recovering from severe injuries received in the line of duty connect with the support and resources they need to build a career in the civilian workforce. It can be tough to transition into civilian life. It's even tougher to adjust to life after a serious injury.

With our economic situation being what it is and many returning veterans from wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, our veterans deserve all the support they can get to find work and build a meaningful and successful civilian life. They gave of themselves for us on the field of battle, some of them giving even their last, full measure for their nation. Don't we owe them nothing less when they come home? 

Our duty begins when their duty is done. 

I would also urge you to check out a previous post by Charles Cooper America's Heroes at Work: Making the Transition from Warrior to Worker