As we celebrate our freedom this Independence Day, I think back to my time in the Army. You know the phrase “prepare for impact”? As a military veteran, this is a string of words I’ve become accustomed to, and since stepping back into the civilian world, I’ve seen it transform into a greater meaning.
My Southwest Journey
After two deployments to Iraq and eight years of military service, I came out of the Army uneasy about my impending transition. I’d heard about Southwest Airlines, and was intrigued by the love everyone talked about this airline having. I knew I needed a job and thought I’d give this Company a shot. Once hired, it didn’t take long for me to find the famous loving spirit, but the best part about this job was that I could directly transfer my skills from the Army to the workforce.
Yvette with her Platoon at a Mission Continues event. Another element I love about working at Southwest is the emphasis on making a difference in our communities and partnering with causes that matter most to each of us. Specifically through the Tickets for Time program, Employees can show their love for many organizations. After working a couple of years in our Inflight Operations Department, I read about one of the many organizations Southwest partners with—The Mission Continues. The Mission Continues is a nonprofit that empowers veterans to continue their service and create a visible impact in communities. The mission of this organization piqued my interest as a way I could make an impact. Inspired, I loaded my kids up and we headed to their Dallas branch, or as they call it, Platoon, to help with a service event. From then on, I was hooked!
It’s important for me to use service to teach my kids how to be thankful and selfless. After more than a year of volunteering and expressing further interest in my involvement, I was asked to step up as the Platoon leader of Arlington, Texas. In this position, I plan three types of events every quarter: social, support, and service. Each event is an opportunity to connect with my community, fellow veterans, and impact someone’s life in a meaningful way.
I’m grateful to also make an impact as one of Southwest’s Military Ambassadors. Through this internal program, Employees at Southwest who are veterans are charged with helping attract, hire, onboard, and train veterans who serve or have served our country. It is a true honor, and I look forward to the service I get to engage in as an ambassador. This program enables veterans to transition from a militant culture into the Southwest Family. It also equips our Leaders with resources so they can provide their Employees with the best support.
Understanding My Impact
I never realized the connection of impact until I was back in civilian life and serving in new ways. You can break it down into:
I - having an Influence
M - being Motivated
P - always Participating
A - striving for Achievement
C - creating Community
T - being a Team
When I approach my work with The Mission Continues and Southwest’s Military Ambassador Program with IMPACT, I feel that I have a powerful voice for veterans and those involved in the military. We will continue to keep marching forward, proudly supporting all those who serve!
Points for a purpose: Interested in donating your Rapid Reward Points to a worthy cause? Don’t forget, the Mission Continues is a Points for a purpose partner.