Hiring Our Heroes

I watch the today show religiously. Every morning from around 8am until 8:45/9:00 I spend my morning with Matt, Ann, Al and Natalie. They provide just the right amount of news, weather and of course, gossip. It is a great way to start my day and is many times, where I get ideas for blog posts. One of my life goals, along with riding on a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, is to be on the Today Show.

Back in June, and then again in September, when we (Robin Hood) were hosting the massive 60,000 person Black Eyed Peas concert in Central Park, we was getting a lot of press. I thought for sure that one morning I would turn on the tv and see my friends chatting about the concert and the incredible poverty-fighting work that Robin Hood supports. Sadly it never came.

But the past few weeks, I could feel something brewing…

For the past few weeks, Ann has been highlighting  “Hiring Our Heroes” a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.  By partnering with a network of 1600 state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes hopes to create a movement across America in hundreds of local communities where veterans and military families return every day.

This morning the show broadcasted aboard New York City’s USS Intrepid, which is hosting a Hiring Our Heroes job fair today. During the broadcast, Ann interviewed both Mayor Bloomberg and Dr. Jill Biden about their involvement in this mission. During the interview, Mayor Bloomberg gave Robin Hood a shout out for all the work we’ve done over the past year, specifically geared toward helping New York City veterans (at 2:45)

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It is pretty incredible to hear the Mayor of New York City mention your work on national television,  especially when you are part of the communications team! Of course, it just so happened to be on the ONE day when I actually didn’t watch the Today Show. Oh well – more fuel to make it happen again.

The Call to Serve

On this day of remembrance, for all of the Veterans who have given their time, and sometimes their lives, for our country I cannot help but feel a little disheartened.

Over the past 200+ years well over 1 million soldiers have paid the ultimate price so that we can continue to live our lives in the land of the free. The land of opportunity. The land where all men are created equal.

I am forced to ask, have we continued to honor these sacrifices? With so many people living in poverty, is this truly the land of opportunity? And where the zip code you are born into determines your destiny, are all men truly created equally? I am not sure that the soldiers who fought to protect our freedoms would think so.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our country and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But I am concerned about our future. With a country divided and no one willing to work together, how are we expected to move forward?

After 9/11, the country came together in way that I am not sure we will ever see again. American flags were hung outside every home and people across our nation came together to grieve, to mourn and to stand up for our freedoms. It is what we do when faced with adversity that truly defines us. After 9/11, I could not have been more proud to be an American.

And now, our country is faced with adversity again.  And instead of stepping up to the challenges that face our country together, we are crumbling apart.

As a nation, we have prospered because we’ve always had citizens willing to stand up and answer the call to serve in hours of need. Our national resolve has been expressed by the millions who have worn the military uniform. Today, the call to serve our nation is of a different kind.  Today the call to serve is extended to all citizens, not just those in uniform. The call to serve our own citizens who are struggling. The call to come together and find real solutions to the problems that we face. The call to compromise and give more of ourselves than we have before. We must remember, we are not the 99%. We are not the 1%. We are the 100%.

I know that we have the ability to respond to this call. We did it after 9/11. We will do it again.

Thank you to the all the men and women who have served our country and fought to protect our freedoms. We, the American nation, will not let you down.