Veterans Connect Over Dinner with Wounded Warrior Project Career Counseling Team
GAITHERSBURG, Md. (March 17, 2017) – Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans recently gathered for dinner and discussed the civilian career world with members of WWP’s Warriors to Work® program. Beyond receiving employment counseling and resume guidance, warriors experienced the benefits of connecting with fellow service members in their communities.
Over a casual, family-style meal, veterans and guests learned about helpful resources available through WWP career counseling. WWP staff assisted veterans with developing career blueprints and highlighting military-honed skills on their resumes. Through this service, warriors are able to translate their skills and work ethic to civilian opportunities. The lucky recipients of these resumes are local employers and veteran-friendly national organizations. Hiring veterans in the civilian workforce gives organizations highly coachable team players with specialized skill sets, who are an asset to any team.
Army veteran Leonard Vargas attended the dinner – not as a potential job-seeker, but to connect with local warriors and provide his story as living proof that the program is successful.
“I enrolled in Warriors to Work last year, and through it, I got a federal job,” he said. “I was very eager to meet new warriors and share how the program works. The camaraderie I felt at the gathering made it easy for me to open up and talk about the benefits I experienced.”
Warriors and WWP staff discussed the importance of maintaining a sharp resume and the power of social and professional networking among military peers. The program is more than just a source of manpower for organizations that want to enhance their teams with veterans. It educates potential employers about combat-related injuries and reasonable accommodations. This is key for developing a long-lasting relationship throughout employment.
Learning about these topics attracted Army veteran Khalil Alotaibi to the dinner.
“I am currently employed, but I am working to receive a promotion within the company,” he said. “Wounded Warrior Project helps us update our resumes. And networking is the best way to connect and find out about all the resources available to us through the organization.”
Army veteran Thierry Atangana arrived at the dinner – his first WWP event – eager to connect with warriors who understood him.
“Over the past four years, I have spent all my time between inpatient care and my home,” he said. “I was really nervous about attending this event, but my wife convinced me to go. I’m really happy I listened to her because I got to meet people who have been through the same experiences as me. At last I could talk with people who fully understand me and my disabilities.”
These connection activities support the long-term recovery needs of warriors by reintroducing them and their families to the bonds experienced during military service. In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (51.7 percent) talked with fellow veterans to address their mental health issues.
WWP’s career counseling staff also guided Thierry with advice for his journey to the world of civilian employment.
“I am actively looking for a job; I haven’t worked since I left the Army in 2013,” he said. “The staff gave me a lot of useful information and even helped me out with resources that are available for myself and my family.”
WWP offers a variety of programs and services that assist injured veterans with mental health, physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling, and connecting with other warriors and their communities. Generous donors make it possible for wounded warriors to take part in outreach activities and benefit from program resources at no cost to them.
“Wounded Warrior Project has had such a profound impact on me and my family,” Leonard said. “So much so that I think that I would like to work for them one day. I want to give back to my fellow veterans by connecting with them personally, like the organization has done for me. These individuals have gone above and beyond to help the nation’s veterans – and that’s something I would love to do.”
Warriors can access beneficial Warriors to Work guides online, including financial planning assistance and tips on managing expectations when attending civilian job fairs. When a warrior connects with a WWP staff member, more in-depth help is available.
To learn more about how WWP’s programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/.
Contact: Rob Louis – Public Relations
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.