I’m excited to release this week’s episode, lucky number 13 (!), a conversation with Joey Utah. Joey’s a fellow Air Force veteran and spent his time as a security forces member at several locations including Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, home to the tried and true B-52 and the Air Force’s nuclear operations major command. Besides the nuclear ops “stink” that we share, Joey and I met through a mutual connection and now talk several times a week to compare notes on business, leadership, and what it means to develop as a person after hanging up the uniform for good.
Although we have both the nuclear Air Force and business ownership in common, Joey and I likely would never have connected had it not been for a mutual friend (and previous TLQ guest) Allie Butler. Before she sent a three-way direct message on LinkedIn, I was relegated to a tiny circle of military and veteran friends–great people all around, but a limited horizon beyond which I could see absolutely nothing about the future. Allie’s connection was gracious but more importantly, a key moment that opened my eyes to the value of reaching out and cultivating relationships with people ahead of you in life, with different experience than you, and even those who may be close-by to your mile marker on the journey. Each relationship is valuable in its own right; since connecting with other veterans through Allie and Joey, I’ve learned a ton more about the experience of leaving the military and finding yourself beyond the uniform than the TAP could ever teach me.
Speaking of TAP! After our conversation, Joey and I talked about his Military Roundtable, a weekly virtual event he hosted for a while for active duty and veterans looking for support and guidance on the transition process. We decided to partner together and build a new and improved version of the Roundtable! We’re in the midst of planning now, putting some more ‘meat on the bone’ so that the program is not only sustainable but better able to flex for different schedules, time zones, and levels of rank and experience attending. If you’re interested in attending, shoot me an email or DM and stay tuned to wherever you follow me for more info coming in the next month!
That’s all for this post; enjoy the episode and, as always, I’d love to know what you think. Send your feedback, questions, comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lead well.