January 6, marked not only Epiphany Day, but also the passage past the half way point of the first year of Military Success Network. The site is dedicated to bringing to light the stories and resources that support resilient transition from military to civilian life and work.
This significant public day is celebrated in its religious context in specific ways in the USA and in cultures all over the world.
Interestingly, the secular meaning of epiphany, also marks the movement from one state of knowing and experience to another. It involves light, search and hopefully, celebration in what is found.
It denotes the power of change.
On June 6, another momentous day, Military Success Network launched this site. It was the natural extension of a working relationship begun in the late spring of 2011 to refine and prep the book Hidden Wounds: A Soldier’s Burden for publication.
Nate Brookshire and Marius Tecoanta, the book’s co-authors and their editor Helena Kaufman worked together, remotely, from their rather far-flung locations at the time: Vancouver, Canada, South Carolina and Indianapolis.
Truly on the same page, in every sense of the word, the trio’s commitment to telling the story of torment, love and finally redemption in Hidden Wounds, soon grew to their recognition of another imperative. It was the need to share more on the transition challenges of military service members and contractors who were returning to civilian situations after a decade in conflict zones.
Hidden Wounds, the book, was meant to unlock memories and to open conversations. The novel’s story spans two continents, three generations and life experiences both wondrous and traumatic.
Continuing with a website to encourage expression and sharing of experiences and directions seemed a logical and heartfelt next step.
With Military Success Network, the immediate mission was to support the discipline, training, skills and sometimes extraordinary experiences of veterans as they transition back into civilian life. The challenge can be great. It’s good to have battle buddies in the business of change. The site offers up space to network and to post stories of resilience and successful shifts from military service to civilian culture.
Guest bloggers have signed on to share “how to” posts and practical tips on topics to aid transition. The posts can be based on their personal experience or their professional expertise. Seems to be a blend of both so far as plans will reveal posts on education, job hunting, considerations on business ownership, (re)adjustment to family life and new community roles. It will even cover basics of healthy mind and body practices to the fine arts of wardrobe updates!
“We’re in this, together,” is a phrase that often comes up in conversations with guest bloggers and resource experts who’ve expressed interest in contributing.
Transition is a fact of our fast changing global economy and our local expectations of ourselves and of others in our communities.
Resilient transition is the focus of Military Success Network.
And by the way, while we were learning the behind the scenes basic of blogging, it became clear that each of the founders was actually living the site’s mission. Each of us has experienced pretty major life and work transitions. We’ve found strength to meet our challenges and indeed, some of the solutions, in the blog roll.
Marius moved from his military position where he was posted stateside but far from his family into civilian life. In between, he deployed overseas on a research mission, began a 2nd book, entered the job hunting process, secured and then transitioned into a corporate job and relocated his entire family to the opposite coast of America.
I felt the narrative of Hidden Wounds very deeply during my relationship to it as editor. My role as professional listener and asker of questions brought me close to the experiences of military men and women, as well as contractors and family members. As they shared their experience of combat, transition and challenge from conflict zones to family reconnection, it’s likely trauma of some kind was triggered for me to deal. It’s natural to be empathetic and interested in the lives of people who chose to serve. Layer this on top of a lifetime of “stuff” plus the experience of immigration and of being a child of Holocaust survivors, and you get more ‘grist for the mill of life.’
Of the three of us, Nate covered the most physical ground as we moved inevitably closer to applying our synergy and our maturation in the understanding of “post mil life,” on all levels.
He shipped off to a major deployment overseas and on his return, assignments all over the USA. He celebrated a special birthday with his military family, far from home, and was charged with managing the marketing and launch of the book on Amazon. All while ‘away’. For us, his soon to be blog content team members, he was a living study in resilience as we reviewed the workshops and academic papers on transition he has led or written. He now serves as the Assistant Professor of Military Science for an ROTC program.
For Marius and Nate, like most military members, their family teams are a testament to how significant loved ones, friends, employers and a caring community are to resilient transition.
There is of course, one more place to mention if we are talking about change. Acculturation and knowledge acquisition go a long way towards resilient transformations in the “course” of transitions from military to civilian life.
That place is the school zone.
And, that arena of opportunity and change is explored next.
There is a time and purpose for all changes.
We’d like to thank Isaac Cubillos for helping us set up the site and for getting Helena up to speed on the basics of web wizardry. We’ve got more to learn before our behind the scenes is smooth but help on the info highway is always appreciated. In this case it comes from a service member who’s successfully reinvented himself a few times and whose skills and talents now both report on the military and support its members.