"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" - Charles Caleb Cotton
A pretty well-known phrase we have all heard at least 200 times in our lives - be it when we find ourselves showing up to work wearing a similar color shirt as a co-worker or when you want to feature a graphic in your presentation similar to one you saw in another organization's 2017 annual report.
As our organization (HKY4Vets) has been engaged in an intensive effort to develop a new vision ("where want to be"), mission ("the reason we exist"), goals ("desired outcomes") and objectives, we have also been scouring our partners, as well as communities and organizations across the country in an effort to unearth some potential best practices for working with transitioning military families - and yes, pay them the compliment by taking what they have done, tweaking slightly and scaling it to fit the particular needs of our community.
Though I am sure our research has only scratched the surface, it is heartening to know there are so many well-respected and impactful efforts available across our entire country, ready to assist our nation's military and families as they transition from military service. Veterans and military families still fall through the cracks in terribly large numbers, but these non-profits, states, companies, etc. are doing great work and can serve as models for small upstart organizations like HKY4Vets.
Every single one of these organizations and the hundreds more like them, all desire the end result - to ensure we are best supporting those that have sacrificed so much on our country's behalf.We are not in competition with each other. We are here to support each other, so that we may veterans and military families that much better. We stand proud that in the future we will have the opportunity to flatter organizations all over the country as we seek to imitate their great work, making it fit the Hickory Metro.
I thought I might highlight just a few great organizations and efforts happening out there that been points of inspiration for us recently:
Veterati (https://www.veterati.com/): America's Mentoring Network for the Military
Veterati is an innovative mentorship platform that makes being a mentor and finding mentors effortless. Connecting job-seekers to mentors at scale is phase 1 of Veterati’s greater mission: to transform job search from a painful experience into an inspiring journey.
Beyond the Uniform (https://www.beyondtheuniform.io/)
Beyond the Uniform provides military Veterans with free resources to help them identify, evaluate, pursue and succeed at their ideal civilian career. We interview Veterans to explain their job and how other Veterans might pursue this as a career option.
INvets is a first-of-its-kind program designed to connect Hoosier companies directly to veterans from within Indiana and around the country as they exit the military. The program helps Indiana companies fill the skills gap and provides veterans with high-demand civilian career opportunities.