This is Eric Greitens and he is the CEO of a group in the US called “The Mission Continues”. I caught him on the Daily Show earlier this week and what he and his colleagues do is such a simple idea, it seems bizarre that no-one has thought of it before and it’s something I think we should adopt in the UK.
Greitens was named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world this year because of this organisation. It takes post 9/11 veterans and puts them to work in the US using their skills to help develop the country and communities. They generally work for non-profit organisations and charities and bring their skill sets with them to improve life at home. By using their knowledge and organisational skills there is not only a huge benefit to the country but to the former soldiers as they learn to reintegrate back into society after facing a different world abroad.
It allows the veterans to build up a network of contacts to help them readjust, to find the best resources and support from others in the same position. By creating a co=operative group that supports each other, gives them skills and puts them back into “normal life” is a huge step. Too often we see examples in our own country of those who have been in the forces abroad coming back and struggling to settle back into a regular job. We should adopt this to help all our servicemen and woman and get them back into work with the support and purpose they need in their lives after being part of such an organised institution.
Eric Greitens talks about hem “continuing to serve” at home as that is what these people are trained to do. And that includes those whose careers have been cut short by injuries. By opening opportunities to former forces members we can utilise their skills here at home to everyone’s benefit. These are people who are helping to rebuild former war zones, so imagine the contribution they will make to our own cities and towns.
To find out more about the great work this organisation is doing click on the website at http://missioncontinues.org/home to see how something like this could be deployed here in the UK.