On June 2nd I had the privilege to interview Colonel David Sutherland. COL Sutherland is the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with principle focus on Warrior and Family programs. In this capacity he also serves as the Director of the Warrior and Family Support Office.
He is co-author of the White Paper, Sea of Goodwill (pdf file), and he coordinates an initiative throughout communities to align the myriad of support organizations and agencies which include governmental, non-governmental, faith-based, community, business, and higher education in a collaborative effort. Some key points from the interview:
- The current generation is "wired to serve" and is phenomenal in the military. When they return home, they deserve a rich quality of life. That quality of life includes education, meaningful employment, access to healthcare information and options.
- These new veterans come home to their families, neighborhoods, communities, and it's these communities pulling together that will ensure the quality of life for our new veterans.
- With 1% of the population a veteran of Iraq and/or Afghanistan, the general public is unaware of the sacrifices. Bob Woodward calls this an "epidemic of disconnection" (he coined the phrase on the Oprah show).
- There is a gap between DoD and the VA, there is a gap between the military and communities. Yet, there is a tremendous "Sea of Goodwill" that is ready to be tapped and engaged. In many cases, they only need to be educated and oriented.
Click here to listen to the full interview with Colonel David Sutherland. You may listen to it through your computer or download it for free through iTunes here.
If you want to get COL Sutherland's team to your local community, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COL Sutherland, you have our heartful thanks for what you are doing for our service men and women, our veterans and our communities. You are a true example of Rangers Leading the Way!
PS: Our GallantFew Ranger Challenge continues. We have a goal of raising $111,111 by 11/11/11 and have raised $13,700 towards that goal. Please help us get there! You may donate online here or mail a check to GallantFew, Inc. 6505 E. Central #205, Wichita KS 67206.
PSS: If you are in South California, come join us June 11th for the Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays fundraiser, benefiting GallantFew and some other great organizations!
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