How to Start a Career Search

By Rose Tinker, AW2 Career and Education Coordinator

One of the most difficult things in beginning a career search is simply getting started. Many Soldiers feel a sense of loss over leaving the Army and the jobs they loved. Others express a lack of confidence in embracing a career search after being out of the workforce for so long. It’s natural to lose a little confidence when one spends months, and occasionally years in the recovery process. The good news is that it’s never too late to start and there are AW2 Career and Education Coordinators ready to assist you.

You can start the process today by doing the following:

  • Think about your interests and how they can be applied to the work force
  • Talk to your Family about what goals for a new career
  • Visit various job sites such as CPOL and USAJOBS to see what’s available and what matches your interests
  • Revisit the ACAP office and update your resume if you are near an Army Post (For resume tips, click here to visit the resume tips section of the new AW2 Web site)
  • Talk to you AW2 Advocate about what you are looking for in a new career
  • Ask your AW2 Advocate to refer you to an AW2 Career Coordinator for personalized assistance

Just remember, it’s never too late to start. You have the skills, experiences, and values employers’ desire. Let’s get started today. Contact AW2careerprogram@conus.army.mil or call 1-800-237-1336.

AW2 Weekly News Digest for 06/22-06/26

  • AW2 Soldier LTC Greg Gadson is featured on KGBM-TV (Honolulu) in a story about starting over and inspiring others.
  • AW2 Soldiers retired SSG Bradley K. Gruetzner and SGT Marco A. Robledo were featured in an Army News Service article about putting their uniforms back on and returning to Iraq with other amputee combat veterans as part of “Operation Proper Exit.”
  • AW2 Soldier SGT Alan Hill was featured by CNN in a story about service dogs.
  • AW2 Soldier David Luckett is featured in PRNewswire (HISPANIC PR WIRE) in an article about opening a restaurant under the Little Caesars Veterans Program.
  • AW2 Soldier SGT Ryan Major is featured in a Baltimore Sun article about receiving a specially adapted SUV.
  • AW2 Soldier CPL John McCart is featured in the Augusta Chronicle about a prosthetic hand giving him a new grip on life.
  • AW2 Soldiers retired SFC Matthew Nyman and SPC Dave Shebib are featured in a DefenseLINK article about climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska.
  • AW2 Soldier Scott Winkler, featured in The Signal, is a member of the organization Champions Made From Adversity and works with members of Fort Gordon’s Warrior Transition Battalion.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

Father’s Day Blog: Thank You

–By Samantha Torres–


Watching my Father leave to go to
war was an endless feeling. He
left when I was 6 and missed
my 7th birthday. He called me
minutes after I blew out my
Birthday Candles. He blew
me a kiss, said Happy Birthday
and said a simple good-bye.
When he came back, that feelin
vanished. I was happy. He didn’t
go to war just to be a soldier,
but to a be a hero. The words
that will come from my heart from now and forever is
Thank you.

Love

Samantha Torres, daughter of AW2 Soldier Hector Torres

AW2 Weekly News Digest 06/01-06/05

  • AW2 Soldiers Joseph Bowser and SFC Juanita Wilson, along with their AW2 Advocate Arlethia Royster, are featured in The Signal and Paraglide, in an article about the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2).
  • AW2 Soldier, SSG Nathaniel Brown, featured in the Leesville Daily Leader, was praised by BG James Yarbrough and honored by the Leesville Rotary Club in an article about the Warrior Transition Brigade.
  • AW2 Soldier SSG Shilo Harris and his daughter are featured in an article in a University of Texas Health Science Center ® publication (spring issue of Mission) about severe burns and the medical innovations.
  • AW2 Soldiers SFC Ireshekia Henry and Melissa Stockwell joined the co-hosts of “The View” on Memorial Day to discuss their experiences in the Army and after injury. Some of the photos shown of SFC Henry and her Family were taken by AW2.
  • AW2 Soldiers SFC Matthew Nyman and SPC David Shebib, featured in DefenseLINK, started a monumental challenge to climb North America’s highest peak in Alaska’s Denali National Park to the mountain’s base camp at an elevation of 6,850 feet.
  • AW2 Soldier Chang Wong, featured on the New America Media Web site, is standing on his own, new feet and currently a student at the California State University (Fullerton) majoring in business.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

Memories for Memorial Day

–By Emily Oehler, AW2 Stratcom–

Over the past two years, I have had a unique view into what it means to serve in uniform. While I always respected service men and women: their call to duty, their sacrifice – I didn’t really understand.

That began to change in May 2007 when I walked through the doors of the Army Human Resources Command and began supporting Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center’s (CMAOC) survivors program, Long Term Family Case Management… and then transitioned to AW2, the Army Wounded Warrior Program. These two unique programs provide long-term personal support to Families of the fallen and those severely wounded, injured and ill. Working with them showed me the heart of the Army.

Although I felt like a fish out of water around all the Soldiers, worrying about Army protocol, I was comfortable in CMAOC as my father and brother are both ministers. I grew up talking about loss, funeral arrangements, and memories of loved ones. I was impressed to see all the care and thought put into every aspect of CMAOC. Not that I didn’t think the Army was compassionate, I just didn’t know what to expect. I soon realized so much of my military “knowledge” was based on TV and movies—which I have come to learn take great liberties with interpretation.

While supporting Army Long Term Family Case Management, I heard the stories of the fallen Soldiers and met many of their loved ones. It always meant a lot to me when someone would share memories of their loved one. I always feel that a person stays alive through memories and storytelling. And by listening and talking to them, I was able to better appreciate being a Soldier or the wife, mother, or sister of one.

As this weekend is Memorial Day, these all memories sit heavy with me. Each one represents a life and a loss. Two weeks ago, I heard a new memory… a Vietnam vet with severe burns shared with AW2 staff a memory of his recent trip to visit troops in Iraq; here is a paraphrase of his memory:

While I was there, a medivac helicopter landed with several injured troops. One was a 19 year old Soldier with third degree burns on 100% of his body – so you know who I went to be with. I got to his side, held his hand and whispered the following to him… ‘This is not a hospital, it’s a sanctuary; this is not a gurney, it’s an alter; you are not a Soldier, you’re a sacrifice for freedom. On behalf of the country, thank you.’ He then took his last breath and died in my arms. I prayed next to him, kissed his forehead, and left.

This story brought me to tears—the beauty of compassion, the sadness of war, the pain that Soldier’s loved ones will face for a long time.

For me, this memory and others like them have helped me better understand the burden our Soldiers, their loved ones, and their children carry on behalf of this country. These stories weigh on my heart and continue to be hard to grasp because they are so far out of my reality as a civilian.

Memorial Day for me is now much more than a three day weekend, it’s about real memories of real people who have made a real sacrifice… and the loved ones left behind with bitter sweet memories.

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AW2 Soldiers, Veterans, and Families can submit a blog for AW2 by emailing WarriorCareCommunications [at] conus.army.mil.