Employment & Vocational Services – Vignette

Christina’s Story

Christina was a National Guardsman who returned from her 2nd deployment three years ago, where she was a Sergeant overseeing Military Police activities in the Middle East. In her previous deployment, she held an administrative position managing supply requisitions for a large transportation unit. Christina completed her enlistment with the Army National Guard shortly after returning from her 2nd deployment. She then got married and became pregnant with her 1st child.

After a year at home with the baby, Christina was ready to return to the workforce, and started looking for a stable civilian job. Christina’s past civilian work was limited to part-time retail positions – changing jobs frequently to accommodate her schedule of military drills, training, and deployments. Now she was looking for a “career job,” something rewarding with room to grow but she did not know where to begin. She wrote a resume highlighting her background in retail work, and started applying online for supervisory and management positions in retail settings. She was not getting any interviews. She sought assistance at the local Employment Security office. She spoke with an employment rep and talked about her many jobs at several different store chains in the area.

When the employment rep asked the question, “Have you ever served in the military?” Christina told the rep about her service in the Guard and her two deployments. At that point, the rep referred her to the Veteran Representative at the Employment Security office. In her first meeting with the Vet Rep, they were able to tease out all the skills Christina developed through her military service, including security, leadership, supervising others, and supply acquisitions and management. They created a new resume, highlighting Christina’s leadership and administrative abilities.  Additionally, the Vet Rep connected Christina to employers who had a strong track record for hiring veterans.  She landed several interviews and ultimately accepted a supervisor position in the inventory department of a auto-supply chain – a position that tapped into her leadership, supply/acquisition, and transportation expertise.

Had the employment representative not inquired about military service, Christina likely would not have connected to the Vet Rep and might not have ever sought positions that highlighted her military experience.

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Select your profession to see how:

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” senior services professionals can:

  1. Help older veterans feel understood and respected for their military service
  2. Make effective referrals to Veteran-specific programs and resources
  3. Help military widows access survivor benefits
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” children’s services professionals can:

  1. Help a student thrive when a parent is deployed
  2. Support families facing deployment and reintegration
  3. Improve peer sensitivity to military children
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” employment and vocational services professionals can:

  1. Identify a warrior’s transferable skills
  2. Connect Veterans to military-friendly employers
  3. Help a returning Service Member access veteran job training programs
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” faith-based professionals can:

  1. Identify families in need of extra help during deployment
  2. Motivate communities to come together on behalf of those who serve
  3. Connect military families to the supports and services they need
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” healthcare and medical professionals can:

  1. Build critical rapport with a reluctant patient
  2. Understand the relationship between military experiences and medical symptoms
  3. Provide effective referrals and resources
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” higher education professionals can:

  1. Help a warrior acclimate to a civilian learning environment
  2. Improve peer sensitivity to veteran classmates
  3. Effectively accommodate service-connected disabilities
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” housing services professionals can:

  1. Identify families that qualify for Veteran-specific housing programs
  2. Address service-related barriers to stable housing
  3. Provide effective referrals and resources
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” law enforcement professionals can:

  1. Keep veterans and their families safe
  2. Build trust and rapport in difficult situations
  3. Partner with providers who help Veterans in crisis
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” legal services professionals can:

  1. Support justice-involved veterans
  2. Identify legal challenges related to military service
  3. Link to effective resources
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” mental health professionals can:

  1. Build critical rapport with a reluctant client
  2. Understand the impact of military stressors on mental health and substance use
  3. Help a family understand the emotional effects of deployment on the whole family
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” social services professionals can:

  1. Engage reluctant Veteran clients
  2. Meet a military family’s unique needs
  3. Coordinate services between veteran and civilian providers
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” women’s services professionals can:

  1. Partner with veteran service providers in crisis situations
  2. Identify deployment-related triggers and risk factors
  3. Identify individuals affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
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