Happy Veterans Day to everyone. November is now officially Veterans Month. Because of this declaration, today and till months end, we will be meeting a Military Veteran, Businessperson/Entrepreneur to learn more about their service and how we can help in assisting our veteran community.
Fred Roger is the Executive Director of Veterans Trust, a Marine Corps Veteran, Active Businessman, and Entrepreneur. Fred joined the Marines out of high school like many young men and women after witnessing 9/11. After two tours in Iraq, Fred returned home, put himself through school to achieve his MBA and entered a new chapter of his life in the Business world.
Fred shares; “My mission is about contributing where I can to the veteran community through my works at The Veterans Trust. Veterans Day to me is more a celebration of life to the veteran and military community. We have two Holidays being Memorial Day in which to celebrate and honor those who have lost their lives and Veterans Day to celebrate those who are living. Us veterans that are still here celebrate Veterans Day all year round. We treasure each day and consistently look to each other for hope, joy and a sense of community.”
“The most important thing for veterans is to continue the path of serving in one way or another. It’s about finding ways to create a bigger and positive impact on the military community. Sometimes there’s a need for a simple conversation to bounce ideas off. Sometimes it’s a need for medical, physical or psychological assistance.”
“I always say that when you meet one veteran, you meet one veteran. We’re all different, we all come in different shapes and sizes, however, the one thing we all have in common is wanting to be a contributive member of society, this way you’re leaving an impact in a more selfless manner. That to me is what Veterans Day is all about. Celebrating that service to one another, to country and our local community.”
How can we contribute to veterans? “Contribute where you feel you can make the most impact. It can be monetary, it can be some sort of service, it can be mentoring or coaching someone. There are really so many different ways to contribute on an individual level. Veterans are not necessarily looking for a hand out they are looking for a hand up. It could be a simple introduction or connection. You may not be able to assist a veteran in a particular area or industry, however, you may know someone in your network to connect or introduce that veteran to that can assist in a particular area. It is that that creates value and is the seed of making the impact of contribution.”
Tell us more about the Veterans Trust. “The Veterans Trust is positioned as a Strategic Grant Making Foundation. We provide money to Veteran service organizations and are contributors and supporters to the veteran’s cause. I have been involved for seven years now in a variety of ways. We have provided education by funding several universities to implement different best in class business models for young veterans across the country. Have funded some comprehensive care organizations to expand their existing model. Mission United is one that we assisted in expanding from one Broward County location to 40+ cities. We most importantly have a heavy emphasis on veteran entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and business ownership provide a great way for a veteran to continue his service to others while being a contributing member of society.”
“The Veterans Trust signature contribution is the racing experience. We have developed partnerships across the country with race car organizations with professional race car drivers. We put veterans in the passenger seat of these cars driven by professional race car drivers on some of the most legendary tracks in the country. We’ve been doing this for 5 years now. Since inception, we’ve been able to have about 3,000 veterans participate in this awesome experience. It’s fun and gratifying to give these veterans a chance to experience the thrill of being in one of these high-powered vehicles racing at full tilt.”
“You ask how you can contribute. Just take a look at where your passion lies and see if that intersects with where the passion or interest points of the veteran lie. Whether it be monetary, volunteering your time or just making the right connection. Every effort you make is greatly appreciated by us veterans.”
Happy Veterans Day.
~ Fred Roger