By Thomas Gerbasi
Memorial Day weekend is more than the unofficial start of summer and a time for barbecues and ballgames; it is a day to remember the men and women who died in service of their country as members of the United States Armed Forces, and to also celebrate all servicemen and women.
UFC fighter and former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann knows all too well the sacrifices made by the United States military, having served as a Captain in the Marines, where he was awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat. And even though his active duty has ended, Stann is still involved daily with the men and women of the military through the organization Hire Heroes USA, which he serves as Executive Director of. (Click here and hit 'like' to raise $1 for Hire Heroes USA.)
Through Hire Heroes USA, Stann and his team help provide career placement and transition assistance to returning servicemen and women, and thus far, the organization has helped over 240 veterans get jobs, an impressive feat in the current economic state.
“Their (the veterans) experience and their resumes, and all the things they’ve done professionally, most companies or employers don’t understand what those are, and they’re not educated on the intangible values that are contained within,” explains Stann. “An employer can tell you ‘I want an out of the box thinker who’s a team player,’ but they don’t know how to pull that all the time from a guy who in his resume is talking about reducing improvised explosive devices and training a foreign army whose language they don’t speak. That’s one of the main things my organization does with the guys we work with. Before we go out and try to find them a job, we work on translating their skills and quantifying them on their resumes and in their interview responses so that the employers can understand that. We also try to explain that to the companies that we recruit and advocate with to hire veterans. We try to educate them that they’re not just order takers, trigger pullers, or heavy equipment operators.”
The organization recently received a grant from The Call of Duty Endowment corporation, which was launched by Activision Blizzard, creators of the “Call of Duty” videogame franchise, and this weekend, that grant can grow even bigger with the help of fight fans on Facebook.
For every fan The Call of Duty Endowment gets on their Facebook page starting Thursday, May 27th and ending Monday, May 31st, Hire Heroes USA gets one dollar, with all the funds going towards Hire Heroes USA’s Transition Assistance Courses and Employment Assistance programs, many of which are executed on site at wounded warrior rehabilitation facilities. The campaign will last until 11:59pm PST on Memorial Day, or until a grant of $50,000 has been reached, whichever benchmark expires first.
“This money goes towards my organization, traveling the country to train our combat veterans in resume building skills, interview skills, and developing their plans and their goals to go and get them hired by companies so that these men and women who defended our nation now get a shot at the American dream that they defended,” said Stann. “They’re not going to the unemployment line, some of them are coming out on crutches, some of them in wheelchairs, some of them with prosthetics, some of them with traumatic brain injuries, and they’re learning how to quantify their skillsets and finding jobs that they can be productive in so they’re not just someone who was a war fighter, soldier, or Marine or sailor back in the day, but is still a successful, productive member of society.”
All it takes to help is one click – just visit: www.facebook.com/pages/Call-Of-Duty-Endowment/199346440490 and click the “Like” button, and support the men and women of the military who are returning home.
For more information on Hire Heroes, visit www.hireheroesusa.org