Meet The Bearded Veteran
Man Turned Soldier.
From the time I enlisted in 2005, I have seen so many different kinds of people join the Army. One of the best feelings as a U.S. Army leader was being able to promote a Soldier and watching them reach milestones in their careers. A difficult, but quick lesson learned was no matter how many people joined the Army, there were some who just could not meet the standard. This used to confuse me and I asked so many questions. I told my old Platoon Sergeant how I felt and he explained, "We turn men into Soldiers. We cannot turn boys into men."
This sentence rings more and more true with me today. I have developed quite a passion to help other people, sometimes to a fault. Knowing young folks cannot learn the life skills and knowledge they need from the most powerful organization in the world, I realized my place in life is to help. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into when I enlisted and having little to no direction when I got out, I want to be part of helping young people find their place in life. Helping establish purpose with direction and guidance is something I did as an Army leader and it's what I want to do as an Army Veteran and business owner.
PHOTO: PFC RYAN SMELTZ (2007)
PHOTOGRAPHER: AIMEE LYN
What The Bearded Veteran's retail company focuses on is so much more than just running an internet based business. One step towards helping others has been creating a comprehensive and easily understood course for others to learn how to start their own business as well. We develop these courses with feedback from our network to provide the highest quality product which will yield the best results.
The number one way The Bearded Veteran gives back are the interviews with local hosts and influences. Ryan has traveled and spoken with people such as Dr. William Denning to dig deeper into what skills and values are important when it comes to personal growth and development. With many more interviews approaching, Ryan's primary focus this year is the employer's venture to hire Veterans and how to bridge the gap between those employers and Veterans.