Another Average Joe wasn’t born overnight. While this page is still new, I thought for quite some time about what I would call my brand. Why create a website? What kind of content should I create? Why even try a blog? Why am I trying to do this? Why does it matter?
For me leaving active duty was bittersweet, as it is for most. I knew it was the best thing for not only myself and my growth, but also for my family and the life I wanted to have. As I looked back on all the things I've done: 2 deployments (For the Watch!), too many TDYs to count, doing the JOB, saving American lives, escorting Americans killed on their final journey home. From ringing in a new year upside down over the skies of Syria (because I was inverted) to downrange workouts with the bros in 115°+ heat, I've had some amazing and unique life experiences. Similar to many other veterans, I wouldn't have had this opportunity if I hadn't served. But at some point, we all leave the military and during this transition period a lot of focus is placed on the professional and career changes to make sure veterans find employment. Often however, an important aspect is missed. The existential crisis of what comes next is often pushed to the back burner. The fundamental questions that most, if not all, veterans ask themselves as they look for their next purpose often take a backseat to the more practical problems faced during transition. This is where Another Average Joe comes in.
My own journey of leaving active duty happened quickly. I came back from a deployment with 6 months until my separation and just thought everything would fall into place. Turns out, in the end, it really did work out however, what I didn’t realize was the amount of work required for things to “just work out”. After a few months off active duty I began to really look back and analyze my successes and failures. Then I began to wonder about all those who didn’t know what the process was like. What did I wish I’d known sooner? Where would they start? How would they know the resources available? What about adjusting in your personal life? An idea was born.
That’s where the name really comes in. Another Average Joe has two meanings. First, I wanted to show that I’m just an average guy working hard to make my goals come true. Second, I wanted to portray how once we leave the military there’s this sense of becoming just another person in the world, just Another Average Joe. You should be humble throughout the process of learning about the civilian workforce. There’s a lot you don’t know and it’s your job to learn. However, your service will always be a part of your story. Just because you’re leaving the military doesn’t mean you have to leave being around like-minded people. You’re just in a new community now, a community of veterans.
Throughout my journey I’ve found that those who are the most successful are those who either join new tribes in their post-military life or make them. I’m very thankful for all the veteran support organizations out there. In fact, there’s so many it can sometime be overwhelming. But what if instead of sifting through everything yourself there was one central location where you could find the organizations most useful to you? What if there was one place you could start your journey and find your tribe from there?
That’s my long-term goal. I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I never will. However, somewhere out there is the answer a veteran is looking for if only the connection can be made. This is at the heart of my why. If I can help even one veteran be more successful than they would have been, I’ve accomplished my goal. I’d love to help thousands of veterans if able. As this continues to grow into the next year, I’m looking to add even more resources and information for veterans from all backgrounds. I’m also going to keep sharing my perspective on my journey here and throughout my newsletter (Subscribe HERE).
Today is Thanksgiving and while it may be different this year the message is still the same. There’s a lot to be thankful for, especially if you’re home safe and celebrating the holidays. If you’ve taken the time to read this, I truly thank you. If you’ve enjoyed this or any of my other content, I'm thankful. The Another Average Joe idea is truly a labor of love and I couldn’t be more excited to see where it goes.
As always, be sure to like and share content you find useful and own your journey!
PS—More ideas are in the works, so stay tuned and if you know someone who’s interested in learning more have them start with my blog from the beginning HERE.