Veterans' Day has to be more than a tribute to veterans or an opportunity for a department store sale. ASBC believes that veterans returning from overseas must be offered help getting the training, skills, and capital needed to start or expand a business. We must ensure that those who have risked their lives and sacrificed their health and well-being in the line of duty can secure meaningful employment once back home.
Returning veterans are creating new businesses in a wide range of sectors, from renewable energy to sustainable agriculture. ASBC encourages all business leaders to support the many non-partisan, non-profit groups (such as Beyond Tribute, Swords to Plowshares, Veterans Green Jobs, Farmer-Veteran Coalition, and Veterans Inc.), which provide veterans with job training assistance, capital access, medical treatment, and family support.
Former US Navy SEAL and ASBC Business Supporter Troy Van Beek exemplifies the opportunity for veterans to apply their skills in the private sector. “I look at my service to my country as a continual and ongoing process,” he said. “My time with the military was for me about world security. Now, as a civilian I have started a company called Ideal Energy that concentrates on renewable energy. A strong renewable energy industry provides strength and security not only for the United States but also the entire planet. This industry provides a real opportunity for veterans coming home to continue their service.”
The troops we honor and their families need our help to get back on their feet. The business community needs to lend a firm, supporting hand.