How do we bridge the gap between service members and civilians? One way to do this is through the work Kathy Gallowitz is doing by helping teach civilians to be veteran champions. But this work actually goes beyond reaching civilians. Military members also need to be willing to connect with civilians too.
Beyond Thank You for Your Service
Kathy served in the Air Force for 29 years. She served on active duty, in the Reserves and National Guard. She also was a military spouse. The led to the challenge of continually moving throughout her career as she followed her now ex-husband’s military career. It was challenging.
She served six years on active duty. Quickly realizing with both her and her spouse serving it would be challenging to both serve on active duty. She decided to transfer to the Reserves which was great because it kept her connected, but still caused a lot of planning and coordination. She never deployed overseas but was assigned to backfill various roles and worked to ensure her family was taken care of while she continued to serve.
Always being new
But it was hard to rebuild a community with each new assignment. Not only was she working to support her family. She also needed to fit in her new assignment. Continually being the new person filling the role needed.
When her husband retired they were able to start a business and life in Ohio and she began to realize how different her life was from her neighbors. At forty a friend died in an accident and at the funeral, she realized she hadn’t been to a funeral for most of her adult life. She was disconnected from her community.
Bridge the gap
She took a role at the Ohio National Guard community outreach program. As she began to work with the community she realized there was a valuable tool not being used by the military. The civilian community. That is why she wrote her book and why she created Vanguard Veteran. The work she does to help connect the civilian community and the military is helping to bridge the gap between those communities.
Connect with Kathy
add program she talked about, in text
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