What’s our soldiers’ business in Iraq? Or more to the point, in America?

Latest posts by Rich Sloan (see all)

I’ve been tracking conversations in the StartupNation small business forums about people in the military and what their options are after service.

Now, I’m the last person to know what our soldiers’ business is fighting a war in Iraq – if you listen to our government, it’s a story of progress and purpose. If you listen to the media, it’s a story of confusion at the very best.

Since I’m not an insider on those matters, I’ll focus on the question I can contribute to – What business do our soldiers have in America, once they complete their military duty?

The Gulf War has been extremely demanding of our soldiers – not just at the level of risk of life and separation from family, but also in how it has derailed our soldiers’ opportunities as entrepreneurs. For example, National Guard members have had extended tours of duty that have pulled them away from their retail stores, mechanic shops, construction services, ecommerce sites, and other businesses they were running prior to heading for the Gulf.

We’ve interviewed such soldiers on our radio show who talk of their businesses being decimated by the extended time away from the cash register. When they finally do return, their clients have migrated to other providers and the soldier-preneurs have to completely rebuild their customer base.

Some very exciting initiatives are being considered to remedy this challenge and get our soldiers back on track for the business of America. For example, we’ve received postings in our forums from soldiers aboard ships (Navy? Marines?) self-organizing opportunity groups of 30 soldiers where they discuss financial and business-related strategy and explore entrepreneurial possibilities in preparation for the end of their tour.

We’ve also been blown away by the initiative of a StartupNation community member who’s organizing a career fair-type of event for returning military folks so they can learn about business opportunities available to them.

Join the discussion to add perspective and creativity to help our soldiers have opportunities when they return. Join Discussion Here.

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