Welcome to this week’s edition of "Just a few things," a somewhat weekly blog dedicated to sharing a few thoughts on things I think you could find interesting as well as a few things I've been reading, learning or contemplating during the week.
The podcast, what I've named "The Service Record Podcast" has been a dream of mine for a few years, and it's finally coming to fruition. The goal of the podcast is to talk with veterans to share their stories of service and beyond.
The bad news is that a few of my established partners have had to close down their production, which means I can’t place new orders for products like the 3x5 foot camo flags. I’m nearly out of the Army/Air Force and Marine Corps flags, and once they’re gone I’m not sure how long it will take to get things back up and running. Another example is that of the Combat Patch. I’ve been working on a slight redesign of the patch and was so EXCITED to have found a local veteran-owned embroidery shop and we had JUST finalized the new patch when NC put in place a mandatory stay at home order.
It's funny... last week I was burning through books and this week I have slowed WAY down. I plan to startOn Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman today and have two more in queue. I'm increasingly interested in this topic and how it connects to the difficulty in transitioning from the military to civilian life.
Just a friendly reminder to remember to keep in contact with your buddies during these uncertain times. Whether it be isolation or anxiety due to the news, make sure they know they aren’t alone. Be a beacon of hope and courage and set the example for those around you. I feel the need to caveat this with the fact that I am not a medical or mental health professional, but isolation can often times exacerbate underlying anxiety or feelings of depression and separation. Give them a call, a text, FaceTime, or Facebook video chat. I don’t really care, just check in and be a good friend and human.
A friend and I have had a handful of meaningful conversations about expanded thinking in the veteran community as we explored a number of issues and opportunities we've both recognized. Following one of these conversations he sent me a few books that he's found helpful in expanding his thinking on the veteran/military predicament in post-service life.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Tina (CMO) and Keith (Chief of Programs) for a few hours on Wednesday evening and I am so thankful for the time with them. This organization continues to amaze me. Their thoughtful approach to helping veterans in need is commendable. But what amazes me most is how they're never satisfied with where they are in the process, they're always striving to do more, reach those who need it and tell stories of success to inspire and give hope.
The response across both platforms was amazingly positive. Often times posts like these are spontaneous and every time they're from the heart. I have no intention of changing minds or perceptions through them, but this one seemed to give a moment of pause to the readers and help them see the struggle of deployments in a different light.
I’m not going to give it all away just yet, but I have a reboot of an earlier product coming back. I’m really excited about it and have made some solid improvements on the product from the first iteration. Stay tuned... hoping to have this little piece of freedom in the store next month.
A VA facility in Asheville, NC, is using a new technology to treat PTS. Clinicians are using virtual reality to safely transport veterans back to traumatic events, allowing the veteran to confront and reprocess very difficult emotional memories.
“Go big or go home.” It’s a phrase we all know. It’s a phrase we all likely use (either seriously or jokingly). But what about the impact of doing small things to change a routine and build a new habit? I read a story in the Harvard Business Review this week that explored findings from executive coaching workshops and the stress that unrealistic goals place on us. The issue? Going big too fast and not...
This week I met someone in person who I've been texting with for over a year. It's an amazing story and one I'm excited to share in more detail later on. For now, though, know that I met with one of the strongest human beings I've ever known, Vonda Rodgers. Vonda is a Gold Star Mom who lost her son, SGT Joshua Rodgers, on April 27, 2017, in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.