Serving our country has solidified my unwavering belief in selfless service. In addition, it has provided me insight between military and civilian cultural divides. I am continually reminded of our civic duty to care for those who have selflessly sacrificed for our country. Recently diagnosed with a recurrent medical condition, I have confronted the associated stigma of serving my nation within an altered capacity. I frequently traveled to Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital. During one of these visits, I witnessed a soldier struggling to adjust his camouflaged backpack. This individual battled silently, without assistance, but instead with stares as he exited the medical hospital. This young soldier was a dual amputee, facing a military discharge, and forced to re-learn life without legs. This soldier inspired me to create The Frontlines.
There is strength in numbers, and together we can mitigate the long-term impacts to our transitioning veterans by inspiring selfless service, mentoring and community participation. In the military we can all remember that Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) or senior leader taking the personal time to mentor us and show us what “right looks like”. Through this combination of leadership and mentorship we are able to also grow, rise up the ranks, and have productive military careers. However, where is that leadership or mentorship when a man or woman on active duty transitions to veteran status? How do they answer the question of "What's Next?" as they transition to new productive lives? Too often the transition is disjointed because of a non- cohesive message, organizational self-interest, a region with which a veteran returns to, and an overall lack of mentorship. The Frontlines seeks to bridge the divide between military and civilian cultures through social networking and providing resources that help answer the "What's Next?" Filtering all of these resources through one network is why The Frontlines is so necessary. Without it how can we ever hope to provide a seamless transition from active duty to veteran status? There are plenty of stories of veteran success as entrepreneurs, civil servants, teachers etc., that have successfully transitioned to life as “civilians”. With over 300 million inspired citizens in the United States, we can support a seamless transition from the front lines to home life and help answer the question "What's Next?".
Thank you for visiting The Frontlines and reading my thoughts on how each of us can help show a clearer path for veterans on their road of answer their questions of "What's Next?"
Nathan W. Tierney
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