Client in the News: Empower Adventures Talks About Veteran Workforce Acclimation

Client in the News: Empower Adventures Talks About Veteran Workforce Acclimation

The Strain of War & Coming Home

JoTo PR Client, Empower Adventure’s Founder Joe DeRing, was featured in an article on HR.com called Workforce Acclimation for War Veterans: Here’s The Solution. This article can be provided upon request.


“Hellraiser six, this is Hellraiser two. We have multiple subjects with AKs moving toward our position. They don’t look happy. What should I do?”


Was an actual radio transmission that happened with Joe DeRing when he was stationed in Iraq in the late summer of 2003, just to paint a picture of what daily life was like for a war fighter in the heat of the War on Terror. 44% of post-911 war vets struggle to readjust to civilian life. It is this callousness and this compartmentalization that hinders warfighters from dealing with the emotional strain and pain of warfighting when they return home. Reversing the process of compartmentalization and softening the callouses is much harder and takes infinitely more time – especially when returning to the civilian workforce.


The unemployment problem is made worse by employers’ own biases: interviews of 69 companies found that some employers think veterans are too rigid to hire or have anger management problems. The biggest concern is often whether veterans can acclimate to company culture. But these concerns are simply stereotypes or hurdles that can be overcome.


DeRing offers ways for veterans to help their adjustment back into civilian life. identifying people they can look to for empathy on their situation, opening up to their VA doctor, getting back in touch with platoon mates and going out and adventuring are examples.


Empower Adventures operates canopy tours, zip lines, ropes courses, and leadership development and adventure activities at its central location in Tampa Bay, Florida, as well as in Connecticut and Virginia (in the Washington, D.C. area). At Leadership Sports in Connecticut alone, Empower Adventures has served over 75,000 guests since 2009. The company’s goal is to help guests overcome fears in order to gain confidence and empower themselves. Over the past three years, 10,000 guests have visited the Virginia Empower Adventures location, and only four did not continue on to the Tree Top Zip Tour.

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