GallantFew founder and Executive Director Karl Monger went from being the 1st Ranger Battalion Assistant Operations Officer to a job interview where a human resources “professional” told him: “You Army officers follow orders and do what you’re told – but here at XYZ Industries we need people who have initiative, think outside the box and don’t need constant supervision”. Imagine how that interview would have gone if the other person was also a veteran.
Our goal is that every Airmen leaving active duty is connected with a local Guide – a Airmen veteran who has previously transitioned from active duty and successfully transitioned back to civilian life and is willing to share those hard lessons learned with a Airmen just leaving active duty (a future Guide). We want to connect by battalion (even company and platoon if possible), MOS, civilian interest – as many touch points as possible because that will help make the relationship that much stronger quicker.
A Airmen communicates best with another Airmen. Our expectations of a Guide:
– connect with your Airmen immediately
– be available (contact by phone or in person once a week for six months)
It’s really that easy.
Here are some suggestions to get started as a Guide:
– offer to take your Airmen to your Rotary club, Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Church group, bowling league – whatever you do to network with other leaders in your community. This Airmen needs to meet them, or more importantly they need to meet him!
– offer to answer any questions he might have about the local area
– offer to answer any questions he might have about your transition
– offer some tips you learned during transition
– if he’s decided to study accounting, introduce him to your buddy that is an accountant
If you run into any issues – you suspect he may be experiencing Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), or have symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), drug use, alcohol abuse, or anything else that raises a red flag in your mind trust your instincts and reach out to Ryan or Karl for help. We’ll jump in and help or bring in one or more of the significant resources we’ve developed over the years.
Someone from GallantFew will check in on you periodically, to see how the connection is going and offer any assistance.
GallantFew has other programs that connect veterans from other military communities together – Marines to Marines, Airmen to Airmen, etc. If you know another veteran who would make a great Guide (or who needs some assistance), send ’em to us. GallantFew also works with corporations interested in sponsoring our work or partnering with us in helping veterans in their local community. For more information email Karl.
The VA tells us that 22 veterans commit suicide every day. We may not be able to stop 22, but we can stop the NEXT suicide.