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Leadership, Integrity, Teamwork: Veterans Bring Big Value to Civilian Jobs

(BPT) - Veterans served and sacrificed during their military careers to protect our freedom and keep us safe. When it's time to transition to civilian work, their next mission is often to find a job just as fulfilling. Employers across the country can help by considering the immense value veterans bring to the workforce and creating hiring initiatives that position these hard-working people for success.

National Hire a Veteran Day is July 25, and serves as a good reminder of the many transferable skills that veterans bring to the civilian workforce, no matter the industry or vocation:

  • Leadership: Veterans go through specialized training in the military to develop their leadership skills. These skills are tested and grow over time. Hiring a veteran means hiring someone trained to lead, even under pressure.
  • Agility: Change is expected in the military, so veterans are flexible and resilient. Especially during challenging times, they are trained to step back, survey what's happening, and adjust quickly.
  • Collaboration: Teamwork is core to success in the military. Throughout their careers, service members work with a variety of people — of different ages and backgrounds — to accomplish a shared task. Veterans know the importance of achieving a collective mission.
  • Risk assessment: In the military, people are trained to take calculated risks. They need to look at different options and choose the best one to achieve success. The ability to assess risk, make a decision, and follow through is valuable in civilian careers.
  • Integrity and ethics: Acting in a moral manner, whether on the battlefield or on base, is a key part of being in the military. Veterans bring a high level of integrity to any job they do, holding themselves accountable to the highest ethical standard.

“Veterans were trained to adapt and overcome various challenges, and those distinctive qualities are not lost as they navigate their civilian career journey,” said Tom Kastner, vice president of financial wellness at Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). “We encourage employers to consider veterans for their open roles because their skills often translate well in the workplace and contribute to the success of organizations.”

Supporting veterans in the workplace

Hiring a veteran means you get a specially trained employee who brings valuable skills and more to the job. However, the transition from military to civilian life can still be difficult, especially for wounded veterans.

According to WWP’s Annual Warrior Survey, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was about 3% in August 2021, and the unemployment rate for the wounded, ill and injured warriors WWP serves was about 13% in that same timeframe.

WWP’s Warriors to Work® program helps veterans and employers navigate the transition to the civilian workforce and focuses on sustained employment for both parties. Veterans participating in the program learn the skills necessary to find meaningful employment through no-cost career counseling, resume writing assistance, networking opportunities, and more. The program also helps veterans for the duration of their new jobs.

For employers, Warriors to Work provides education and information about the transferrable skills veterans bring to the civilian workforce and advice to help increase retention. WWP’s Annual Warrior Survey, for example, found that warriors employed by companies offering a resource group or veteran mentorship program are more likely to be professionally fulfilled. This helps veterans transition and thrive in the workforce while providing the support needed to succeed long term.

An active advocate for veteran employment and these best practices is CSX, a transportation company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Nearly 1 in 5 CSX employees served in the U.S. military in some capacity, and many continue to hold Reserve or National Guard status.

“At CSX, our goal is to be the best-run railroad in North America, and we cannot do that without the best people. This is why we are committed to recruiting, supporting and retaining veteran employees,” said Brian Morgan, senior military talent advisor at CSX. “As a military-friendly employer, we understand the valued experience and technical skills that service members bring to the logistics and transportation sector, and we are eager to have them on the CSX team. CSX offers a wide range of benefits for our veteran employees, including a military business resource group that provides resources and mentors to help with the transition to civilian life.”

Veterans served proudly, and many are now ready to take the next step by finding a civilian career. The unique skills that veterans bring into the workplace illustrate not only why they are great employees, but also how they can grow your business. Today serves as a good reminder for the entire year that expanded recruitment efforts and strong veteran employee programs can help businesses thrive in today’s ever-changing workplace.


Using Your Mouth as an Indicator of Whole-Body Health

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(Family Features) Poor oral health is common among American adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 65 million Americans have periodontitis, the most advanced form of periodontal disease. According to Harvard Medical School, people with periodontal disease have been found to be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and dementia.

Incorporating measures to help protect you from serious health conditions becomes increasingly important as you age. However, many people overlook a key contributor to whole body health: the mouth. The health of your mouth is directly related to important aspects of your overall health.

Bad breath, cavities, bleeding gums and gum disease are all signs your mouth is not as healthy as it should be. Fighting the bad bacteria in your mouth that causes these health issues and more isn’t difficult, but it does require ongoing effort.

Brush and floss. Keeping up on the basics is essential. Brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day helps keep plaque in check and loosens debris that can promote harmful bacteria growth, causing bad breath and leading to cavities and gum concerns.

When brushing, aim for at least 30 seconds per quadrant and use circular motions with moderate (not aggressive) pressure. When flossing, maneuver the floss down to your gums then scrape the edges of each tooth with repeated upward and downward motions.

Restore good bacteria. Crowding out bad, disease-causing bacteria your toothbrush and floss can’t reach can help restore your mouth’s natural balance.

“Oral-care probiotics are designed specifically to balance the bacteria in the mouth, similar to how traditional probiotics work in the gut,” said Sam Low, D.D.S., M.S., M.Ed. and professor emeritus at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. “Oral-care probiotics can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to maintain good dental hygiene.”

For example, ProBiora’s line of oral-care probiotics contains strains of good bacteria naturally found in the mouth that, when dissolved in the mouth, allow the probiotic bacteria to migrate to the nooks and crannies of your teeth and gums where they compete with pathogens, or bad bacteria. Adding the once-a-day lozenge to your oral-care routine can help support healthier gums and teeth, along with fresher breath and whiter teeth.

Schedule regular cleanings. Like many health conditions, the earlier you catch a problem with your oral health, the better your prognosis. Catching and correcting small cavities is far less invasive than large cavities and other oral health problems like gum disease, which can be treated more effectively when they’re caught in the early stages. Aim for a dental visit at least every six months, or more often if you’re experiencing pain or other concerning symptoms.

Learn more about protecting your overall health by managing your oral health at


Photo courtesy of Getty Images



5 Tips for Creating an Ethical Will

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(Family Features) When you’re organizing your end-of-life affairs, preparing a will is likely high on your list of priorities. What you may not realize is that there are different kinds of wills.

A last will and testament is probably what you think of first; it’s a legal directive about how your assets should be handled upon your death. An ethical will, on the other hand, isn’t a legal document at all. It’s a way for you to convey thoughts, life lessons learned, the intentions behind your will and wishes for your loved ones.

If you think you’d like to prepare an ethical will, here are some tips from, an online resource from the experts at the National Funeral Directors Association, to guide you in the process:

Decide on your format. An ethical will can be written, but it can also be delivered via audio or video. There’s not a right or wrong approach; it depends on how you’re most comfortable communicating. One consideration is your comfort level with audio or video editing. Unless you’re confident you can say what you want, the way you want in one pass, you’ll need some basic editing skills to ensure your message is conveyed exactly as you wish.

Determine your purpose. Ethical wills can serve many different purposes. You may use it to convey your love and appreciation to your loved ones or to mend fences you weren’t able to while alive. Your ethical will can also be a way to share your values, what you’ve learned in life and your dreams for those you hold dear. It may even be your chance to share the secret ingredient in a beloved family recipe.

Gather your thoughts. Drafting an ethical will can be an emotional process, so organizing what you’d like to say ahead of time can help keep you focused. Make notes about the points you’d like to share, adding details or embellishments as you wish. However, take care to avoid saying anything in your ethical will that contradicts your legal will.

Start writing. Even if you ultimately plan to record your ethical will, writing out what you plan to say can be a good idea. Remember this isn’t a formal dissertation or award-winning novel, so convey your thoughts freely. Clarity is important, but don’t be afraid to let your personality, humor and other characteristics shine through.

Edit yourself. Preparing an ethical will is no small undertaking, and chances are, over time, you’ll want to change or add to your original draft. Take your time and revisit your draft as often as you need to capture everything you want to say.

Find more resources to support you and your family in your end-of-life planning at


Photo courtesy of Getty Images