I just finished listening to a great podcast of Joe Klein on the Commonwealth Club. (I know I am probably old-fashioned to like both podcasts, Joe Klein, and the Commonwealth Club, but it’s the best I can do). Joe was talking about his new book, Charlie Mike. This book is about the difficulties faced by veterans who return to the US after their service in defense of the rest of us.
I have a special kind of guilt over this phenomenon, because I was the oldest of three kids, and I did not have this experience. My youngest brother attended West Point and led a tank platoon in the first Iraq war. My middle brother attended the Coast Guard Academy and served in the Gulf in the aftermath of that war. Fortunately, both of them have become successful participants in the civilian world that I was never called upon to leave.
What Joe writes about in his book, is the hollowness many vets feel when they come back, and they are no longer part of a community of people working together to do something important. He writes about groups of veterans who come together to embrace community service, and the healing impact of this kind of service. I have not read the book, so I can only tell you what he talked about in the podcast (which I highly recommend). In it, he talks about the parallels to older people who are no longer working, no longer have children to care for and are losing friends and spouses. He talks about the studies emerging that show that finding ways to become part of helping organizations is therapeutic for them as well. Indeed, he points out the maybe universal human drive to be part of a team of people, all doing their best to do something important; the drive to be part of a community.
This is the reason that Mazzetti recently transformed itself into a Benefit Corporation. This is the reason that Mazzetti is a 100% employee-owned company (our Employee Stock Ownership plan is our largest owner of shares and almost 40% of our employees also own shares directly). This is the reason that we created the Sextant Foundation, which we support and whose efforts we support with volunteer labor. This is the reason Mazzetti has partnered with, and support Grid Alternatives and Project Hope. This is the reason we volunteer our time to help ASHE and why we choose to focus on energies toward helping our clients to reduce their energy and water consumption. We have always been serious about becoming a community that makes the world a better place.
Now, I am not a returning veteran. We had not heard Joe Klein, or read his book, when we started these things. We just knew they were right.
Special thanks to our all our heroes, serving our communities, here and abroad. #VeteransDay