Serving after service is a concept that we often discuss when it comes to our remarkable Tillman Scholar community. While we strive to support the veterans, active duty service members and military spouses as they embark on their continued service, we are thrilled to honor our own veterans on staff whose call to service, too, has not faltered.
As we gear up for Veterans’ Day, we had the opportunity to hear from these staff members on what it means to them to be a part of PTF as veterans. Check out their thoughts below:
As a retired Army Officer, twenty year Army “Brat”, and third generation member of the military, working in the Pat Tillman Foundation allows me to continue to live a values based life and serve my country, and the world, in my daily life. My personal definition of success has always been to be in a place in my life that I could help others achieve, working at PTF helps me attain that goal on a grand scale. I identify deeply with Pat’s desire to contribute to something greater than yourself and as my mother often said, “be a contributing member of society.” Working in the Foundation allows me to contribute to members of my “tribe” as a civilian. The Foundation and its network of Scholars and Scholars’ Families provide me the opportunity to help contribute in some of the smallest of ways to improve the the condition of things in the world for the most deserving citizens and their families. If anyone had asked me what my dream job would be after the military I, without hesitation, would say working with the Pat Tillman Foundation.
After facing a tough transition out of the Air Force after a medical retirement, my former Chief suggested I join him at PTF in 2015. I struggled to find my passion and had little idea on how I could apply my military experience to the civilian world, but PTF helped lead me to a job I love and am passionate about. It was through the encouragement of our Tillman Scholar community that I went back to school to eventually earn my EMBA from Notre Dame. Being surrounded by the Tillman Scholar community has been inspiring and motivating for me to continue my own lifelong learning journey as they continue theirs and make an impact in their communities. Our scholars are doing incredible work in the world and it brings me joy to find a way to continue serving the veteran community after my own service.
As a veteran, I was taught that service for others was the best and highest use of days and years of my life. After separating from the military in 2010, I’ve continued to look for ways to serve the country and our military community. It is with immense pride and a deep sense of obligation that I serve Tillman Scholars as part of the PTF team. It’s my hope that my effort on the PTF team will unlock impact for the veterans and military spouses we serve that ripples out across the country. If done well, we will have created a generation of leaders who lead through action with a commitment to civility, curiosity, and collaboration.
As an individual, you truly can only do so much. There’s a finite limit. As a veteran, the military emphasized the power of contributing self to the whole. As a veteran member of PTF, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be one small part of the near limitless positive impact our Tillman Scholars are having in this world.
Working for this organization as a vet has given me new perspective on our lives after service. All too often, we get tangled in the idea that our identity is some how tied to our service and being a veteran. This organization, the other veteran staff members and the scholars have given me the confidence and inspiration to be more than just my military service.