Veterans are self-reliant and have self-confidence. These qualities can help veterans to succeed as business owners, and Jose Espinoza is a great example of this success.
He is a US veteran and also one of the owners of E & R Auto Wrecking. He served for 18 years in the US Army before he earned a business degree at California State University. Although Captain Espinoza has been successful, many veterans encounter serious obstacles after they leave a branch of the US military and then try to find a job.
Educational programs for US veterans can help them to succeed in civilian life. Several universities have developed special programs for the veterans and have hired dedicated individuals. Ralph Galati is a veteran and a retired business professional who was hired as the director of the Office of Veterans Services at St. Joseph’s University.
Programs for Veterans
Galati develops programs that are used to help veterans to make a successful transition from military life to civilian life. The programs are designed to provide training and also support services. The Veterans Entrepreneurial Jumpstart program is used to provide information about developing a business plan. The veterans are helped with website development, given information about accounting procedures and can interact with a mentor.
The stress of military life is complemented with a structured daily regimen. There are orders from superiors and strict procedures. There are few opportunities for developing new plans or for making an innovative contribution. Soldiers are trained to protect each other and to work together to achieve a common goal. The competitive aspects of civilian life can alienate a veteran who must adjust to an aggressive business environment.
Prisoners of War
The hazards of a military life may be quite foreign to a typical office manager. Some soldiers have been injured during combat and have also been a prisoner of war. Galati has experienced some of the problems that can alienate other veterans. He was a prisoner of war in Hanoi and has witnessed extreme cruelty. John McCain is a US senator and was a former prisoner of war in that same prison in North Vietnam. Galati focused on civilian life after leaving the US Air Force and eventually retired from IBM.
Transition to Civilian Life
The transition to civilian life can be especially difficult because the veterans are accustomed to an established routine in a supportive environment. The soldiers help and also protect each other. After John McCain was released from the prison in Hanoi, he traveled to Philadelphia to find Galati’s family and made a phone call to reassure Galati’s wife. Other veterans will receive less help from other individuals in the social environment for civilian life because there is more competition for advancement such as for jobs and for business opportunities.
The veterans need to organize a different set of priorities when they attempt to enter the business markets. Galati can help them to focus on business skills and to feel comfortable at a university. The programs for the veterans at St. Joseph’s University are funded by an anonymous sponsor who had been impressed by the programs at Syracuse University. The sponsor is a veteran who understands the importance of helping other veterans who have served their country.
A business market is a very competitive arena that can alienate many courageous soldiers. The programs at the Office of Veterans Services can be used to encourage veterans to acquire skills and also to encourage them to participate in the business markets as business owners. Galati was chosen to become the director because he can motivate and inspire the veterans.
Several obstacles can block a veteran from success. There could be a hostile environment, no local opportunities and not enough funds for programs. Special training programs can be used to help disabled veterans. The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities is a training program that is offered at St. Joseph’s University. The program was first offered at Syracuse University and is now available at nine other universities.