How does the military educate their men and women who serve when it comes to managing finances? Are they fully prepared to transition back to civilian life? In talking with our staff both former and current, I think the level of preparation is in question.
First off, it’s important that our customers and potential customers understand who we are, what a Bottle Breacher is and why it is called a “Breacher.” We are asked quite often because most folks don’t know what a breacher is. Is it a whale? Is it someone who breaks an agreement or a contract? NO.
Definition of breaching: making a gap in and breaking through (a wall, barrier, or defense). Breachers are considered experts in close-quarters battle (CQB) and are qualified to utilize breaching charges, four-man stacks, door wedges and flashbangs in room clearing and MOUT scenarios. So…..a Bottle Breacher is the tool used to breach the barrier (bottle cap) between you and your cold beverage. Even more importantly, we consider what we want to accomplish in running this company and it isn’t just about opening and drinking beer. There are far more important barriers that can be breached.
Let’s pretend you have just graduated high school and you aren’t sure what you want to do. You want to serve a bigger purpose, or frankly you just want to get your sh-t together. Now let’s pretend you have an opportunity to join this organization that pays for your house, feeds you, gives you instruction on exactly what to do while you work there, and will even pay for your education after. SWEET! You think: They have my best interest in mind, they are going to take care of me, all I must do is listen to them, follow instructions, and do my best at following these instructions. But how long does this job last, are there any disadvantages, and what do I do if the job ends? Well, “I will worry about that later.”
Let me preface the rest of this by telling you that my wife and I are not veterans. We haven’t ran a mile in anyone’s shoes who have served. We are forever grateful to those who have both served and fought to keep our freedoms and our flag flying. We have also gained quite a bit of perspective during our ownership of Bottle Breacher, and this is due to the stories our staff and former staff have shared with us about their transition back from military to civilian life. Our goal is not to speak for others, but rather provide observations and make an impact.
What seems to be one of the most common themes we’ve observed? The lack of ability to survive financially when someone leaves high school, enrolls and is active, and is then discharged or decides to leave the military. Here are just a few experiences from our team or former team members that seem to be a trend, and I’ve excluded their names out of respect to their stories. 1. Soldier runs out of money after being discharged due to his injury and struggles to pay his bills. 2. Soldier has children, but cannot afford a vehicle, and does not have a place he can call home. 3. Soldier moves in with his mother, cannot keep his employment and stays living with his mother, as he cannot seem to build enough savings to move out on his own.
THIS IS A REAL THING. The feedback we’ve received from our veterans is they had felt relatively prepared for battle but were in no way prepared to come home and support themselves. Now this may not be the case for everyone transitioning, but it appears to be a systemic issue with the lack of knowledge or preparation in coming home and surviving financially in the civilian world. What is the solution? What can we do about it? Great question and I promise we can’t answer it with certainty. However, we would like to share more about our thoughts, and we would love feedback from our community and our country…. Please check out our continuation of this series for more….. Please share your thoughts and share with others.