It’s Memorial Day- when we are supposed to remember our fallen service members. I thank my friends who are thanking me- but I’m not dead yet. Say thank you to me on Veterans Day, please.
We’ve been at war for almost ten years- and although the death toll pales in comparison to our last declared war (World War II for those of you keeping track) we are creating Service Disabled Veterans at an extraordinary rate- and before someone tries to get politically correct about using the word “disabled”- that’s the official government term.
Many of you are oblivious to the plight of these veterans- as once again, this war is being fought mostly by people you don’t read about in the newspapers, you’re more likely to read about CEOs or Celebrities behaving badly, or politicians posturing about things that don’t matter like planned parenthood funding or beating heartbeat bills. Yes, with an all-volunteer force- little Johnny is safe from the horrors of war, and so are you. Insulation is a wonderful thing.
However, as a vet with a small disability rating, I can tell you that our government pays lip-service to them just as much as you do. In 2004 George W. Bush signed house bill 108 directing all government contracts and contractors to meet a 3% goal of participation by Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses. It’s been mostly ignored. The law has no teeth- and therefore, is routinely ignored.
And while the DAV has been around for a long time, it’s not been a strong lobbying contingent- because it tried to remain above politics because its members covered the entire spectrum of America, thanks to the draft. It’s starting to change.
New organizations like NaVOBA– the NAtional Veteran Owned Business Asssociation has been starting to lobby- and has a “Buy Veteran” campaign in full swing- attempting to identify VOB’s to those in the community who want to support vets.
There are groups all over the country- like VOB108.org that I started with two other paratroopers- to help vets help themselves. We’ve been around since 2005, and been a 501-c6 non-profit for the last 2 years.
We’ve recently secured a grant to start providing training for any veteran with an honorable discharge, training and consulting in starting and operating a business.
The classes begin June 14 and run weekly on Tuesday nights through September. We’ll be holding them at WSU in Rike Hall- the business school building from 6pm to 9pm. Register by calling 877-299-0700 or emailing [email protected] Visit this page for a complete listing of classes: http://www.omnicomsolutionsgroup.com/vetrepreneur%20academy.htm
Other cities like Pittsburgh PA are making concerted efforts to become known as veteran-friendly cities. VOB108 has been making efforts to make Ohio a more vet friendly state as well and has proposed that Dayton consider focusing on recruiting veterans to repopulate our neighborhoods- filling vacant homes instead of tearing them down.
So, if you know a veteran either in business, or considering starting a business, please think of them this Memorial Day and send them this post.