Reflections on Serving Military Spouses
My name is Kelly, and I am a military spouse. When I married my husband six years ago, a United States Airmen, I never realized how much that would affect my career and my ability to find meaningful employment. As a career-focused individual, I have always put a high level of importance on my career. After our first PCS to Arizona from Pennsylvania, I struggled to find a job and ended up taking a job in something I didn’t enjoy doing and unrelated to my degree. When it was time to move to another duty station (this time to North Carolina), I made a promise to myself to not accept a job that I wouldn’t love. I remained unemployed for 6+ months, and it was the hardest time of my life. During this time of unemployment, I experienced depression and became extremely frustrated with the job search process. I must have applied to over 200 jobs with few to no callbacks. Here I was with an MBA, professional experience, and various volunteer experiences, but I couldn’t find a job or even get an interview.
During this period, I stumbled upon Hire Heroes USA and signed up for their services. I was assigned a Transition Specialist named Marshall McCloud, who taught me how to effectively job search. He helped me with my resume, interview skills, and how to network and brand myself on LinkedIn. Hire Heroes USA’s mission is to empower U.S. military members, veterans, and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. This mission matters because many Veterans and Military Spouses, like myself, don’t know how to effectively job search. Hire Heroes USA was not just a nonprofit organization for me: this organization saved my life. My Transition Specialist was in my corner following up with me during my time of unemployment. My husband likes to refer to my Transition Specialist and Hire Heroes USA as “a light during a dark time in our lives.” Hire Heroes gave me the motivation to keep going. I used my TS’s advice and eventually networked myself into Hire Heroes USA as a Transition Specialist. I now serve as the Manager of the Serving Spouses Program, a program designed to help Military Spouses address their unique needs and find employment. Since starting with Hire Heroes USA 3+ years ago, I have helped 886 Military Spouses and Veterans find meaningful employment.
I will never forget the things Marshall did for me and today he remains one of my best friends. I truly believe eventually you will always end up where you are supposed to be in life. There are a number of ways you can get involved in Hire Heroes USA’s mission, including volunteering and donating. It is because of people’s generosity that we are able to accomplish our mission and provide the mentorship and support that all veterans and spouses need and deserve. When you give to Hire Heroes, you are directly contributing to the economic stability that enables veterans and military spouses to build a future. I know my story is not unique as many Military Spouses and Veterans are struggling to find jobs. In fact, the #1 request of transitioning military members is employment assistance. When you give to Hire Heroes USA, you are answering the call.
If you’re a Military Spouse looking for support in your job search, register for the Serving Spouses Program here.