By Debbie Gregory.
What began as a dream for Navy Veteran Justin Brown and Army Reservist Drew Benbow, has turned into dream jobs for many Vets in the Washington D.C. area. The two came up with idea for HillVets, a bipartisan social group that does not involve itself in effecting Veteran legislation or political stances, but instead, connects Veterans interested in working on the Hill with contacts, mentors, job leads and even résumé workshops.
Brown said of his organization, “We believe there are no shortage of entities that are focused on policy issues and being de facto veterans’ organizations in the traditional sense. While we are a Veterans organization, we are more focused on what we believe to be our niche, in that we are an active Veterans network in the DC area.”
The group’s soul aim is to utilize Veterans to help other Veterans succeed in gaining employment in and around The Capitol. The group of more than 40 active members and 20 mentors focuses on social networking. HillVets had over 80 people at their Memorial Day event, and the group even competes on a 20 person HillVets softball team. “We felt the majority of Veterans events involve a lot of tradition and decorum. While we believe this to be important, we also wanted to create a setting that would allow Veterans to simply be themselves, hang out with other vets and supporters, and have a great time,” Brown said.
The organization is also unique in that it has no elected officers or titles. A seven member board meets monthly to plan events, functions and workshops. “We don’t want the focus to be on elections, leadership and organizational models as much as getting active, being a part of something, and participating in the events that individuals organize,” Brown said.
For more information or an application to join HillVets, please click the link or visit http://hillvets.org/.