It’s Veteran’s Day. It’s a day for parades, for speeches, and for thanking those who put their lives on the line to protect us and our way of life.
It’s also a day with a history of contradictions. What we celebrate as Veteran’s Day began in 1919 as Armistice Day. It marked the cease fire in 1918 on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month between Germany and the Allied nations that paved the way for the end of World War I, the “War to End All Wars”. But wars were not ended and on May 13, 1938, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of military personnel in our Nation’s history and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, Congress revised the law and renamed the holiday to what we know it as today, Veteran’s Day.
We have yet to truly see a war to end all wars. Americans still answer the call to serve and the men and women of our armed forces serve to both keep the peace and when necessary battle to restore it.
When their work is done, our veterans come home and face the challenge of answering a life changing question. “What’s next?”
During the years that they serve, members of our armed forces have the opportunity to develop and hone the very skills that we so often hear are in short supply: leadership, decision making, team work, technical expertise and people skills. Our veterans are bringing home skills and experience that we can help them to reapply through training and development into roles that help to develop and to deliver the life changing innovations that will benefit people today and for generations to come.
This Veteran’s Day, AZBio is pleased to announce its partnership with MVPvets. With a mission to assist with re-careering for the thousands of transitioning military veterans in order to help prepare them for meaningful employment in the life sciences, MVPvets brings veterans, mentors, and companies together in a live and virtual collaborative learning environment.
MVP itself is a collaboration supported by AdvaMed, Life Collaborative and medtech and biotech corporate sponsors. The program is offered free of charge to veterans of all ranks who have been honorably discharged from the military or are currently active military with plans to transition out of the service within the next 24 months. To kick of this partnership, AZBio will host an information session and free after hours event on Thursday, November 13, 2014 featuring a presentation by Mike Grice, COO of MVPvets. All members of our life science, healthcare and business community are welcome to attend. (To learn more visit http://www.azbio.org/events/mvp-vets-11-2014)
While we were at home building our careers, our veterans were serving to ensure we have the freedom to do so. This Veteran’s Day, let’s do more than wave flags and give speeches. Let’s commit to helping them find new opportunities and answers to the question “What’s next?”
Joan Koerber-Walker is President and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association. AZBio is committed to building a top-tier life science industry in Arizona. She also serves as Chairman of the State Medical Technology Alliance (SMTA) a consortium of state and regional trade associations representing their local medical technology companies. SMTA’s mission is to collectively support the medical technology industry on the local, state and national levels by fostering a collaborative environment through sharing of best practices, promoting the industry, and advocating for public policies that support innovation.