I am excited to share that I have completed the George W. Bush Institute Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program. When former President Bush was designing the Institute, he had to decide what he wanted to focus on in his post-presidency era. He wanted to make sure that he was serving the men and women he had sent to war. Rather than start another initiative in a very crowded VSO space, he thought it would be more powerful to identify organizations already doing great work and amplify their efforts. I was so honored to be chosen for this program and it is a true testament to all the work our staff and volunteers have done over the last six years. The five-month program required monthly trips to Dallas covered by The Institute.

I had very packed weeks of leadership curriculum and multiple inspirational discussions with accomplished guests. We were also required to work on a Personal Leadership Project addressing a need or problem in the veteran space. During the final module, we all presented our project and proposed our solution in a short formal presentation. My project asked the question of how America will handle the rapidly burgeoning number of aging veterans that need more care each day. Because of the amazing work of HB staff, volunteers and funders, if there is a suffering older veteran in our region, it is only because we haven’t met them yet. Sadly that is not the case across the country and I proposed establishing the first nationwide virtual Battle Buddy Call Center where older veterans could be paired with a Battle Buddy to help navigate the hard things in life.

I look forward to sharing the recording of my presentation when it is available and more about the Battle Buddy Call Center as the concept matures. In the meantime, please enjoy this update on all our activities including several events to gather with us in these last few months of 2022. Read the full newsletter.