Agile 2018

Agile 2018
Speaking at Agile 2018

Monday, November 14, 2011

Veterans Deserve Better

A future vet from Afghanistan, I want to hire people like this.
Friday was November 11th, 2011 came and went with little fan fair.  It is one of those quirky days on the calendar which reads 11-11-11.  For fans of the movie Spinal Tap, it became Nigel Tufnel day.  For others it was an excuse to start a three day weekend.  To me it was Veteran’s Day, which is a pretty important spot on the calendar. 

For American’s Veteran’s Day traces its history to the end of the First World War.  The armistice between the allies and central powers went into effect on the eleventh hours of the eleventh month of the eleventh day in 1918.  Troops continued to fight in the almost criminal stalemate up to the final minute.  President Wilson declared that Armistice Day would be a day of national reflection.  Congress later changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day so that veterans from all of America’s wars could be recognized. 

In the ninety three years since the end of the “War to End All Wars,” American soldiers, sailors, air men and marines have been fighting to preserve liberty and peace in places as diverse as the Chosin Reservoir in Korea to the hills of Helmand Province in Afghanistan.  Contrary to the opinion of a vocal minority, we have never acted as an empire but rather as liberators and nation builders.  American’s seem to invest a great deal of blood and treasure in other countries. 
No one pays a higher price than the men and women who do the fighting and the dying for us; veterans.  The biggest change for these young men and women is learning to make the transition from the military to civilian life.  For a person who understands how to fire a rifle and avoid roadside bombs, the daily grind of the business world could seem trivial. 
As a nation we have done a poor job helping these people find meaningful work.  According to business week, the current rate of unemployment for Veterans is 12.1% compared to 9% for the general population.  The figures are even worse for vets ages 18 to 24 who have an unemployment rate of 30.4%.  This is unacceptable.  Veterans have paid a steep price for our freedom; we owe them a chance to make a living in the civilian world. 
If you are a veteran from any of the armed forces, I want to put you to work selling my product.  I will not make promises because of our start-up nature but I think you can help us be a success.  Drop me a line at
Until next time.