JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Military family members and
service members transitioning or retiring from the armed forces
should not underestimate the power of volunteer experiences as they
seek paid employment in the civilian job market.
employers hold volunteer experience in high regard because it shows
the candidate has not only the experience in the skill set they are
looking for, but also the compassion and spirit to do it
voluntarily,” said Kelly Layne, Family Readiness Program trainer and
volunteer opportunities program manager for Marine Corps Family Team
Building and Headquarters and Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine
Corps Henderson Hall.
A letter signed Feb. 2, 2015 by
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and the
Joint Chiefs that all service members transitioning out of the
service will receive underscores the importance of volunteering as
part of the Call to Continued Service campaign.
Abby Fries, age 4, helps her father, Theran, clear remembrance wreaths from Arlington National Cemetery
on Jan. 22, 2015. Volunteer service can help build and enhance careers for service members transitioning out of the service, according to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's volunteer coordinators. (JBM-HH PAO photo by Jim Dresbach)
“We trust that you will accept this challenge and join
ranks with the business leaders, volunteers and public
servants in your communities,” the letter reads. “You have
made your mark in uniform and represent the strength of our
nation. We know you will do the same as veterans, setting
the example for the next generation of veterans to follow.”
The campaign includes a focus on continued service and a
coordinated outreach effort from across the nation's armed
Kathryn Feehan, volunteer coordinator for
Army Community Services on the Fort Myer portion of the
joint base, was personally able to transition the volunteer
experience she gained as an Army spouse into a completely
new career field.
“Through volunteer work, I was able
to gain new knowledge and experience and change the course
of my career,” she said. “I was able to transition from a
field I was unhappy in into something I enjoy doing every
She said volunteering is ideal for family and
transitioning service members who have been out of the
civilian work force for a while, looking for a career
change, or want to gain experience while giving back to the
“Many employers look at volunteer
experience just as they would paid employment,” Feehan said.
Feehan added that volunteering also allows you to
network with individuals you might not have met otherwise.
“We all know that networking is crucial when it comes to
the job search,” she said. “Volunteering allows you to work
side-by-side with individuals who are already in the types
of jobs and offices you want to work in. What better way to
network than letting them see you in action?”
Master Sgt. James Meyers, senior career counselor on the
joint base is an active volunteer on the installation who
can be found donating his time at many events.
think I get more back more than what I put in, especially
when [helping] a child,” he said.
information on available volunteer opportunities, contact
Layne at 703-693-1253 or via email at email@example.com.
Feehan can be reached at 703-696-3510 or via email at
By Julia LeDoux, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall
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