Honoring Those Who Served

Guest post by Kris Falvo, Regional Director, Dallas

Veteran’s day has always been meaningful to me. Perhaps it stems from me, as a little girl, watching my father stand at attention whenever the national anthem played.  No matter the place or the situation, the beginning of the Super Bowl or at the start of my son’s Little League baseball game, my father, a Korean War veteran, would stand at attention.  The special day of remembrance grew when I would see my husband’s old Air Force uniform as it hung in the closet. A Vietnam veteran, he was still proud to keep it with his other clothes, not putting it away like a distant memory. These events reminded me to give pause - to reflect on those who serve our country. More recently, Veterans Day allows me to honor my own son who served in the Marine’s Infantry during the Iraq war and was deployed three different times. As a mother of a Marine, Veteran’s Day is even more important. It reminds me that our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, wives and husbands are still engaged to secure our freedom.

This is why my joining NPower was so important to me. It was an opportunity to serve those who served all of us. NPower’s mission is to harness the power of the tech community to help nonprofits, schools and underserved individuals build tech skills. In Dallas, providing veterans with IT and career development training not only serves as a much needed antidote to the national shortage of STEM skills, but also provides support for the veterans who are leaving the military and returning to the civilian world.

Kris Falvo and son Phil Falvo, USMC

TSC Dallas Veterans Inaugural Graduate Class

This solution hits home with me. I witnessed my own son, coming home after four years in the military. He served his country for four years, learning to communicate and work in a military environment. After leaving the military, however, he was challenged to find training to live his life as a normal member of the civilian community. Of course, like many coming out of the military, he hit road blocks. However, he had his parents, who could provide him a place to live, pay for his education and work with him to find employment.  

He’s lucky. Many do not have the same support system. Even so, he still struggled to adapt to the difference between  military and civilian life.

I am passionate about NPower because it provides a holistic approach for veterans returning to civilian life. Our career development offers veterans like my son an opportunity to visit job sites, network with hiring managers, and learn how to communicate using "civilian language." NPower takes veterans  skill set  and enhances it to fit the employment needs of our IT partners. I'm proud to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to giving back to those who have given so much.

As I celebrate Veterans Day, I reflect on my father standing at attention and my husband’s and son’s service. To all of our nation's service men and women - for your dedication, service and sacrifice - I proudly salute you.