The Value of Veterans
As a Navy Veteran (and the husband of a Navy Veteran), I realize just how important service can be in shaping character. I also realize how incredibly tough it is to serve, day after day. I always tell people that my time in the Navy taught me two things: first, it taught me the importance of decisive action and smooth operations. Second, it taught me that I never want to not be in control of my own daily life and destiny again - that sucks.
When people on the fence about joining the military ask my opinion, I always encourage them to do so. It's not the rest of their life, it's just 4 to 8 years. By the time you’re 25 or 26 years old, you have this incredible experience, and you’ve also experienced a very difficult life, doing things that you often don't want to do, but must. The rest of your life, whatever job you get, it will seem easy compared to your time in uniform.
Between Boxcar and my 5 kids, I work pretty hard right now. But compared to my 4 years in the Navy when I didn't have any control over my own daily actions, had limited free time, and was away for months at a stretch, even my toughest days are comparatively easy. That’s a lesson I’ll hold on to forever. It has truly made me grateful, every day.
As a Veteran, I’m disappointed in the hiring message many companies put out. They often seem to offer to hire Veterans, not because of the valuable skills and strengths they bring to the table, but out of a misguided sense of pity.
Employers that focus on hiring Veterans solely because they feel sorry for us or think we need help are doing those applicants, and their own companies, a disservice. By treating my fellow Veterans like second-class citizens or people who need a leg up simply because they served, I honestly think many people are missing the point.
Those who have successfully completed a deployment are, in my mind, some of the strongest and best-performing workers in any hiring pool. While they may have a lack of expertise in certain fields, that’s easily outweighed by experience, operational excellence, and sheer strength of character. You can teach job-specific tasks fairly quickly, if there's a good base to build on. It takes someone special to put their own life on hold and give everything they have to something that’s bigger than themselves, and that’s what successful companies should be looking for in employees.
If you have served this great country of ours, enlisted or officer, Navy, Army, or Marines - and even Air Force, the entire Boxcar Team thanks you. And if you are a Veteran looking for a job in North Jersey, send me your resume (firstname.lastname@example.org). Whether you are about to get out of the service or have been out for a few years, I’d love to talk to you about Boxcar’s open positions.
Just be aware that if we give you a priority look over other applicants it won't because we want to help you, but because we want to help Boxcar. Other companies should do the same.
On this Veterans Day, thank you to my fellow Veterans. Our country wouldn’t be what it is without you.