The Foxhole: The positive effects of veterans on business

A Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a very Happy, Healthy New Year to all of you. Thank you for following this column, I hope you have gained a little insight into our nation’s veterans and issues pertaining to them and their families.

This month, I will touch on veteran-owned businesses as well as hiring veterans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of small business owners, as of April 2017, there were more than 2.5 million businesses that are majority owned by a veteran. The revenues from these veteran-owned businesses generated $1 trillion and payroll for employees was $195 billion.

These businesses cover the full range of industry, from finance to construction, manufacturing to agricultural. California has the most veteran-owned, Connecticut has at least 172 at last count. There are 31 in Fairfield County, one of which is Chris Gardner and Associates, LLC, right here in Wilton. As consumers, we should strive to hire these businesses when possible. Generally speaking, a veteran who starts a business has two qualities instilled and reinforced by military training; one is attention to detail. The second is ensuring the job is done correctly and completely. These qualities cross all ranks, job specialties and positions in the military. When searching for a business to hire or engage, another question to ask is, do they hire veterans? Even if not veteran-owned, these men and women offer these same qualities.

Unemployed veteran statistics have slowly been dwindling over the past two years. This is a positive sign that more employers are looking at what retired and separated veterans can offer their businesses.

Many people wonder what can an infantryman, a tank driver or explosives disposal technician have to offer civilian employers? How does a Navy gunner’s mate on a ship or an Air Force munitions systems tech translate to a job in the private sector? The answers might surprise you. A veteran has far more to offer an employer than specific job skills. We bring discipline, work ethic, no-quit attitude and leadership abilities to the job. Responsibility for our work and actions, willingness to learn and perform above and beyond minimum standards, and take-charge approach to problems is taught throughout our military experience, whether that is four years or 40.

It is also the wise employer who does not dismiss disabled vets out of hand. In many instances, not only do they possess these qualities above, but have taken the additional step of overcoming wounds that seem destined to limit their life choices. And they have overcome the obstacles others may have thought might stop them from succeeding. I have personally met some of these veterans, and no matter their “disability,” in some cases they supersede even their doctor’s expectations.

For more information, go to: www.post86legion.org/links-page.html. Pass the word there are people looking for jobs, with the ability to turn a good job into a great one.

Tom Moore, Adjutant
American Legion Post 86

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