Connecting the Pillars - Marvin Cadet
Jobs. Education. Health. Housing. Family. Leadership. –the six pillars that Got Your 6 focuses on in regards to veteran reintegration. Through this framework, GY6 and its non-profit partners demonstrate that veterans are leaders and, in fact, still have more to give to their country. In the last month, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to this effort in a very unique way.
This past May, I was sworn into the 2013 Bravo Class of The Mission Continues. As a class, we made a commitment to making a positive impact in our communities by upholding the values we learned during our military service. The Mission Continues falls in in the leadership pillar of GY6.
Through The Mission Continues, I have connected with Operation College Promise (OCP), which is where I am serving my fellowship. OCP falls in the education pillar of GY6 and is a national education, research and policy initiative supporting the transition and postsecondary advancement of veterans and servicemembers. They support veteran service providers across the country with training and best practices for serving the contemporary veteran population.
Through OCP, I was given the opportunity to attend an event hosted by Give an Hour. Give an Hour, which falls in the health pillar of GY6, is a non-profit organization that provides free mental health services to veterans and their families that were affected by the on-going efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Much of the work that they do is volunteer-based and they have a lot of amazing people that have stepped up to the plate to help veterans and their families.
This past June, Give an Hour screened a documentary film and followed it with a panel discussion featuring a combat veteran along with a mental service professional. The film was titled Hell and Back Again. It followed a young Marine Sergeant and the challenges he faced when returning home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
As an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran myself, the film touched on a lot of the same experiences I had upon coming from theater. The main one that comes to mind is the feeling that life in a war-zone is so much easier than the civilian world because of the sense of purpose that comes with carrying out a mission. Hell and Back Again was very well put together and is a must see for anyone who wants a better understanding of today’s veteran.
The work that the above-mentioned non-profit organizations are doing for veterans, with the support of GY6 is amazing, and I am very grateful to be a part of it.