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Serving Those Who Serve Us All

[Editors Note: Contributing writer John Krohn serves as the Communications Director for Energy in Depth – Marcellus,  EID Ohio’s sister organization based in the Pennsylvania/New York region. EID-Ohio would like to thank John for sharing his experience and insight on a day all Americans celebrate the lives and contributions of the men and women who have served in our nation’s military. From all of us at EID-Ohio, thank you John. Oorah!]

Serving Those Who Serve Us All

As a United States Marine Corps veteran who has served in a foreign war this time of year is always a unique time for me.  It is a time that triggers deep inflection on lessons learned, memories gained and experiences forged in a moment of service to our nation and its people. Our generation is arguably the first since WWII to be challenged in a prolonged and engaged multi-theatre conflict that required a rapid and full scale utilization of our country’s armed forces.  Now as that operation ramps down those who served find themselves returning home.  Upon this return they will reunite with their families and loved ones, reconcile conflicting emotions and transition back to civilian life, all while wondering where their next paycheck will come from if they have separated from military service. Make no mistake, this is a burden that would debilitate many and assistance of any kind strongly helps an individual navigate this complex process of overwhelming emotions.

However, the problem lies in that there are few organizations that truly understand this experience, and in that understanding, provide assistance in whatever ways they can to help these warriors upon their return home.  Today, Chesapeake Energy was recognized for their understanding, and assistance, in helping our veterans return to normal life when they were honored as one of the top 20 employers of veterans in the country along with being recognized as one of the nation’s top recruiters of junior military officer veterans as well.   In an interview Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon said very succinctly why he values these special individuals who are driven to serve.

We are very pleased to be recognized for our efforts to recruit and hire America’s veterans. Maturity, discipline, teamwork and work ethic are essential characteristics that many veterans share with our national work force. We hope that being able to help veterans find new and exciting careers in America’s energy industry provides at least some recognition for their service to our country. Said McClendon

Of course Chesapeake’s commitment to veterans doesn’t end with a paycheck and a good place to work.  Chesapeake also wants to make sure that the larger world understands and appreciates the skills that veterans provide in hopes that sharing this knowledge, and developing a common approach, will mean a job for every returning soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.  That is why they are a partner in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Veterans Employment Advisory Council which is part of the larger Hiring Our Heroes program, an initiative focused on enhancing collaboration between the public and private sectors to improve career opportunities for veterans.  The council has a few goals, they include:

  • hiring veterans and military spouses;
  • sharing best practices and adopting next practices for veteran and military spouse employment;
  • reporting measures such as job opportunities, interviews, and job placements;
  • providing mentors to help transitioning service members and military spouses; and with the support of the Chamber’s extensive grassroots network,
  • enlisting the commitment of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across America to do the same.

Of course Chesapeake is not alone, but they are a leader. Other organizations, especially in the Marcellus Shale, are also seeking out veterans for employment in their operations.  One powerful piece highlighting  a veteran working in the natural gas fields of Pennsylvania can be found here, though I warn you prepare to be moved.  This story is not unique, there are hundreds, if not thousands of similar tales throughout the Marcellus and other shale plays throughout the United States.

Upon traveling through Upstate New York recently I saw a sign that read “Drill a Gas Well Bring a Soldier Home”.  While the sentiment is not always that simple given the complexities of the world. It is nice to know that safely and responsibly developing this resource is not only helping to increase energy security  but is also welcoming our veterans with open arms as they return home.

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