Journal of a Stormer: Day Four
Posted by John McGlothlin on March 29
A large sign at the end of the hallway reads “I Hire Veterans.” I don’t need a job, but I needed to know which senator in the Hart Office Building had decided to make such a visible statement of support on the issue that was driving our Storm the Hill program. It turned out that the sign, with the silhouettes of a saluting man and woman, took up most of the window at the entrance of Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia.
I walked into the office and introduced myself and my fellow Stormer, Jeff Hensley, as being from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Before I could even talk about the sign, we were asked if we’d like a meeting with someone. We didn’t want to interfere with the plans of fellow Stormers, though – 28 of us are currently on Capitol Hill advocating for veterans. But a scheduling quirk meant that Sen. Manchin’s office hadn’t met with IAVA yet, so we walked in and sat down with his senior policy advisor.
If the large “I Hire Veterans” sign and the warm welcome weren’t enough of a signal, the policy advisor made it clear just how dedicated to veterans this office was. The advisor was a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, and she was helping the senator launch a Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus later that same day. Many offices have a “military fellow,” someone currently serving who is placed in a congressional office, but this advisor wasn’t part of a military-specific program – she was a full-fledged senior advisor who happened to also be an accomplished veteran.
Her presence in the office and the “I Hire Veterans” campaign spoke directly to the point of IAVA’s Storm the Hill – that veterans have skills that transcend the military and can be used to help any kind of organization. She was proud to be working on employment issues, but she was by no means only working on them.
This is just one example of both a veteran who excelled in a different field after leaving the military and a congressional office that is committed to helping us do so. "I Hire Veterans” is a sign we need to see far more often.
John McGlothlin is from Laurel, MD and he served nine years in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and Arabic linguist. He deployed twice, first to Iraq with the 101st Airborne and later to Afghanistan with the 173d Airborne. John is participating in 2012 Storm the Hill as part of Team GOLF.
Missed all the action at Storm the Hill 2012? Meet all the Stormers and follow our updates from the week here.
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