REBOOT | Making a Difference
I live in San Diego, which most people know is called America’s “Finest City.” But what most people don’t know is that San Diego is home to over 95,000 active duty military personnel. And right now, nearly 5,000 of them are retiring every month.
Here’s the challenge for these new retirees: many of them have known no other adult life, or work, than the military. And when they get out, most are wholly unprepared for civilian life.
This is where Maurice Wilson, a retired Navy Chief, steps in. In 2009, inspired to help his fellow veterans in transition to civilian life, he co-founded The National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. in partnership with retired Rear Admiral Ronne Froman. Their goal: to help veterans reboot their lives.
“When you join the military,” says Wilson, “the very first thing they do is put you through a boot camp that’s at least 8 weeks long. But when you leave, you’ll be lucky to get a two-day class.” Wilson is convinced, as are many experts who study the issue, that without proper training, preparation and guidance, new retirees will quickly fall through the cracks, join the ranks of the long-term unemployed and are at much greater risk of becoming homeless.
So Wilson created The REBOOT Workshop, a three-week behavior-based training program designed to help veterans successfully reintegrate into civilian life. It’s an amazing experience – I’ve seen it first hand – that most participants say completely changed their lives for the better. Since its inception REBOOT has delivered over 70 classes in San Diego; and boasts a remarkable success rate with 95% of graduates going on to continued employment and higher education.
But even though it’s work has been formally applauded by The Pentagon and The White House, NVTSI is still a non-profit organization that relies heavily on private and corporate donations, sponsorship, and government grants to keep its doors open and REBOOT in service. This is where The Gregg Ward Group comes in. We are proud sponsors of NVTSI not only with our financial donations, but with our time in the classroom, helping veterans learn about diversity, inclusion and respect in what can sometimes be a very strange and bewildering civilian world.