If you want to capture the vision of EBVF and why I need to bring "A Military Series - A Parent's Perspective", around the country as a not for profit business; this applies to what I see.
Last week, I had the privilege to be a part of and now, am a graduate of the Institute for Veterans and Families at Syracuse University. The Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans Families (EBV-F) had an online class the month before, a residency week at the Whitman School of Management, and sometimes we slept at the Sheraton next door. There were "25 Amazing Women and One Man"! What an inspiration they are! Every business idea was focused in one way or another to help our Veterans and the communities they serve from all over our country, one from Hawaii and another whose husband is now stationed in England. As I was presented with my plaque and had a challenge coin slapped into my hand, I hugged it, went to my seat and just wept. Thank you EBV-F; I am learning to do the business right and filling in the holes of what I do not know. Another part of my journey is beginning.
This is what I discovered within me: I am a "Social Entrepreneur", that means I have something to teach, to enlighten people about a cause. Definitely I am a "bootstrapper". Definitely, I am in need of funding and grants because there is no capital here! And, I say it with whimsy because inside I believe, it too will fall into place with a lot of work and effort. The decision to make this series a 501c3 not for profit organization is because I had met with resistance in planning certain events who wanted non profits only. By having that status I will be able, in most cases to sell my "Heroes Among Us Poster Project", which are posters of the paintings in the series selling for $30.00 each to help partially fund and move the series around the country. I will need to have sponsors and partners in helping "A Military Series - A Parent's Perspective", so I will be incorporating that into the business and website (that is still under construction-keep hitting the blog to read more on the series as I go). And thank you for all your support through the years. It has been a pleasure writing since I started way back in 2011!
As a Social Entrepreneur, it is my passion to teach what it is like for our Veterans and their families currently serving and those also who have returned home. There are Heroes Among Us and America, you need to know who your heroes are. I am teaching through my 20 paintings their experience from a parents perspective because, as a civilian, I want to pull you into understanding the warrior who is coming home. There are stories of courage, fear, sadness, joy, protectors, defenders of freedom, exhaustion, relentless commitment, and a sense of peace in the midst of chaos.
I didn't get into this for the accolades of a Portrait Artist or to be seen. It wasn't born out of weakness, while I bit off my fingernails during Forest's deployments. Not so much a way to make sense of this thing called War but as a way to express their experience so America can understand. There are Heroes Among Us. I bring them honor and a sense of connection to our country they have sacrificed so dearly for. Some are in harms way right now, some are on a base, and many are back here in our neighborhoods. Do you know them? They are beautiful men and women. Warriors, protectors who carry with them the fabric of all that makes this country so blessed. And I, will tell their stories, I promise.
So, after Mike's talk and what you experience through "A Military Series - A Parent's Perspective", connect with a Vet. You won't just shake his hand now, but you will understand their need to be connected and welcomed back into the country they have so diligently protected and served. Hire them, you couldn't ask for better skill sets. Ask how you can make their life better? That is an open ended question and you never know the incredible answers that may come your way. Open your hearts and respond as best you can!
Next Month I will be at the 4th tank Battalion' event. I will have more details as the 1st Sgt will be giving soon. I cannot wait to tell their stories once again. More to come