Veteran’s Motto to Never Give up is a Relevant Message for Job Seekers

Veteran’s Motto to Never Give up is a Relevant Message for Job Seekers

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Job search is arduous. Apply @ssgtravismills motto to never give up & never quit. via @vetsbridgecom
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 9:00am


You’ve heard the stories of job seekers who continually send out resumes, only to get the standard rejection form letter, or worse, hear nothing at all. It can be frustrating. When I saw this story about United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, I thought, “Hmm - here’s a veteran with some insights every job seeker can learn from in their hunt.” The story appeared in the Dec. 6 issue of the Lansing State Journal. Definitely worth a read. Today, I thought I’d share a few highlights from SSG Mills to inspire veterans and other job seekers everywhere.

His motto: Never give up. Never quit. In 2012, during his third deployment, Mills was critically injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) during what he called "a bad day at work." Losing portions of both his arms and both legs, SSG Mills was saved by an on-site medic and rushed to further treatment. He is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive this type of injury.

Through months of intense physical therapy and healing, and unrequited support from his wife and daughter, Mills is now able to walk and drive with his prosthetics, helping him live as normal as possible. His family now inhabits a "smart house" in Maine – a house that operates off iPad commands, designed to help him with daily tasks. He looks forward to even more day-to-day progress in his future.

Mills' motto to never give up and never quit is a relevant and poignant message for those seeking work. The job search process can be arduous, exhausting and defeating at times. It's hard to deal with the rejection and frustration that can sometimes come with search day in and day out. Mills' motto may be even more important for our veterans.

Earlier this year, the United States Department of Labor reported the nationwide unemployment rate for veterans was 6.6 percent in 2013. But this number does not paint a clear picture of the local job market for Michigan veterans. The unemployment rate of veterans varied by state, reaching over 10 percent in Michigan.

Veterans returning to this challenging job market often need help updating their resumes, contacting employers and setting up interviews. Those with disabilities face additional challenges in adjusting to their new normal.

One organization, Peckham's Veteran Services, acts as an advocate for veterans, encouraging businesses to hire American veterans while they transition back into the civilian workforce. Peckham recognizes the unique skills veterans possess and matches them with jobs that are applicable to skills they developed while serving our country. This includes jobs such as IT services, supply chain management positions and manufacturing positions.

Peckham and similar organizations are working hard to keep veterans active in the workforce. Progress has certainly been made, with the 2013 veteran unemployment rate dropping from 2012. Veterans with a service-connected disability had an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, which is almost no different than the nationwide rate for veterans with no disability.

Mills discussed the reasons why veterans make great employees. With their ability to get anywhere before the sun rises and dedication to the people around them, Mills promised employers would not be disappointed by veteran employees. His attitude is something that all job seekers should consider. Very inspirational.

Mills has been able to accomplish more than he imagined since leaving treatment. Now that he's home, he spends most of his time raising his daughter and visiting other veterans who are facing medical challenges. He has also established the Travis Mills Foundation, which assists injured veterans and their children. His story has been made into a documentary that gives an in-depth look into his incredible journey. For more information on SSG Travis Mills and his story, visit

VetsBridge is another resource to help veteran job seekers find jobs. VetsBridge is a recruitment service devoted to helping veterans make those all-important career connections. The good news is that this service is always free for veterans. Simply set up a profile and when there’s a match, you’ll be notified. Like Mills, you’ll be in control of whether or not to pursue any opportunity.


Barbara Hernandez, APR
+1 (608) 235-1623
BCH OnPoint