Veteran Voices Episode 8

Scott Luton and Kevin Horgan welcome Tyler Bowser to the Supply Chain Now Studio for the Veteran Voices podcast, Powered by VETLANTA and Supply Chain Now.

[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting Life Supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you live. Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. On this episode, we’re continuing our Veterans Voice podcast series where we focus on the veteran community news and science challenges, stories and resources, all powered by Vetlanta and Supply chain now. And you know, mostly we conduct this series because we’re passionate about serving our fellow veterans and our community is part of our give back. We hope you are. Audience enjoys it as much as we do. All right. So today we are joined by a fearless co-host here, Kevin Horgan. Vetlanta operations manager and repeat guests. Kevin, how you doing? Good. Great. Great to be here, Scott. Thank you. We are so glad that you’re here back. We had a great conversation last time. You here in studio with John Tene with Citi. Citibank. Right. And Lloyd joined this as well. Had a great conversation. Got it. Got a great sense of your background from your time in the Marines and kind of your your professional side since including some of your other projects, which has been really fascinating to dove into. And we’re glad to have you back here as a co-host, a fearless co-host on this side of the table. It’s a pleasure.


[00:01:37] Thank you. It really is. And what what really is special about this episode is we are bringing back a friend, the show, a personal friend, a Vetlanta friend, a fellow veteran, and someone that we think highly of here and proud what he has been doing to give back and what he’s been doing to lead. And with no further ado, let’s welcome in our special guest, Tyler Bowzer, director of external partnerships at Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia, which you also known as V0. You’ll hear us talk about V0 quite a bit here today, Tyler. Afternoon. Good afternoon. Thanks for having me, Scott. We’re oh, it’s a pleasure to have you in every day. Is that the me? Yes, you bet you are. You know, it’s so funny in entrepreneur ventures. You know, you always look at the early days. You’re like, man, that was going on. That was going on. I didn’t even know this yet. Well, you know, Tyler, you’re part of the first handful of episodes with Supply chain now. And it’s fascinating to see what all this changed. And for that matter, just how many more folks at VEO serving, which we’re in, talk more about that mission here in the couple of years since.


[00:02:43] Yeah. Scott, I’ll I’ll just say to just see your growth and what’s been going on here. So I think back over the past two years, just VEO has been able to see almost a thousand additional veterans come through one of our many programs. So pretty awesome.


[00:02:59] It is. And it’s awesome. It’s rewarding. It’s it’s a feel good story. Right. And what I’m most proud as we rename the series More Veterans Voice, because we want to get what we’re doing here and the ideas and the stories. We want to really shout this from the mountaintop coast-to-coast. There’s other cities, there’s other veteran leaders and servant leaders that will be able to take these ideas and these experiences, some of these thoughts and hopefully apply them in their home markets. And that’s that’s really what we’re all about here, helping more folks. So for starters, Kevin and I really you know, our audience really enjoys getting a sense of who were interviewing for first, you know, where they’re from, kind of getting a glimpse of who they are as a person. So for starters, you can tell us about where you grew up in and what trouble you’d like to get into as a kid.


[00:03:48] Sure. I was born into a Navy family. My father was a naval fighter pilot, flew a Severns off of the John F. Kennedy back in the day. Wow. And after he got out back in 1977, he got a job with Saudia Airlines. And fortunately, that job didn’t work out. So he came back to the United States and got a job with a little regional airline called PSA down in San Diego. And that’s where I grew up. Live there through 92. As a young kid, to have an influence over the Marine Corps base, Camp Pendleton was right up the road. My dad being a prior Navy, both of my grandfathers on both sides were in World War Two. One was in the Army Air Corps on my mom’s side. And then the my second grandfather was in the army and was actually downrange in Normandy. So I knew I had a legacy to fulfill by by enlisting somewhere in the military. And then in 1996, I had the opportunity. I was working for the United States Postal Service at one of their call centers and met a guy. That installed all the I.T. systems there and asked him, where did you get all this? Like where you eat your Technical background from it? Sure, you can’t go to a school right now and go to the University of Florida and and, you know, get a degree in network installation. So I’m just gonna the Air Force is what I did. So that’s what I heavily considered. My brother was already in. He was at C-141 loadmaster. So I made my way down to the MEPs station in friendly MEPs, the friendly MEPs station.


[00:05:32] I was lucky enough, took the ASVAB and I was lucky enough to score well enough to have him hand the book over to me to pick out anything. Wow. And I said, well, this sounds pretty cool. Like SATCOM hit me in SATCOM. I want to work in space. So that’s that’s what I signed up for. But growing up as a as a young kid, um, I read a book by Bill Gates in nineteen ninety one. I think it was called The Road Ahead. And I was always fascinated by technology and I remember as a young kid just seeing in nineteen eighty four is the first time I ever saw p._c. And then in nineteen eighty seven when I was in seventh grade it was when I started to learn how to code on a mat. I think it was an apple. Two C right. Just basic coding to make lights flash on a screen play organ trail at same time. Played Oregon trail certainly. So very, very fascinated by that. Fascinated by electronics. Home automation. Yeah. Home Avey. All of that kind of stuff. So that kind of tended to shape the way I wanted to develop my career. And I thought this would be a great way to do it. And I was just fortunate enough that God put me in the perfect path to learn some great skills. So I went to a pretty intensive nine months of of tech school at Keesler Air Force Base, got out and got Station Keesler in Mississippi, right.


[00:07:01] Biloxi, yeah. Bluck, Biloxi, Mississippi. That’s home of the hurricane hunters, the C-130’s with the big fuel tanks. So I got out and was stationed at probably the the best air force base in the world, Eglin Air Force Base down in the panhandle of Florida near Destin. Mm hmm. Yeah.


[00:07:20] So what was it that, you know, to be able to score and be able to let a lot of people come into the military and they don’t always get exactly what they want to do? Right. We’ve all served with folks like that, rubbed elbows with folks like that. Some. It may be us. Right. But to be able to go into exactly what you want to do, what caught your attention as a civilian scored high enough as on the ASVAB, which for some of our listeners may not know, armed services, vocational something battery. I would add to that attitude. So basically it’s like a military s._a._t kind of determines who who’s got skills and where. So that as the military is planning their manpower or their overall workforce needs, they can figure out who has the skills and slime and the certain certain slots and kind of plan their succession planning. So with you and the grades you got on the ASVAB, you were able to, as you put it, go into whatever you wanted to sort of build, pick what you want to do.


[00:08:14] That had to be pretty rewarding. It was it was incredible. I picked out the exact right career path for me and then really landed at a Goldilocks unit. I worked for the 7:28 Air Control Squadron. Go Demons. Demons are now decommissioned, but they were a tactical air control squadron. We could take air control, meaning multiple radar sites anywhere in the world and have them set up within seven days and actually control airspace for battle commanders back in the United States. And I had some great opportunities worked for Space Command out in Colorado at a leisurely little TDY for six months, working four days a week and then spending a lot of time up in the mountains, but working for space command and then was down range down in Kuwait during Operation Southern Watch after the Gulf War. The thirty third parallel, I believe it was that we were controlling the airspace below that. And um. And then got out in 2000.


[00:09:16] Awesome. Yeah. That’s all. Yeah. Really is I. You know, I met Tyler a few years ago through Vetlanta and and I don’t want to put I don’t want to sound maudlin or anything but and I know he’s going to disagree with me. But Tyler is really easy. He’s more than a survivor. He is really he’s a real hero in the water inspection. Everyone I know looks up to him and we all have a great respect for him. It’s boundless and it’s really an honor to be with you here. Thanks, Kim. Thank you so much. The. He brings so much credibility to Vetlanta because all Vetlanta does is network with people. Connect.


[00:09:56] So real quick. I think for folks listening and. Have all three. That may not know what Vetlanta is, just a proper context. A club.


[00:10:06] Yeah, it’s warmed with Lloyd John and David Whatand Maker, who is cocacola exact started probably seven or eight years ago and it began at a at a coffee house sitting at a table. They decided that they needed to do something else with the veterans space at the time. Employment was really the crucial crushing issue for a lot of people. We we I say we because I I signed into like a month and a half later a Lloyd and I worked together at u._p._s. He’s still working and I am thankfully retired. But we decided we had to fill some kind of a vacuum because there are so many silos with things between business, employment, education, housing, health care, and there’s very little concerted coordination. So the intent was to create a club. We we don’t have a tax status. We do not collect money. We have nothing to do with money. We are apolitical. And the idea is to create a transitioning location for veterans. And we really believe that Atlanta has so many advantages for transitioning veterans, whether it’s business or education. Just the culture and quality of life here has been enormous. You could tell with my voice, I’m not from Atlanta, I’m from the south, but the number of people that are from the northeast and from others in the country, we’re very happy down here, very proud to be part of a burgeoning community. So Vetlanta is goal. And we have a trademark, if you will, of of. We hold four summits a year.


[00:11:49] We call them summits. They’re really giant networking sessions. And they have had between three and seven hundred people come to them all veterans or friends of veterans that are looking to get in the veterans space either help people or their clients looking for someone to network with. And we have a two hour networking session. We have some breakout groups earlier in the day, usually involving legislation and business leaders. And then we culminate the summit, if you will, with a one to one and a half hour agenda that usually as keynote speaker, we’ve had we’ve had enormous success with that. We’ve had the the governor has spoken to us. We’ve had a Medal of Honor winner, David bilabial recently spoke to us. And those are the two really high points that we’ve had. Of course, we’ve had a few generals sprinkled in here or there. You know that. But they’ve all been wonderful and it’s been a great experience for so with with that. That’s how I was introduced to Tyler. Jeff Tyler brings Vetlanta certain credibility because we have nothing to offer except we have a we have almost 3000 people on our own, our email list that we don’t share with anybody. But what we do is when we have when Tyler has a need, whether it’s VEO or otherwise, we broadcast it through the Vetlanta voice, which is an email. Newsletter, if you will. And that’s how things get legs. That’s how we connect people. And then we do personal mentoring.


[00:13:13] They get the word out, Gail. They get word that? S exactly what other electronically or are ya? Person a person or it to your point, is it? Not only do the challenges need more awareness, but all the solutions and the resources and the servant leaders and the network that that that come to the surface to help folks fight through some of the jobs are out there.


[00:13:32] While the transitioning veteran is frequently alone. Now we it’s very it’s very popular now. And at the risk of being cynical, it’s very popular right now for someone to say that we’re veteran. And then five people dove at them and say, thank you for your service and let’s Greene.


[00:13:48] But there’s more to it than just thanking somebody for their service. You should thank policemen and firemen and EMT to anybody. Teachers of all people should be fact on a regular basis. But they’re the veteran. Especially a transitioning veteran who’s now isolated. And they’re out of their comfort zone. They’re out of a place where people told them where to be, what to say, what to do, what they eat when they. It’s a lot of that’s gone. Yep. Most veterans transition just fine. Things are always choppy for people, no matter who it is. But we’re we’re keenly interested at the transitioning veteran. What’s interesting about it is the three year veteran or the 30 year veteran, that different and disparate ways that they look at the transition a three year veteran is looking at. I can do anything. And they probably can. All right. The 30 year veteran says, I can do anything and they probably can’t because they’ve already set in their ways with what they’re doing. What Tyler has shown us, he’s shown us what what the real struggles are for people in the housing segment and the homeless segment, and that there is always going to be a need for addressing these folks. And I know, Tyler, when there’s is question, I know if it’s appropriate to do it now. But I mean, you know, there’s there’s homeless veterans is a political touchstone. Right. Everybody everybody talks about it and everyone suitably feels some level of anguish. And why is this necessary? Is it really a solution here or are we going to be resigned to the fact that there will always be homeless, there will always be poor. There will always be the indigent is what kind of solutions are available through you and through video?


[00:15:30] We know that there is a solution. We just have to build capacity. So we know that in the state of Georgia, specifically in the city of Atlanta, point in time, count went down last year. Now, I just want to put that out there, that the point in time count is not empirical data, meaning that it is not an absolute count as those folks that were able to be found that evening, whether they were being sheltered in a homeless shelter or they were actually found out on the street. So it takes efforts to go out and find those people if the effort is not put forth to find those homeless veterans where they’re at. But needless to say, the point in time, count did go down 16 percent. I think we’re right around three hundred and seventy homeless veterans in the city of Atlanta compared to four hundred and thirty nine the year prior to that.


[00:16:18] There will always be a need. There will always be a veteran that is going through crisis. What we need in the solution is simple. We need a very strong coalition of government and private entities that are working for forth to build capacity to immediately put a veteran that wants as a keyword, that wants to go into housing. There are many veterans that either their mental health or their substance abuse issues are so great and so grand that they have no desire to be housed. They they have no desire to be in a controlled setting.


[00:16:55] But it is our desire in the city of Atlanta to provide enough capacity to house those that want housing immediately that day.


[00:17:05] So let’s let’s go backwards. I think there is some really important context. I think both personally and professionally with what V.A. does. And the reason that we are talking I mean, big beyond the important issue that it is in terms of homeless veterans is because the great work we does, the CEO does. But you’ve got a pretty unique personal journey. And maybe let’s go backwards and then I’ll set the stage for what you’re deleting and what videos leading. And while this work is so critical, so you just walked us through a minute ago and as you got out of Keesler Air Force Base into Eglin Air Force Base, the dream base to be based at. And then you were deployed right down range. I think Kuwait was the last. And but it didn’t stop there. What what went on? Where did you go after Kuwait?


[00:17:56] Right. So I got out in 2000. Everybody that’s old enough to remember remembers that dot com 1.0 implosion. So had these great tech skills got out? I lost three jobs in one year. Got married.


[00:18:10] Went back to school, ended up getting a bachelor’s bachelor’s degree. And I found it extremely difficult to integrate back in. So I was one of those folks in that I can only serve for four years. Got out. Thought I could do great. Found it very hard to reintegrate back into society. I had a team in the Air Force that wanted me to be the best continuously. And then I get out and get into corporate America and people are stomping over me to get ahead. And so found it very difficult. And then had some huge personal crisises. The largest piece being that I have a daughter, Taylor, Kate and Taylor. Kate was born with a genetic disorder called spinal muscular atrophy. And unfortunately, it was only given 18 months to live.


[00:18:58] She lived to be sixteen and a half months old, and it led to extreme depression, exacerbated what I did not at the time acknowledge, but was my act of alcoholism and caused divorce. And so there’s all this pain and anguish that went on. And I had a buddy, my Air Force issued brother, Chris Hayes. He was downrange in Afghanistan working as a contractor. And he said, well, why don’t you come back, join the join the mission, Bowzer. So that’s what I did and went back and joined the mission not to grow bushy beard and wear civilian clothes every day. Still doing the same thing, though, working satcom terminal all throughout Afghanistan and spent three and a half years there, experienced everything that war has to offer and said, you know, after my 47, the fallen comrades ceremony, that was it.


[00:19:51] Uh, when I said when I saw seven Humvees going down, Jason W. Disney drive at Bagram Air Base. I said, that’s it. And I put in my two weeks and came home again. Found it. This time I found it extremely hard to integrate great back into normal society. I remember standing on a corner and watching an electric car go by with no sound. And I said that this is the strangest thing. I’d only been gone for three years, but this is the strangest thing for me to. And then people’s priorities were completely different. You know, I’ve been isolated for three years. My priorities were completely different than coming back here. And what is important in our society on a daily given basis in a moment is completely different than what I had been used to. So I got a great job in the oil and gas industry working as a service manager. Price of oil and gas went down in 2015. In most junior manager at the time, we lost a huge contract with Shell and I lost my job. So I was battling depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder and then raging alcoholism. And I did what any person with all of those things would do. I got out of my car and went on a magic, an amazing bender that lasted about five months.


[00:21:15] I landed here in Atlanta and ended up living in my car and I got a little part time job at a little coffee store. And I had one day on July 4th of 2016. A gentleman came into the coffee shop and said, Mr. Bowzer. I said, Yes, sir, we’re here to take the car. And I thought somebody had left a car out in the parking lot. I said, okay, we’ll go ahead and take it. I said, no, we’re here to impound your car. And I said, OK. And I knew at that point the gig was up. So he gave me two minutes to take anything I could. My my entire livelihood was in there. And I just put my hands up, grabbed a backpack, grab some clothes out of there, and then stayed the night at a friend’s house and made my way down to Fort McPherson the very next day, July 5th of 2016. And so I said the most humbling words I’ve ever said. My name is Tyler Bowzer. I’m an Air Force veteran. I’m homeless. And I have I have no place to go. All right. Mr. Bowzer, we’re going to take care of you. And then they proceeded to put me at a emergency shelter downtown, which is a gateway center, the old Atlanta City Jail. So if you get imagined sleeping in a jail cell, on a jail cell map, in a locked jail pod every night, as if this is not gonna help me move forward every day, I had a little bit of money in my pocket.


[00:22:40] I’d go up to the local store, grab some beers, go downtown, and I would sit in a park and just try and drowned out my my pain and misery. Well, the final spiritual awakening for me was sitting there and watching a family pushing a stroller down the sidewalk. And I made eye contact with the mom and she just veered right around me. And I said, that’s it. I can’t I can’t go any lower. So I threw the rest of those beers away and. God prepared a path for me the next day, went back to Fort McPherson. I said, I’ve got to have something different. And I said, OK, we’ll draw and put you over here at V0. Luckily, there was a bed available. I arrived at VEO in the afternoon, was given a bed with just one other guy in it in an apartment setting comfortable, clean, clean shower, clean bathroom and then sit. Services were wrapped around me. I had a licensed clinical social worker for mental health. I had a substance abuse recovery program that I could go to every night required to.


[00:23:43] And then I did two months of outpatient treatment at the V.A. So the V.A. you as we talked about, as we were introducing Tyler, the Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia. And before you make the assumptions, listener or otherwise, that is just one more federal agency or state agency. This is very different. And I think it’s really important for our audience. Understand that, right. So in a nutshell and we’ll circle back to it. But as folks start to process exactly all the great resources, the meaningful resources that helped you get back on that journey. What is the.


[00:24:21] So V0 is a true street to home program for homeless veterans here in Atlanta. We have one campus. It’s over on the west side. We are almost exclusively privately funded for our housing. Now, what that means is that VEO does not have to call the V.A. or abide by any V.A., state or local or federal guidelines on who we can and cannot help. And for how long we can help them the way that we help them.


[00:24:49] And in the main thrust. The main reason for that is, as I’ve understood it from our interactions. Right, is homeless or other disadvantaged veterans. They may not have all the documentation. Some folks may not even have their driver’s license. Right. And of course, if you don’t have all that information, it’s very difficult to to tap into the services that you’re entitled to. That’s right. And very purposefully, veo said, hey, we want to help everyone, including these folks that may not have the documentation. Is that right?


[00:25:20] That’s right. So number one is documentation probably about 20 to 30 percent of the veterans that come to our door do not have any any I.D. That’s no big deal. We have a process to take care of that, get a release of information form, send it over the V.A. The V.A. verifies that that individual. Yes. Didn’t serve, that, in fact, serve. The second thing, though, Scott, which is probably even more important, is that the V.A. specifically cannot help all veterans, and that’s by law.


[00:25:49] And so we’ve taken away that barrier. So any veteran that served less than two years and any veteran that got out with less than honorable discharge and a veteran that has any encumbrance in their background, almost any encumbrance.


[00:26:04] But most encumbrances in their background, we can help those veterans get back to self-sufficiency. Our founder, France Fortune, truly believes that every veteran deserves a second, any third and a fourth chance, whatever it takes to get that veteran back on their road to self-sufficiency. The EU is willing prepared to help that veteran get there.


[00:26:27] So now that we’ve kind of come back full circle back around that, your question, Kevin. The home, the homelessness issue that despite what you may hear is not solved, veterans or otherwise. And the point of the point in time. Cameback point in time, survey or count count that Tyler referenced.


[00:26:51] And then you’ve got yeah, well, if I can’t, Scott and I were actually on the point time count on the Unsheltered group and we were part of a group that was escorted by a Atlanta police officer. And we we spent the eat the night it was read from 10 to 3:00 in the morning. And I mean, Scott was gracious to do it. He and one of the things that I really respect about Scott is that his skin in the game is really by connection, all easy. He is a great veteran supporter. And he doesn’t just talk about it. He walks the walk, which is which is a, you know, Bravo Zulu.


[00:27:28] My friend is the Air Force veteran. Way. Yeah. You know, I got to admit, my knees were not going like Barney Fife on it. That was me.


[00:27:36] It was it was it was entertaining in some respects. Thank goodness for police officers as there female. But she took no crap from anybody. And I guess that’s one of that. That’s Segways into. One of the questions that I have for Tyler is we are not going to use general terms. Tyler, please correct me if I’m off, but the estimates are we here in popular news is that 70 percent of the homeless population, regardless of category is is has a mental issue, has a substance abuse issue. And many of these people or chronic, they almost can’t be helped.


[00:28:14] So the 30 percent. And again, this this sounds cold. It sounds callous, but I’m removed from it. The 30 percent, the people that we can really help because they’re transient in nature, they’re only going to be homeless for a short period of time. Right. Does VEO focus on the hundred percent or the 30 percent or is there a mixture?


[00:28:34] Yeah, we veo truly focuses in on the hundred percent and that’s we don’t give up. We want to make sure the veteran that has chronic homelessness has the mental health issue that they are able to get into the programs that the government has set up through. SS, VFP and HUD VASH, you can probably take too much time to explain both of those, but they’re government programs for permanent housing for veterans that that have challenges with housing.


[00:29:04] So.


[00:29:05] We try to make sure that we can affect every veteran’s life if they have the desire to change and get into housing. There are programs that we can help. A veteran that just, for instance, went through a divorce has some issues and we can click quickly, get them into SS IVF, which is supportive services for veterans and families.


[00:29:25] We can also help that veteran that’s been living on the streets for a couple of years helped them to get Social Security disability or their V.A. service connected pension so that they can have some income and qualify for HUD. Vash Hadash is basically Section 8 housing, but for veterans. So we have the opportunity and we have a plan to be able to get every veteran into permanent housing. However, we need to have more affordable housing in the greater Atlanta area. As we talk about that, everybody knows that it’s increasingly becoming explosively expensive to live in Atlanta. So if we have a veteran that comes to our campus and finds that $12 an hour job, that veteran even even through SS AVF is not going to be able to find an apartment that is close enough to get to that job in a timely manner using public public transportation. So as we grow in our program, our hope is to be able to expand by offering similar services to what we have on our campus for permanent supportive housing. That’s in the realm of five hundred to six hundred dollars a month for a veteran to be able to effectively start, start, get a job. Maybe it’s a lower wage job, but still be able to live inside the city where all the services are currently located.


[00:30:49] The the I guess one of the issues that I see use as on the outside looking in is that the V.A. not to bash them. Is that their very process driven? Why doesn’t everyone just go to VEO first? Why do they even bother with the V.A.?


[00:31:06] That’s a great that’s a great, great question. And actually, you do need to go to the VA V.A. first for 80 percent of the placements at VEO have to come from the V.A.. There is a coordinated point of entry there. So as you go as an individual goes down to the V.A., they’ll go to Fort McPherson, to the CRC report in as being homeless. There they do an actual coordinated point of entry with the city. So the city has in their database that the V.A. has this number of of individuals that are reporting it as being homeless. The interesting point about the point in time count and the true count of homeless veterans is any given day you’ll have 30 veterans going to Fort McPherson to report and saying that they’re homeless.


[00:31:56] So if that if that’s true, that’s one hundred and fifty individuals a week and that’s 750 individuals a year, right. At the bare minimum that are just making their way down there. But the point in time count says that there’s only three hundred and. Right. Right. So we know that the number is much greater and that the needs are always, always there.


[00:32:18] I’m sure it’s Birgit both. I remember that night. It was frighteningly cold. Yeah. And a lot of people have they have connections to friends and relatives that’ll take them in for a night. I think we were exposed more because these were the want of a better expression. These were the street people. We had someone who was, you know, railing about God and also attempting to shoot us with a drill, you know, just a screwdriver, an electric screwdriver, Daryl, by the way. That was not plugged into anything, whose head was broken off. So he was harmless enough. And the police officer, you know, dispatched him correctly. You know, it just talked him down, said, please put down your gun, you know, and that’s what he thought he had, put it down and walk away and nothing will happen. And he did just what he was told that. But that goes to some of the experiences we have when we see these people that we were in a very canned environment. And goodness knows, I’m not going to be walking around downtown Atlanta at 2 o’clock in the morning for any purposes.


[00:33:19] But if if someone approaches any one of us on the street, what would you suggest?


[00:33:26] So there’s a couple suggestions. Number one, from personal experience and from yeah, from my most personal experience, any time that I was given money when I was in the position where I was homeless, it was utilized for one thing, and that was to satiate my own addiction to alcohol. So I highly suggest not giving cash. Number two is to no critical. A couple of critical numbers to one one, which is the United Way. Call center if it is a veteran. They can be given resources by calling 2 1 1 and then ask them to go to the local.


[00:34:05] A hospital and they can be transported down to Fort McPherson, to the CRC, which is the coordinated point of entry for homelessness. But I can’t implore people enough not to give a homeless individual cash. If it leads to nothing other than being wasted on their addiction and and further hurting that individual. Yeah.


[00:34:33] So that was that evening was a no. I’ve been around a variety of charitable and community service initiatives and we’ve seen a variety of folks in need at various stages, including families, which is heartbreaking. What stood out to me that evening as we work that graveyard shift and nothing, we went out at 10 or leave whatever it was, it was 2:30, 3 o’clock, 4 we wrapped up is, you know, what gets lost in the shuffle and you kind of work. We’re speaking to folks that have mental illness. They get stuck in ruts and that they will stay right there. Right. Like all of us humans do. Right. We get in something that’s comfortable, even if it’s not a septal, even if folks like us want to make it now septal and help them as folks get stuck. Right. What they do day in and day out. This scenario with the gentleman there, whether it was it was mental illness or whether it was some sort of drug induced, I mean, it was clearly there are other similar issues. And even though we had someone from, I want to say the United Way, this is somebody from Social Services.


[00:35:38] Ryder. Yes. As a reference point. That’s right. But, you know, it’s no matter how many processes we have. I get my opinion, Noriaki processes. We have we eat. You can’t solve everything. And it’s certainly not on the spot unless they get into the system. And that’s really the beauty of V0. We all have we all have noble hearts. And I’d like to think that we’d want to take care of the lesser of our brethren who is struggling. But we also have to be cognizant of some issues that we can’t see. Right. We just can’t see. There was there was one fellow who said, I’ve been on the street for 10 years and he was perfectly lucid. And we asked him why. And he said, well, there’s a hit out on me from the Gambino family. Now, you know, we know that was non-sense, but he believed it. So he said, I can’t talk to him much anymore. And he had to go home and off he went into the night. He wouldn’t do a survey. We had another we took a survey with another homeless person who was very affable and outgoing. And, you know, he talked about some crazy stuff. One of the sad things that, you know, I struggle with, things that are too process driven was we had a 10 page verbal audit. We had to do with these people and they were asking questions. Do you speak any foreign languages? You know, I just. So we called it down to about five or six because we’re gonna lose our attention span in about five minutes.


[00:36:58] A person answered all the Quamby. We just pepper him with 20 minutes with the questions. And the hook was, we’re gonna give you $5. Fast food cart, McDonald’s cart. And he took it and threw it at us because I only want to talk to people anymore. And he just walked away. So even even challenging the best the best of intentions or difficult, I think what what video and what Tyler’s group does is they they they’re connected now that they’re you you have skin in the game. It’s easy for those of us. Scott Knight to do a one off, which is what the PBT count even though it’s outdoors. And it was educational for us. But that’s not we don’t have any skin in the game after that. You know, besides paying taxes and, you know, being decent people. Yeah. Tyler has skin in the game. What he does and that’s that’s the thing that’s that’s the heroic part of all of this. I. Another question I have. Is it really enough? Tyler being done before the vet becomes homeless? There’s there’s a crisis and there’s a catalyst. We know your story. We’ve seen your story. We understand that that happens, happens all the time to good people. You know, alcoholism is a disease. We understand that. But what is being done before that person gets into a crisis? And I think that isolation. How is that? How is it ameliorated or prevented or mitigated how it happened? What should be done?


[00:38:34] Well, I think there are resources that are out there, specifically through the V.A. crisis line is available for veterans that are that are experiencing a crisis. But to mitigate it. I don’t know if there is. We as veterans tend to be very self-reliant. That’s one of the challenges and probably maybe a question that you have. Why is it that veterans are twice as likely to become homeless as non-veterans? And I really think it it all evolves around our self-reliance. Well, a lot of it has to do with our are not ego, but are our pride that we’re prideful people. We we served our country. Why should we have to go ask or why would we want to go ask somebody for help at this point in our in our in the game? So I think that has a lot to do with it. But everything is so individual. We train as as we study things, we try and say, well, how can we create a program or what other service is going to need to be created to prevent X, Y and Z. But everything is so individualized and we don’t really deal with that. The types of homeless individuals that you were encountering, Kevin. They might be 20 percent, but we’re getting high functioning folks that have real mental health issues and substance abuse issues, but are still able to be treated for those and get back into workforce development and reestablish their life. So that’s what we really try and focus in on how we can affect after that has happened. And it’s all about building capacity again. We’ve got to build enough capacity even if we get to the point where we’re trying to affect change before someone becomes homeless. There’s still going to need to be capacity for somebody to go into something like basically like a halfway house or a landing spot so that they don’t become homeless. We want to prevent overnight homeless out on the streets. That’s really, truly the goal.


[00:40:48] If you can get. Can you give us some metrics on video here locally? I mean, how many beds do you have? How many people? How many? What’s your input? What’s your output? Do you measure success? Do you measure failure? Tell us about your metrics. Sure.


[00:41:02] Right now. So we have 48 transitional beds, which is true. Street to home somebody. We had a bit of bed available. Veteran comes to us. We immediately put them into that bed. That’s a 90 to 120 day program. So our real goal is to to get that veteran back into permanent housing within 90 to 120 days. Sometimes it takes longer for that veteran that has no I.D. is coming off the street. It could take up to six months just to get their I.D.. If you were fortunate enough to be born in California, it’s up to six months to get your birth certificate. Wow. So that’s 40 beds. And then we have something called supportive permanent housing, which is on our campus. This is for folks that have income. They pay a program fee. It’s similar to rent. It’s all inclusive, includes three meals a day. All the services that you’d get on our main campus. The substance abuse recovery program, access to our mental health program. And then that has kind of fostered an amazing community of veterans that really are family. A lot of veterans that come. They have no more families. So our community really is that across the street we begin begun to purchase some townhomes with the help of Home Depot, one of our partners. We currently have five townhomes getting ready to purchase four more. And those are for families that are going through the same type of challenge. But as a family unit and again, this is a transitional housing for families, but it’s based off of a year long program because this stabilization effort is much greater for a family because the dynamics are so much larger. And then we also have a huge need in Atlanta to increase the capacity for females, single females with no children. And so right now we have one townhouse and that is our females dorm. But we could bring that up to four townhouses and serve 20, and that still wouldn’t be enough.


[00:43:02] So I think, again, this is just my opinion. But the the all volunteer force has required and put great strains on recruiting, especially now, because I think we found and we’ve all experienced that most people that decide to join the military. It’s a generational thing. They don’t just wake up one day with no one in their family that’s ever served. We have literally the same families serving. Generation after generation. And what happens there? There’s I think the strain and the pressure to perform is huge. Incumbent upon that, especially with recruiting is now certain standards for recruiting. When I was in, which was 40 years ago and I was never downrange when I when I was in, you really basically couldn’t go in if you were married. All right. They said if you gonna get a wife and children will issue you. But now there are so many more families involved than I think. You know, what you bring up about the families. So what are some of the special issues with families? What does what is VEO do? What do they enhance? It’s better than the V.A., particularly families. And even with with women that have especially with amnesty, they have very particular issues that have to be addressed that are not easy to discuss in a public forum.


[00:44:27] Right. Well. Again, with the family that it is so diverse.


[00:44:33] Kevin, we’ve we’ve had everything from a traditional family that has been married for a couple years and they have the mother and father, traditional marriage, three three children fallen on hard times, just need a place to stabilize, get some training, get back into the workforce, get their their children into health care or child care, up to a mother that had two sets of triplets that after the second set of triplets was born, was the father. Abandon them. And now you have a mother living with six children in a car. So really diverse range. But I’ll talk about one case just recently. We have a family that had been had some income, but not enough income to maintain a household and had been going from hotel to hotel to hotel. So mother and father to kill two children, the amount of stress that is generated by taking your children and trying to provide what one little boy is 9 years old and hadn’t been in school for six months, the amount of stress that had been generated over this nomadic lifestyle of going and trying to get help from program to program the program. Finally, when they arrived at VEO, that was a day that they had just said, nope, we’re not going to stay together anymore. Luckily, luckily, we had some great intervention and some great services wrap around both the mother and the father to say, let’s do a cooling off period of 24 hours. They’ve come back and we’ve just circled them with all the services that we possibly can. So we just need to be able to give a family a place to start to have a mailing address, to be able to send their kids to school or to go to child care and be able to stabilize so we can render the services that they’re going to need.


[00:46:28] They’re going to need all the same things that are our men and women are going to need in our traditional programs. They’re going to need mental health services, services, substance abuse. And then they’re going to need additional they’re going to need family counseling and they’re going to need childcare and they’re going to need to be put in school and all the additional supplies and clothing that goes along with that. So it gets way more involved and way more intense financial. Yeah.


[00:46:55] So you touched on this before on your own story. How important is faith as part of what everyone’s journey could be or should be with with everything that your services do now?


[00:47:09] Well, I can only really. I can only really share my own. But I can tell you and Scott knows this and I have shared this with you before, Kevin. The only reason. Listen, the only reason that I have gotten to where I am today is through God’s grace in Jesus Christ. I’m I unabashedly say that because there is no statistician, there’s no person, no physical theorist that could ever come up with an equation of that.


[00:47:35] I worked hard enough or that I was on a lucky enough streak to get where I am today from where I was three and a half years ago. Faith at you at least faith in something has to be a piece of it. And I see people’s lives change on the campus, sharing about my faith of how I went through it.


[00:47:58] Real quickly, I’ll just share with you a young man.


[00:48:01] He’s a Maureen, served our country honorably in Vietnam. He’s an atheist. And he came to me to try to keep up. How do you stay happy? I’m just so mad at the world all the time. I shared with him my story. And so we happen to have a group of ladies in their 60s and 70s that come down on a consistent basis to bring food. And he was working in the kitchen that one day. And at the end of that night, he looked over at one of the ladies and he said, Ladies, I think you might have just changed my aptitude towards learning about God and what his plan is for me. And I thought that was amazing. But you have to have faith that something is going to happen, that there is a greater good that’s going to allow you to get to the next level in life. I certainly couldn’t do it through my own will because my own will led me to where I was. You know, that’s that’s where I met today.


[00:48:58] Yeah, I’m getting choked up listening to it. So I wanted to shift gears real quick where a lot of the listeners want to help. And it’s not just an issue of flopping. Open a checkbook, although money always counts. Can. Can an individual or even a small group of people in a business, can they help video or what can they do at work and they go to give up their time and talent, if not necessarily treasure Sheer.


[00:49:21] So there’s a couple different ways. Number one is we’ve got a great program called Server Hero. You come down. Bring a prepared meal. Right now we’re in the midst of building a brand new building. It’s going to have a commercial kitchen and a huge dining hall. We’re currently out in the Alaska tent, out on our basketball court and we have limited cooking capabilities. So we’ve engaged our community to come out and bring a meal and share a meal with our veterans that you can sign up on our Web site. That’s a feo hero. Dot org go to serve a hero. The second thing that you can do is come down, do a tour. Let me share the VEO experience with you.


[00:50:00] And then if you’re a business and you’re looking to make an impact, the first thing that we ask of our of our organizations that really want to get involved is do something simple to engage your eco’s up ecosystem to affect change on our campus. And they’re real simple things like doing an in-kind drive for it could be anything from toiletries to paper supplies to cleaning supplies, things that we don’t have to take donated dollars to go out and purchase. Last year, Scott and Kevin, we spent zero dollars on on any of that. We had enough folks in the community to bring those items down our campus that we didn’t have to go buy those things. The second thing is becoming an Vasseur UN ambassador for VEO. Come learn about the ego and then go out in your community. Talk to your faith based organizations, your civic groups, see how they can get involved if they are there, want to do that through in-kind drives or they want to come down and as a large group come down and do a service project on our campus. If you come down to our campus, your vision will be completely changed about what a homeless program looks like. More out about two and a half acres, meticulously ground groomed grounds, beautifully built out campus. A lot of our partners, specifically Home Depot, have grimdark our campus and built beautiful structures. And then finally, the third thing, and I wouldn’t be the director of external relationships without saying we do need those those dollars donated to V0.


[00:51:32] And we are happy to say that this year 90 percent of the dollars that came into V0 were private dollars, 10 percent came from the government side. We are effecting change through a beautiful compassionate conservative model utilizing private dollars to affect that challenge. Remember this, Kevin Scott? We we did not go and serve for the V.A. or for the city of Atlanta or for Fulton County. Right. We went to go serve for our community. We truly believe that this is a community challenge. It’s not a problem. It’s a challenge that can be overcome through the community coming together. And I just want to give a couple of shameless plugs. We have folks like Arthur Blank, like Dan Cathy that are stepping up alongside Kathleen and Gary Rawlings. These are huge, huge industry makers and shakers here in Atlanta. And we really want to prove that, hey, there’s enough philanthropic dollars to go ahead and check this off, the check more off the box and say we’ve eliminated that challenge in Atlanta through private dollars. And it’s happening. We are developing a brand new branding story that will be released at our gala, which will be on February 22nd down at the aquarium. And so we’ll be releasing our heroes story.


[00:53:00] And the heroes story is not just about the veteran being the hero, but the heroes that are serving them at V0 as all the employees. And then important more importantly is the heroes that are effecting change out in the community by supporting us, by volunteerism in kind drys and giving of their time, town and treasure.


[00:53:24] Mm hmm.


[00:53:25] Veo hero dot org. That’s right. You can find a variety of different things in different ways. We can support what the Veterans Empowerment Organization in Georgia is doing, Gayla. Coming up, the war 20 second been therefore great first class event, a great sense of camaraderie and kindred spirits at that event. And it is terrific hearing here. You mention and we’ve watched it, right. We not only have we been on site for various things, but just kind of watching the community kind of uncover what the mission is, uncover just how straightforward and practical it is and how you are moving the needle on that. I’m a big fan of process. But to your point, Kevin, a lot of times when you when you you it’s the best of intentions, right, to put all this process around. But sometimes pit folks get lost in the shuffle. And I love how straightforward it is in terms of the mission and how it’s moved the needle. So how else in health, how can folks reach out to you? Linked-In?


[00:54:27] Yeah. I’m on. Linked-In. Check me out. Tyler Bowzer at Linked-In. You can also check me out on Facebook. Tyler, DDOT. James DDOT Mobile. On the Facebook. Right. Or as my mom likes to say, the, uh, she’s she calls it my book or face space.


[00:54:45] You have to face it. All right. Well, you know, Avery, every conversation we have. It feels like it’s never long enough to tackle everything we’d like to tackle. But I like this, um, in the last 40 or 50 minutes we’ve spent here. Thank you so much. Not only can folks support, but there’s so much. There’s so much all I’ve done as the organization that folks can benchmark in other markets and hopefully, you know, hopefully will encourage those folks to reach out and connect and pick his brain to figure out how they can solve an old and new challenges. So I really appreciate everything you’re doing. So let’s shift gears. All right. We’ve been talking with Tyler Bowzer with V0, of course. And all the Sheer notes will include some very easy and helpful links there to get you plugged in with what he is doing. But, you know, we we wouldn’t be here without Vetlanta. And I would not have met Tyler, wouldn’t met Kevin. And, you know, we wouldn’t have all those opportunities have given back and really, you know, networking with our fellow veteran community and helping as we as best we can. So Kevin Vetlanta is not sitting on its deeds, is it?


[00:55:55] No. And I. Laura, I appreciate it. I’m sitting right now. I did. I do want to mention a couple of things, sir. I though the connectivity that you just talked about. And what would Vetlanta itself doesn’t bring? We’re the sum of a lot of parts. And I have learned so much today. And I’ve known Tyler for years and I’ve known you for years. And we’ve spent a lot of time, gab, and sometimes just telling jokes. And I think whatever you tell me, he said, that’s that’s where it’s funny. Well, you know, sometimes we’re just doing like like most vets, we just, you know, do, you know, punch in your arm. But the the really it’s the focus that I learned that Tyler has in this particular space, because I’ve I’ve dealt with a lot of people, tilers. He lives this every day. I just attend meetings. But Tyler’s focus and the advice and suggestions he gave us today. And I took notes. And I hope our listeners are at least taking mental notes on a couple of things. It’s just that’s what we need. We need that lead laser focus. And I can’t tell Tyler how much I do appreciate you and everything you’ve done with this. It’s all right. So let me let me let me do the shameless part now and just talk about some things we’ve got going on. Vetlanta. Again, we don’t we we just do Summitt’s. But I have a couple of events here and I’m going to talk the praises of a group, KPMG to international audit and transformational type team and they probably do audits for half the companies in Atlanta. Now they’re they’re there throughout the world.


[00:57:33] They are super supporters of Vetlanta and veteran space right now. Now, so here’s your user. You need pencils. This Thursday, they’re conducting a veteran New Year reception, if you will, which means beer, which meets Scott to be there. So it’s this Thursday, January 23rd from 6:30 28th. Thirty pm at the marieta Country Club. And we want you to bring your plus one. We already have we have 200 plus people signed up for it already. They would they would like to have 300 there. They would love to have 500 people there. I’ve never been in a Marriott, a country club. They would only let me unifiers carrying a cheese plate. So I might as well go and check this place out. So please, you’re invited. You can look at Vetlanta. Dot org is our Web site. There is a sign in for that. There they are. Not just for headcount purposes, it is free to anyone. So veterans or friends of veterans bring your plus one and we’ll see you Thursday night at the veteran New Year reception hosted by KPMG from six thirty eight thirty p.m. at the Marietta Country Club. So that’s number one. Number two, again at KPMG, rising to the occasion. And I have no affinity towards them. Besides, they just have great people there that support us. We’re doing a Vetlanta talks, which is kind of a TED talks, if you will, for veterans. They’re hosting and producing the next segment. It’s scheduled for the day before the gala, February 21st. We’re gonna have six veterans do six to seven minute talks. I’m one of them, actually. It’s kind of like a TED talk since hosted by KPMG will be livestreamed during the noon hour. So it doesn’t you know what? People can do it while eating a sandwich.


[00:59:26] They can listen to it and watch it. And that is we expect great things for that. We’re gonna do that two or three times a year going forward. And we also see there’s an opportunity for a national TED talks with veterans going forward. So I think there’s great opportunity there. Tyler’s going to be a guest going into the future and we’re going to try to con Scott into doing that also. And last, I wanted to mention our next summit, which is the first quarter 2020 summit. It is scheduled for March the 3rd. It’s a Tuesday evening. The host is FYE Serve at their corporate headquarters in Alpharetta. We have two great speakers going to be at it. Mike Abrams, who’s the founder of 4 BLOCK, we’ll be speaking and also Dr. Mike Haynie of Syracuse University, who will be speaking. The theme is entrepreneurship. And so it’s a it’s a fastball for you, Scott. It’s it’s it’s going to be one of those one of our events. We have to we’re going to cap it at three hundred. So it’s very important that people register as soon as we put the registration up. It’s only about 40, 44 days away from now. It’s not. It’s coming right around the corner. It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of January, I believe. So we are the five served corporate campus is gorgeous. It’s really interesting. We’re we’re gonna have we’re only gonna have about 23, 24 vendor tables there. So it’s going to be an intimate gathering. It’s cafe style seating instead of stadium seating, which we’ve done in the past. The speakers are all lined up. So we’re looking for people to attend that first quarter summit. So thank you.


[01:01:09] That’s it. Outstanding. Vetlanta. Or you can learn more about any of these these events. We probably won’t publish in time for the January 23rd event at KPMG. But I was there last year and it’s really neat to see. I appreciate how you position it. Any organization that steps up and deeds, not words to support, you know what Vetlanta is trying to do and support that that better community. They certainly deserve some visibility and an at a boy and a half. Right. OK, so is there an e-mail? I’m trying to think there is a like a help at Vetlanta. Or is there a kind of a generic catchall email, folks, if they have a question?


[01:01:51] Well, we’re on we’re on LinkedIn. We’re all over LinkedIn. So if you if you just searched Vetlanta on LinkedIn. Krista Krygier is our communications PR person and she works like a donkey.


[01:02:04] I’m telling you, she’s just trying to keep the word out there. But if you look on LinkedIn for Vetlanta, you’ll see the links to just about everything that we have. And some of it has our laser focus, you know, supporting people like VEO and Tyler. And some of it is just very general in nature. But we’re always looking for people to get involved in the same half dozen people have been doing all the admin work. It’s not because it’s not a heavy lift. It’s really a pleasure. So the a lot of the admin work we can always use some help with. In fact, I’m interviewing a couple of guys tomorrow. They’re going to help out with their membership drive and and help out with some general, shall we say, technological challenges that we have.


[01:02:49] We actually do call them problems. So we have all kinds of technological problems. So we need help with that. So anybody that’s listening, that’s interested in assisting or offering an hour or two a month, that’s it.


[01:03:00] Yeah. We’d be more than happy to bring your board.


[01:03:03] Vetlanta dot or v t l A in T-A, dawg. Good stuff. Well, want to thank. First, our featured guest here today, Tyler Bowzer, director of external partnerships at Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia VEO. Check them out at VEO Hero dot org. Tyler, appreciate it. Carven, time out. Great to see you once again. It’s been great. Thanks for having me back. But I got to have one more shameless plug for my kids. Natalie and Wesley get to last. I told them I dropped their name. We’re good. We’re good at this. We’ll sit him in a nice little note with a soundbite and maybe even have a video here. Great to have you back. Great to be here, man. Thank you so much. And Kevin Horgan, Vetlanta operations manager, longtime active servant of the veteran veteran community. Also Maureen and a long time ago. Well, you know what? What’s most important, what we’re doing now, right? Yes, absolutely. So great. See you again, Kevin. And again, to our audience, thanks for joining us here on this kind of repositions. So, you know, four, four, six, seven episodes, twenty nineteen. This was known as the Vetlanta Voice podcast.


[01:04:16] We’re repositioning because honestly, we didn’t want this content and these ideas and these these stories and these benchmarking opportunities to stay here in the echo chamber that can’t be Atlanta. We want to shout it from the mountaintops. So I reach more folks. So now this is the newly coined Veterans Voice podcast series that’s that’s powered by the great folks over Vetlanta. And of course, the Supply chain now team. So be sure. In the meantime, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. We’ll be building a landing page for all these episodes. And you can also find back the back episodes at Vetlanta dot org as well. One more reason to check out the Vetlanta web site. Finishing up a podcast, soundcloud. All the leading sites where podcasts can be. And be sure to subscribe so LLC thing on behalf of the entire team here, Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time. On the Veteran’s Voice podcast series powered by Vetlanta and Supply chain now.


[01:05:21] Thanks a lot.

Tyler Bowser is a United States Air Force Veteran and served honorably from 1996 to 2000. While in the Air Force, Tyler worked as a Satellite and Wideband communications journeyman. In his 4 year career in the Air Force he found an amazing sense of camaraderie with his fellow Airmen. He deployed to South West Asia in support of Operation Southern Watch. After leaving the Air Force he found it extremely difficult to acclimate to the civilian world. The team of leaders and managers that wanted to see him succeed inside of the Air Force was not present in corporate America.
In 2008, Tyler found an opportunity to re-join the mission he loved and began work as a DoD contractor in Afghanistan. He worked for 3 years at various bases and FOB’s downrange in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After returning from Afghanistan a series of life challenges led to self-destructive behavior. He was fueling his mental health illnesses with a steady supply of alcohol and found himself unemployed and living in his car. On July 5th 2016 his car was repossessed and he had nowhere to go. He made his way to Ft. McPherson and was placed in an emergency bed in a shelter downtown. He knew that that environment was not going to be conducive to his success and was able to be transferred to a Veterans focused facility, Veterans Empowerment Organization. Tyler made a decision that it was time to try a new way of life. On July 10th of 2016 he had his last drink and enrolled into an outpatient program for substance abuse at Ft. McPherson. He felt his life begin to change. He finally felt at peace while staying at VEO. He committed himself to the recovery program and continues to stay sober, celebrating 3 years of continuous sobriety in July of this year. In October of 2016 Tyler joined the development team as an apprentice. Using his experience in Business Development he developed relationships with local Fortune 500 companies and engaged them to financially support the VEO. Today Tyler is thriving as an Ambassador and Development Officer for the organization. He is now married and has 2 amazing stepchildren. He chose to stay and work with VEO as a means to give back to an organization that helped provide all of the tools to regain self-sufficiency.


Kevin Horgan served as a USMC infantry officer from 1979 to 1984. He transitioned to civilian life attending law school and loading trucks for UPS on the same day, two weeks after walking off MCRD San Diego. Kevin retired from UPS in 2017 after 33 years of service in operations, engineering, and corporate real estate. He currently works with VETLANTA and other veteran projects in the community. Kevin and his wife Maureen have four adult children and three grandchildren. Kevin is an avid reader and has published two Civil War novels, and he blogs regularly on (for transitioning Marines and servicemen and women) and (musings on the world at large).


Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now Radio. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about SCNR here:


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