Nonprofit helps veterans in transition to civilian life

Veterans transition to civilian life
Posted at 6:42 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 19:42:39-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Every year about 200,000 men and women leave military service and return to civilian life. After decades in service, many vets can find that transition daunting. A nonprofit is looking to counsel vets to know their worth in the workplace.

"It's all in the same structure," said Lt. Col. Scott McKay, referring to being in the Army for 20 years. "I understand it. I'm comfortable with it."

Why would McKay have any worry about drafting a new resume?

"My last assignment, I had 800 paratroopers I was responsible for leading," he said.

Wouldn't that be the sort of leadership to make McKay stand out in the job market?

"There's a lack of confidence for even the most successful veteran in transition," said Scott Walgren of the COMMIT Foundation national nonprofit.

The group coaches veterans about the transition to civilian life. Thursday and Friday, they gathered another group of vets at Bridgestone.

"We haven't done simple things such as write a resume or negotiate salary compensation or interview with a company," said Walgren.

Walgren said what's tough is vets' training of working as a team and not promoting themselves as an individual.

"We need to talk about 'I' which is not a muscle we build in the military," said Walgren.

Those self-promotional skills are part of the COMMIT Foundation's training. They also communicate with industry leaders about what veterans can bring to their business.

"I have a 4 and a 6-year-old, and the goal of my transition is to provide stability," said McKay.

The view for the veterans from Bridgestone's windows was a downtown with the names of many businesses. They were reminders of the possibilities of where they can go.

The COMMIT Foundation said they worked with 1,000 veterans last year alone. For more on the COMMIT Foundation, visit here.