Vet Commander: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Awesome Jobs

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A mission of two Marines to continuing serving beyond the uniform. This is the personal story that led co-founder Blake Hogan to serve.

As Veterans we are servant leaders.  We serve out of a sense of duty to God and Country, but we move toward the sound of fire to protect our comrades. Veterans are an interesting breed.  We come from all walks of life and converge on a shared experience of pain in training and come out the other end a well-oiled machine.

We are city boys and farm girls. We are Ivy League and street smart. We are a band of warriors who seek to serve first and fight hard.  We are America’s finest and we are about to be America’s finest workforce.

I was inspired to serve, in part, because of the Greatest Generation.  My grandpa, Dennis A. Hedstrom, was a Motor Machinist First Mate in the United States Navy serving in the European theatre during World War II.

He modeled what it means to be a good man and a good neighbor.  Above all else, he showed me that I should stand tall and always the answer the call to serve our great Nation.

After being commissioned, I moved on to The Basic School to complete initial infantry training prior to receiving the coveted MOS or job, for all those civilians reading this.  As my luck would have it, I was injured in training and my career in the Marine Corps was quickly derailed.

Ever the entrepreneur, I sought to serve in the limited capacity I could.  While taking on challenges ranging from training officer to serving wounded warriors via Horseback riding therapy, I endeavored to serve in a meaningful way.

After a hip surgery, rehabilitation, and ultimately a medical board, I was deemed unfit to serve.  It was a heartbreaking verdict that left a Marine Officer without a platoon to serve and a gut wrenching feeling of a failed mission.

I was haunted by this notion that I had come so close and not crossed the line of departure to lead Marines in combat.  I moved on to a successful corporate career but could not escape this unfinished desire to serve.  It all came to a head while watching the evening news.  There I was watching my war go by knowing there was nothing I could do about it.  I wanted desperately to jump through the screen and serve but knew God had another plan for me.

Knowing that I could no longer grab a rifle and march toward the sound of fire I had to come up with something that would allow me to continue serving in a powerful way.  Vet Commander was born out of this desire.  I partnered with fellow Marine Davis Dolezal to serve Veterans by connecting them with America’s Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners.

Together we have developed a powerful tool that will provide a video interviewing and job matching website to Veterans.  VetCommander goes beyond a simple jobs site and creates a renewed sense of camaraderie through our VetWorking events.  These events bring Veterans, Veteran Advocates, and Employers together in a laid back environment opposite to that of your standard job fair.  After all, no one likes interviewing, so we introduced a little fun into the process.

VetCommander is our way to continue serving and we hope you will join our ranks and support our mission of connecting America’s proven talent with America’s best businesses.

Standby for fireworks as VetCommander will officially launch our website on the only appropriate date to do so, America’s Independence Day, July 4th, 2014.

Semper Fidelis America.

Note: Blake Hogan will be working with the Cochise Military Community Startup Weekend team in the future to host a Startup Weekend at Ft. Hood, Texas.

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