For those of you who have followed this program for a while, you’ve heard some of my stories from the military. In fact, just two and half years after leaving my military career, is when I came the decision to end my life. I had not meaning. I had not money. I was in a dead end job, etc. etc. etc.
If it had not been for that act if Divine intervention that night on January 29, 1992 at 11:35pm ET in that little empty apartment in Columbus, GA – on January 30th 1992, I would not have been here on this earth.
Leaving service is hard. A lot harder than I had imagined. I left service thinking, “I’m former Army Officer, I’ll find somebody that wants to hire me pretty quick.” There were almost NO systems in place back in July 1989 for transitioning veterans. None.
Even with the systems and resources that are in place today, we are still failing to help the many veterans who are transitioning from a life of meaning, order and familiarity – to one of uncertainty.
More than 2.6 million Americans have served in the Armed Forces since that tragic day of 9/11.
Almost 240 thousand military members leave active duty each and every year, ready to help companies and communities with their skill sets.
Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Kathy Gallowitz has formed an absolutely essential organization called, “Vanguard Veterans.” She served 29 years in the Air Force as a nurse and also as a Public Affairs Officer. Through “Vanguard Veteran,” she equips civilians to become Veteran Champions as the “Veteran-Hiring Concierge,” a “Military Ministry Builder” and a “Fallen Comrades Ceremony Producer.”
She is also the author of “Beyond Thank You for Your Service: The Veteran Champion Handbook for Civilians.”
Help me welcome to the program, LTC (retired) Kathy Gallowitz. Kathy, thank you for taking the time to come on the program, I do appreciate it.
First question I always ask is this, other than that brief information I just shared, can you tell us in your own words, “Who is Kathy Gallowitz?”
What were you doing when 9-11 happened and how did it impact you?
You designed a never been done before, statewide outreach program in Ohio to help veterans. Tell us about that challenge and what it accomplished…
Share with us some of the positive attributes that Veterans can bring to a civilian company or agency?
Most veterans are used to showing up on time, accomplishing assigned tasks in a timely manner, working over-time if necessary, among other things. Most veterans maintain these job skills even many years after they leave service. How do you help make companies aware of the positive job skills veterans bring with them to the job site?
Tell us about you “Military Ministry Builder” program…
Folks, having served twelve years in the military and then transitioning to civilian life, I know, first hand, how difficult it is. It took me over twelve years of struggling – even contemplating – not contemplating, I had made the decision – to commit suicide. You’ve heard the story before, how God invaded my little empty room and through one scripture, changed my life forever. Psalm 34 verse 7, which says, “The Lord has heard this poor man cry and shall deliver him from all his troubles.” That one verse, changed my life forever.
Although it was only 2 ½ years since I left the active duty when that night happened, I still struggled for the next 10 years, until I found my calling as a police officer. That job gave me purpose again. I was born again from that night in January 1992. I even attended Bible School, was Ordained in 2001. I was a Chaplain for our department, etc. But the struggle was real for a very, very long time. I wish there was a program like this back then. There wasn’t – but there is now.
I urge you to drop down into the show notes and click the links there to reach out to Kathy. Get this information. If you are a pastor of a church, reach out – get this information to reach veterans in your community. This will help to grow your church, yes. But more than that – you will be reaching a very, very vulnerable, struggling segment of society. One that served this great nation and is now struggling to survive. Amen!
And be sure to order a copy of Kathy Gallowitz’ book, “Beyond Thank You for Your Service: The Veteran Champion Handbook for Civilians.” In fact, order two or three copies and pass them out. Give one to your pastor, one to your boss at work, one to whoever you may think would be able to help our military veterans. Amen! Do it now… while you are thinking about it.