Storm the Hill

I usually do a weekend wrap up on Monday’s, but it’s a special Monday today.

Today is the start of Storm the Hill, a yearly push by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Capitol Hill for veterans’s issues.

This year, I’m lucky enough to be part of their Digital Stormer team. While I may not be physically on the Hill, I’m working Twitter, Facebook and my other social media connections to bring attention to our Ground Stormers. All us Digital Stormers have been working hard for the past two weeks to prepare for this one.

Storm the Hill is important in so many ways to me.

First, there’s the obvious. IAVA’s concern this year is veteran unemployment, which currently stands at 17%, much higher than  official government reports. I’m one of the 17%. I have a college degree with two majors, past job experience, and leadership experience through the Army and a deployment. But I still am struggling to find a job. It feels as though employers look right past my military leadership experience, like all my time has been worth nothing. It’s a disheartening feeling. IAVA was the force behind the only jobs bill to be passed last year, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act (VOW Act). And they’re looking to do more.

But this week is important to me for a less obvious reason. I absolutely, positively LOVE helping my fellow veterans (as corny as that sounds). Maybe it’s the sergeant in me, but I love helping troops (regardless of the branch). While in school, I worked at my campus’s Veterans Support Services center, helping veterans figure out the complicated mess of education benefits. I felt good every time I could answer a question and make the complicated process easier. Even now, I’m a member of Project Healing Waters, a fly fishing organization that helps veterans work through their injuries, apparent or not. I love the camaraderie that comes along with being with other veterans.  Being a part of Storm the Hill is just a continuation of that need I have to help my fellow vets.

If you’re a vet, then join the fight. Check out IAVA, through both their official website and their facebook page. Check out the Storm the Hill War Room, where all the action will be this week.

If you’re not a vet, you can still be a part of our fight. After being at war for 10+ years, you are more than likely to know a veteran. Thank them. Let them know they are appreciated. And help us fight for all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans through Storm the Hill.

  1. I am a civilian, however grew up in a military household…Navy brat, Pensacola, Fla. Go Blue Angels!…lol….I have this conversation with civilians all the time to inform them about what is happening with our Veteran’s. I am even filing for a business loan to expand my business to employ Veteran’s. This is a much needed conversation to inform. Most people truly are NOT aware of what is ocurring for our military men and women…I feel it is far too important to keep going unnoticed. For all the sacrifices our men and women make as well as their families, this is the least we can do for them when they leave service.

    Thank you for all you do.

  2. Rene Forsberg said:

    Way to go Alyssa… As the widow of a veteran, I see first hand how hard it is for those who are vets to find jobs. I also have a federal posistion, but it seems that no matter what your work experience veteran or not, if you do not have a Masters Degree, it is difficult to find a job. The current agenda where I work is that way. They used to accept applicants with a BA/BS degree, but now even with years of experience it is doubtful that one will obtain a job unless you have that Masters Degree. The government should be helping veterans into the workplace, not hindering their opportunities. Most veteran’s I know have so much more knowledge than a degree will ever get them and some have worked in that field for years with on the job training and no degree. There should be some leeway for veterans with specific knowledge (KSA’s) to jump to the head of the line and I mean more than a 5 point preference. They should not be disgarded because they chose a career over college.

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