22 Jul

Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans: Stay In the Light


The mission statement of the United States Navy is, “A force for good.” These few words sum up a picture of thousands of protective ships, planes, men, and equipment that travel the earth’s oceans for the protection of what “we the people” believe is good for our society. Out of a need to bind together and preserve the values of their sacrifice and service, Vietnam veterans made their own mission statement: “Welcome home brother.” This statement was born out of a simple fact at the time: People did not say, “Welcome home” to Vietnam vets.

Presently, the statement “Thank you for your service” has come to represent all military services and veterans. It rings especially true for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in their transition home to civilian life. What is really important about the “thank you for your service” statement is it’s born out of the goodness of our civilians wanting to show in some way their thankfulness and support of the services of the returning veterans.

While this statement shows its worth in many ways, it is time to reignite the light of recognition for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and our present military service people. Now is the time for a new mission statement to restore and revitalize that flame of recognition. “We the people” do not want to lose a generation of veterans to nothing less than a lifelong recognition of their service.

New Vision

Out of the experiences from your Vietnam brothers, Korea brothers, WWII, WWI, and all the other conflicts that share in the eternal verification of their service, you, Iraq, Afghanistan and military service persons can unite under this new mission statement: “Stay in the Light.” During all conflicts they say the generation at that time is the best that has come from our country. We veterans say that the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and service people who are serving then and now are the most unselfish service generation to ever perform for their country.

Veterans and military, let’s go within our ranks and bind together and reemerge into a better, brighter, and immensely meaningful life-long campaign to preserve Staying in the Light. Staying in the Light is a short mission statement with a very deep, wide, and high purpose to keep military and veteran recognition alive and well. Civilians and all people with freedom in their hearts¬—we need you now more than ever in these uncertain times. Can we count on you?

Let’s say it together: “Veterans and Military: Stay in the Light.”

The VLP Team
Coach Chris

13 Jul

Rock Star Versus U.S. Military

Military rock stars

As soon as we see a rock star, movie star or athletic star appearing or walking in a mall—wow—we are so excited by their presence. We might even risk asking them for an autograph. How about when we see a military service person? Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard—a service person dressed in their branch uniform. Are you moved and excited by their presence? If the opportunity presented itself, would we respectfully ask the military person for their autograph? With the rock star we would remember the experience as a highlight in our life. We would share it with family and friends. As the Marine passes in uniform in an airport terminal, would we smile our best smile? Would we wink our best wink? Would we pass through to the service person an uplifting moment of recognition? Sure we would. Our recognition shows an enormous amount of support for the service person’s sacrifice and commitment. Both stars and military persons are entitled to the rewards they have earned through their determination and effort.

One More Thing About Rock Star Versus U.S. Military
When it comes down to the light switch moments, such as Americans staying strong, free and protected 24/7, there could be a line drawn in the sand. There are very real dangers present in the world arena today. Fear not civilian, the line in the sand is drawn. It’s the U.S. military and our free world allied military defending, protecting and securing the 24/7 for us. As in the movie a Few Good Men when one character asked, “Why are we doing this?” The answer is: “Because there is marine on the wall.”

Ask the rock star, movie star and athletic star their choice and they’ll likely all say the same thing: U.S. military.

Coach Chris the VLP team

22 May

Veterans Listening Post LLC

us coast guard

A veteran recently asked this question: “Things to know for going into business. What help can I get to start a business?”

VLP’s Answer:

To answer this Veterans question, how about looking at this from two different ways that might make sense—one from the head and one from the heart.

As a U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer, I am sure that you are very familiar with protocols, procedures and SOPs (“Stand Operating Procedures”). Starting and operating a business has the same type of structure. The difference is the vocabulary of words and categories. Words like “incorporation,” “local permits,” “filing fees,” “tax ID numbers” and “finance” fit into business start-up procedures.

For me, three words come to mind: Research, Listening, and Doing. Research is important to gather all the information available to you. Listening means there are good local resources to turn to. Your friends, family, and local business people are likely willing to give you an immense amount of good information.

Now here’s my answer from the heart: “Determination,” and “effort” are emotional words. They are also needed for a start-up business venture. I am sure that after six years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard, you know the meaning and the process of applying those words to your business venture. Which brings us to: Doing. That’s when the head and the heart work together to help you make decisions.

When you’ve got those three areas down, then you are ready.

VLP, Coach Chris

[email protected]

15 Apr

You Can Tell the Future By Listening

Veteran Support Pledge

A good poker player looks and responds to the tells of other players in a poker game to make the best decision to win. But looking is just one of the many forms of listening and by listening you can sometimes tell the future. Over the last ten years coaching veterans, the thing that generated the greatest positive effect for the veterans was the interactive listening from other people. Each time a person gave the veterans some time to tell their story, the veterans received a sort of reassuring sense of understanding for themselves to move on with their goals and civilian life aspirations.

You may think “Well I am too far removed from helping veterans or our military; I am not trained enough to understand.” Think of the times at a national event when the announcer says, “Let us pause for a few moments for x event that has national importance.” Similarly, if you pause for a moment and think about our military service and the services of our veterans, you will actually be doing your part. Simply by listening.

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