Stephanie Credle, President of ACDN Member Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope and ACDN Board Member
May 21, 2016 is Armed Forces Day. Instituted on August 31, 1949, it is a day to reflect upon the selfless service provided by over 1.4 million active duty military service members (“Guardians of Freedom”) who serve in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Since 1989, it has been my pleasure to proudly serve military members and their families as an Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits (ACDN) member organization through Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope, Inc. (TLRH). TLRH is located in the Tidewater region, an area that is home to several armed forces bases. We generally wake up to the sound of supersonic jet engines.
The one word that can be used to describe military service members is “sacrifice." They sacrifice time with families. They sacrifice the comforts that so many of us enjoy. And sometimes…they make the ultimate sacrifice. This coming Memorial Day weekend, Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope volunteers will help lay wreaths on gravesites at our local Veteran’s Cemetery.
Like TLRH, Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits (ACDN) organizations are determined to support military communities by providing the education and resources they need to transition from military service to civilian life. Sometimes that transition can be stressful. It certainly was for Saundra, who retired after serving in the Navy for over 20 years. She was really concerned about leaving the military. She had sacrificed finishing college due to “numerous military deployments”. When it was time for her to trade in her Navy dress uniform, she hoped “resources would be available to help her find meaningful employment". Her primary military training was in the information technology (IT) field; however, Saundra was looking for a different civilian career in human resources. Her dream became a reality due to the support she received from ACDN via TLRH.
First Lady Michelle Obama encourages “all Americans to take action” and join forces to give “military families…the support they have earned.” The Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits and all of its member organizations are uniquely positioned to help in this effort. We can provide the wardrobe that supports the transformation from camouflage to professional clothing and the educational and career development opportunities that open the doors to employment for veterans and military spouses. This month and throughout the year, we lend our support to “Guardians of Freedom,” who on a daily basis, make the sacrifices for our liberty.
Contributed by Stephanie Credle, President of ACDN Member Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope (Newport News, VA & Roanoke Rapids, NC) and ACDN Board Member.