My name is Chris Haney and I would not be where I am today without all the obstacles, struggles, mistakes, pains and “missed” opportunities that challenge me to be more. My success at home and in business is because I persist in the face of opposition and learn from experience. But I didn’t really understand the meaning of “celebrating the process” until I applied myself with an eye to helping others.
I served my country in the US Air Force in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The Esprit de Corps is a foundational part of who I am. Like many, I joined the Military for the opportunity that a small town with a fading industrial economy couldn’t offer to those that were not college bound. The economy wasn’t great and for marginal students the choices were few. The military solved questions about food and shelter while providing a clear-cut path for starting life.
For me, the effect was earth shatteringly profound. I can still recall the impossible demands made during training that would result in forced marches and all the techniques used to break a group or people down and bring them back up as a unit. It was unreal. The feeling of accomplishment and commitment turned incredibly young people into highly sophisticated weapons. This feeling is what fills the library of books containing the stories of American heroes accomplishing unbelievable tasks, over and over.
My military service included a year in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. Being a Veteran creates bonds and trust among strangers that is hard to recreate outside of the totally unique military environment.
It is arguably one of the most powerful feelings you can have. Don’t believe me? Watch 2 Marine Veterans meet for the first time. They are family. So much so that you will start hearing them speak a different language, a sort of shorthand that fuels their bond.
Then it’s over. So, the Marine, Soldier, Seaman, or Airman complete their duty. For whatever myriad reasons people leave this unique world and then what? College, equipped with some maturity and the GI Bill? Return to the small towns and depressed economies they were trying to escape? That’s the start of a downward spiral of darkness because they have no way to relieve the stresses of their experiences. The worst end is the loss of the cohesion that one feels in being part of a group that shares a commonality.
This disconnect leads to nothing but negative outcomes and THIS connection is a large part of why I dedicate time to the Sacramento VERG. I know from real life experiences that when a Veteran is engaged and feels understood and respected in a mission nothing can stop them from succeeding. These are the qualities Employers are looking for. Employment and inclusion are the key to making the voyage after military service.
I’m proud to live in a culture that values our Veterans. Small Businesses and Corporations are making a real difference with their desire to support Veterans by hiring them. I am part of a growing group of dedicated and committed people representing companies that know the value of being a part of something larger than themselves. The Sacramento VERG Is connecting these individuals and organizations to learn the best way to attract, retain, and serve the Veterans who work for them.
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