Episode 341 Kathy Gallowitz Veteran Champions and Military Ministry Transcript

This transcript is from episode 341 with guest Kathy Gallowitz.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. And today my guest is retired Lieutenant Colonel. Kathy Lowery Galowitz, and she’s an author and here to discuss, uh, cultivating civilian veteran champions. And we’ll get more into that in just a minute, but before we do, uh, Kathy, it’s really a pleasure to have you here.

Thank you for taking the time to join us.

Kathy Gallowitz: Well, thank you, Scott, for all your hard work. I said, what are you up to? Like 340 episodes over the last four years? Buddy, you got a mission. Thank you so much for including me in it.

Scott DeLuzio: That absolutely. And I’m glad to have you here. And, and, um, you know, without people like you who are willing to, uh, first off, [00:01:00] do the work that you’re doing to make me, uh, you know, want to have you on the show, uh, you know, that is super important as well, but also for taking the time out of your day to come on and share it with me in audience.

I, I appreciate that so

Kathy Gallowitz: I’m glad you have the technical know how and the drive to do this because, uh, you know, we all have to work in areas of our strength, right? So I’m grateful for you too, buddy.

Scott DeLuzio: And we need to, Push ourselves outside of that comfort zone sometimes too. tell people when I first started this show, I didn’t have a clue how to do anything podcasting related. And I said, I don’t care. I’m going to figure it out. And, and here I am four and a half years later and I’m still doing So obviously I figured something out.

Kathy Gallowitz: I love it. And you’re interviewing a lot of my friends. I think one of my friends referred you to me. So I’m so happy to be here. Thank you so

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and it’s the military community is such a small world when, when you look at it, um, there’s, you know, everybody knows somebody and then there’s that cross connection and, you know, now we know each other. And then, you know, there’s going to be some other people who know you, who know me, and then there’s just a ton of people, a ton [00:02:00] of connections.

And it’s, it’s really a great source of information because there’s so much inspiration out there. opportunities for providing people with hope who are sitting there, maybe listening, feeling like they’re, they’re all alone. They don’t have anything going for them and all that kind of stuff. But that’s, that couldn’t be further from the

Kathy Gallowitz: Well, well, your, your testimony and your choices is certainly a great example for, for all of us.

Scott DeLuzio: I appreciate that. Um, but I guess enough about that enough about me. Let’s, let’s talk about you. This is, I think what we’re here for. Um, maybe for the listeners who aren’t familiar with you, I gave you a little bit of information in the intro here, but could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Kathy Gallowitz: Sure. If I could, I’d just like to give a cliff note version of my life because it’s really telling about, you know, why I do what I do. So I grew up in a Navy family and active duty. uh, Navy family, went to a French speaking preschool and kindergarten in Paris, France. So French was, uh, an early language of mine.

Graduated from high school in [00:03:00] Keflavik, Iceland, moving in the middle of my junior year in college, then went to, um, junior, junior year in high school. Sorry about that. And then, uh, went on to college at the University of Maryland in Munich. Uh, before the age of 35, I lived in at least 20 different communities between my youth.

and then my joining the Air Force. Air Force nursing was my first choice career, even though my dad was in the Navy. Uh, I just, I had a great opportunity in the Air Force and dad was of course supportive. He didn’t care which service it was. And so I was on active duty for six years, have a total of 29 years of Air Force experience.

The lion’s share of my career was in the Ohio Air National Guard. So I went from Being a nurse to being a public affairs officer and the crowning achievement of my career was to build a statewide outreach program to educate and engage [00:04:00] civilians in support of troops and their families. Scott, this was really important after 9 11, because as you know, and our listening audience knows, that the reserve component was deploying like no time in our nation’s history, and when 80%, I was in the Guard, when 80 percent of our workforce was part time military, that meant that these These citizen soldiers, citizen warriors, had either a full time civilian job that paid their bills and where they got most of their support from, and or they were in college getting a college degree.

So the needs of our people drastically went up, and, you know, frankly, employers, uh, you know, were part of the national security team like they hadn’t been heretofore. So it was really important to keep civilians on our team, particularly employers, and so eventually we reached out from employers to lawyers and doctors and leaders of diverse [00:05:00] communities.

Educators, and clergy to help them understand the needs of military veterans and to engage in ways that improve quality of life, workforce, or community. And that’s what my book is all about, Beyond Thank You for Your Service, The Veteran Champion Handbook for Civilians. It’s available on Amazon and it showcases mostly Ohioans, about 20 different civilian veteran champions.

It’s chock full of practical strategies from no matter where you sit in society, whether you’re a neighbor or maybe you’re a Supreme Court justice, some small or big actions you can take to, uh, to really make the lives of military community, military connected people better in ways that also Makes the lives of civilians better as well.

So that’s a pretty good overview. [00:06:00] Well, last piece is you’ll like this part My first husband was Air Force. My second husband, Ed, was a career active duty soldier who has four combat tours. We lived in Ohio when we met and now we live in Arizona. Frankly, came here because the sunshine. Ed’s a 100 percent combat disabled, you know, veteran, service connected.

Lots of aches and pains and stuff, and the sunshine just really makes me feel better. I love the sunshine, not the heat like he does, but, but, I like the, uh, the, the mountains and the incredibly veteran friendly ecosystem of this state.

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It is incredibly veteran friendly out here in Arizona. The The thing though, I think that is important to point out is just the change in mindset, uh, amongst the civilian population from, uh, let’s say maybe Vietnam era through to what we’re seeing now, um, completely night and day. Um, the support for veterans back then was virtually non existent.

Um, the services that were available and non profits that were available were, were few and far between. And What we have available today is just so much better, but I really do think it’s, uh, because of people like you who have gone out and done the work to educate people about what it is that people are doing when they’re serving, they’re not, they’re not just going off into the woods and, [00:09:00] and going on a camping trip, you know, when they’re going out training, you know, uh, especially the National Guard and Reservists, uh, who have those full time jobs, like you were talking about.

Thank you. They’re not just going out on a, a camping trip with their buddies, uh, going fishing and hunting and, you know, all those types of things they’re, they’re going out and they’re actually training so that they can do their job, uh, when the time comes and, uh, myself, I was, I was also a National Guard soldier as well.

Um, we, we did that type of work too. And then we deployed to Afghanistan. We utilize the skills that we learned, uh, while we’re out there in Afghanistan without all of that training, uh, we would have been a lot. Worse situations. So having that support of the employers and the community to be able to, uh, all afford us the opportunity to not only have that full-time job, but also getting into, uh, you know, the, the training and, and everything else that we need to do in order to be prepared for, uh, these types of deployments and, um, You know, God forbid something happens at home, [00:10:00] you know, being able to, uh, be ready at a moment’s notice is, is super important.

And people like, like you, who kind of helped raise that awareness is, uh, you know, really, I think what helped to drive, uh, that awareness amongst the civilian population. Right.

Kathy Gallowitz: Well, thank you, and, and frankly, I think it’s exceptionally important That this work be done for a couple reasons. Um, number one, the cultural differences are great between serving in the military and civilian life.

Scott DeLuzio: right. Yeah.

Kathy Gallowitz: The cultural differences are great. And number two, Um, we don’t really have an agency or an organization whose goal it is, is to educate our citizens about those differences in culture and how maybe to, what they can do as simple as being a good listener, uh, upwards and to how to build an inclusive workforce [00:11:00] for your, for your veteran community, who, whose Deuzio, Drive On Podcast. To do that. And the answer is, I don’t know,

Scott DeLuzio: well, it’s, it’s one of these things where everybody’s pointing at somebody else and say, Oh, it’s, it’s HR’s job or it’s this person’s job. It’s

somebody’s job. Right.

Kathy Gallowitz: from a, from a macro level, right? Um, you know, the two biggest advocate organizations that we have are the Department of Defense and the VA. And my position is, the Department of Defense has their hands full dealing with national security.

And yes, they are doing some mighty good work, especially like with Skillbridge, to try to help veterans, you know, assimilate better and more, or joining forces. I mean, there are some really good programs that are government. Our national government is, is spearheading, um, but, um, you know, there, there’s just at the local level and, um, you know, on an ongoing basis, [00:12:00] uh, who, who really educate, anticipates, reinforces, supports, and, um, You know, really harnesses what our citizens bring to the table to help our, our military connected, primarily our service members, but also their families.

Um, and, and, and through my experience cultivating, creating civilian veteran champions from scratch. People who had no exposure to military service, people who have never served, and that’s where the biggest opportunity is, right? My experience is that it’s incredibly fulfilling for them

Scott DeLuzio: Mm

Kathy Gallowitz: to do meaningful, substantive things.

for people who do serve. Recently, someone said to me like this, well, it’s like they’re serving too. If, you know, because like, as you know, Scott, three out of 10 Americans are even eligible to serve in the military, right? So most of our citizenry is not. And so if they, if [00:13:00] they can do their part, uh, to help that service member excel in any arena of their life, service member or veteran, they feel good.

They, it’s, it’s, it’s fulfilling for them. Quick story. Um, I had lunch with a, a, a, a business colleague recently, uh, new to Arizona, uh, and we were exploring potential partnership opportunities. And she’s explaining to me how 10 years prior. at her company, they developed a veteran hiring initiative. And she looked up at me as she was explaining some of the different, uh, you know, strategies they were implementing.

And she said, you know what? I’ve got goosebumps even talking about it now. I mean, 10 years later. Well, why is that? Because she felt like, and she knew that she was doing something important. that would really make a difference in the lives of those who have served and sacrificed for this great nation.

[00:14:00] And so it’s really a win win. My tagline is, Join the Veteran Champion Movement and be a part of the win. Not only will you be serving the military connected community in meaningful ways, but your life will be enriched as well. Primary example, you know, when you, uh, when, as an employer, an employer gets a disciplined, loyal, productive, natural leader, who is, more often than not, tech savvy,

Scott DeLuzio: hmm.

Kathy Gallowitz: with core values that are very essential.

The employer gets a good worker and hopefully the, the, the job seeker, the veteran gets a good job because the employer knows how to support, understand, facilitate, and help them excel. That’s an amazing win win.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And I, I kind of equate what you were saying, just going back a minute to [00:15:00] the, uh, fulfilling nature for the civilians to be able to support the veterans. I kind of equate this back to my job that I had in the military. I was an infantryman and. All the. other elements in the military, um, exist to support the, the people who are on the ground doing the fighting, whether it doesn’t have to necessarily just be the infantryman.

I’m not, I’m picking on them because

that’s, that’s what my job was. Right. But, but, you know, without, without the logistics to get the, the, the bullets and the grenades and the, you know, the, the supplies, everything that you need in order to fight without those people. We would just be able to go with whatever we could carry on our back and we wouldn’t be in the fight for very long, um, you know, including food, right?

You need that to have the, those

Kathy Gallowitz: typically here to war, to prevail in war, you have to control the land,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, right. Yeah,

Kathy Gallowitz: And so you have to have everything you need to go in there and stay in there and to engage all the other [00:16:00] elements of the military to help you succeed. You know, calling the Air Force for those airstrikes. And you’re right, you’re right.

It’s all pointed on the mission. The mission we all have a job to do in the mission.

Scott DeLuzio: And if, if you have a soldier or airman, uh, sailor, whoever going overseas and they are Worried about what’s going on at home because their, their job is maybe in jeopardy when they get back home. They, you know, they’re all these things are going on. They’re not going to be very effective on the battlefield when, where, where you might need them, uh, at that point in time.

And they’re going to be, they’re going to be worried. They’re going to be distracted and other things are going on. And that’s when mistakes happen. That’s when people get injured or killed. And, and, you know, so, so having these people, um, understand. what it is that these, uh, service members are going through.

Um, I, I think, and the, and the veterans after, after the fact understand what they’re going through, um, while they’re going through it is, is really important because it helps them to, uh, kind of cross [00:17:00] that bridge. Right. Um, so tell us a little bit about more about what it is that you’re doing now and in your organization and everything that you, you do.

Kathy Gallowitz: Okay. Um, I, I basically have, uh, three roles. I am a speaker, I am a consultant, and I’m a trainer. And I zero in on helping employers build a veteran talent retraction, atta, attraction, I can’t say it, a veteran talent attraction and retention strategy in ways that helps make their workforce stronger. And then building military ministries inside congregations by equipping volunteers to do that work.

And so I can speak on anything veteran hiring related, veteran champion, what is a veteran champion generally. and or the key role of the faith community in helping our military connected people fully reintegrate and reach their potential.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, I think I’d love to. Chat [00:18:00] about all of those. Um, let’s start with the, the hiring side of things. The, um, you know, getting the, the, the veterans into the jobs, uh, helping the employers understand the benefits of having the veterans in the jobs. And, uh, we’ll take it from there.

Kathy Gallowitz: Okay. So again, the value of veteran talent is very well known. I believe, uh, veteran unemployment is consistently lower than civilian unemployment. employers are hiring veterans in record numbers. There’s all kinds of creative coalitions and nonprofit organizations that support it and new government programs that are really focusing in on hiring veterans.

And, you know, I think most of. These opportunities typically land towards the larger companies because they have more resources, they may have more bandwidth, um, and yet, uh, you know, having a veteran at your place of employment certainly benefits you no matter [00:19:00] what size of company that you had and I contend that oftentimes veterans get lost in big corporations and are ideally suited to work in medium to small companies and I believe really, um, that manufacturing is an ideal setting Construction.

Um, I, I, I’m excited about working with manufacturing companies because we’re in our country. We’re having a renaissance in manufacturing. It’s particularly robust here in, in the Valley and in the greater Phoenix area. And, um, because veterans have operational discipline and, um, you know, know how to lead teams and, you know, upskill easily because we’re so used to just being trained, trained, trained, and trained some more and we’re flexible and adaptable.

I just, um, I just think, you know, working in manufacturing is great. And so research shows. That there can be, you can generate cost savings by hiring veterans because they’ll stay longer if [00:20:00] they’re in the right job, right? They love, they love to, they love to contribute. And so what I do is help employers understand where to find veterans, how to, how to interview them, how to use the military skills translators to prepare for that interview, how to onboard them.

Um, how to connect them through Veteran Employee Resource Groups or some other type of committee like that that harnesses their energy and engages them in the problem solving, right? And then ultimately, ideally for an employer is to get that current Veteran hire out in the community. Talking about the great place that they have to work and encouraging their colleagues or comrades to come join them.

So that’s kind of the ideal A to Z approach. Um, and You know and employers really stand to benefit from that as does the veteran Worker. If, I mean, that’s, that’s where the win win really happened.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. [00:21:00] And I think you touched on something earlier, but I think Thank you. You said the smaller to medium sized business businesses typically are better suited, uh, and before you even mentioned that I was sort of thinking that that same, uh, same mindset because, um, some of these, these bigger corporations with tens of thousands of people, um, you.

Well, yes, sure. The military, each military branch has tens of thousands of people, you know, even more, um, they, they have lots and lots of people and you may feel like one, one small piece in the big picture. Um, but, but a lot of times you get lost in the shuffle, um, with that and you may feel like you’re, you’re just getting lost, whereas a smaller to medium sized business, you, you, you tend to feel more like.

You have a bigger impact on the day to day, uh, of, of what’s going on. Right. And not, not to say that you can’t have a big impact on a bigger company, but, but it just feels like for, uh, per person, let’s just say, uh, you, you tend to have a bigger impact,

Kathy Gallowitz: well, [00:22:00] and, and the, the, the baseline, the foundation is that research says that 55 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans feel disconnected from mainstream America. Why? Because the culture is so different, okay? And so if you already feel disconnected and you go into a big organization of 10, 000, well, you may have been in a division, Okay, but if you’re in an army division, you have a small group in your company and someone who’s looking out for you and you’re, I mean, there’s just these structures in place that don’t allow you to get lost so that the command and the control is clear how you advance in your, you know, you have an opportunity to build relationships with people that are like you.

And so you feel a sense of brotherhood almost immediately, right? You’ve been through the same basic training, you know, you go through the same training, you just have so much in common. And oh, by the way, most people join because they want, they have a service mentality, right? Well, when you join a corporation, those small unit team cohesion may not be as [00:23:00] good, right?

And the culture, you just feel so awkward anyway. And so there’s really a need for our employers to understand some of those. cultural distinctions and help our veterans, um, get connected. Now, of course, it’s also incumbent upon the veteran to do their job, to learn how to network, to learn how to communicate with civilians.

It’s a double edged sword. It’s not just all up to the employers. I mean, we have to do our homework and come to the table prepared. And, you know, if you’ve never had a civilian job interview, it’s really weird. It’s really awkward, but. So by golly, you got to come up to the table, you got to take on your new mission, you got to find your new purpose, you know, but, but it’s, but it’s work on both sides,

Scott DeLuzio: It is right. Yeah. And especially when you have somebody who maybe is more humble and they don’t like to boast or brag and talk about themselves. Well, that’s what, that’s what an interview is. That’s what you’re there to do.

Right. So, so get used

Kathy Gallowitz: and or more junior, and or more junior, you know, younger. And so that’s how [00:24:00] I, that’s how I kind of encourage employers to really try to pull that person out and have good questions that will You know, because, you know, we are not I oriented. We are team oriented. That is our philosophy and we don’t self promote.


Scott DeLuzio: Right. Yeah. I mean, because yeah. Exactly, to your point, because a lot of the stuff in the military is done as a team, um, and you are looking out for other people, the person to your left and to your right, and you’re looking to help those people out, um, and so you do have that team mentality, and while that team mentality is a good thing, even in the civilian workforce, a lot of times you find people who are very much in it for themselves, they’re looking out for their own Come Promotion and their career advancement and, and their, their bonuses and, and you name it, they, they’re looking up for themselves.

Right. And, and you can’t blame them really, you know, you have to take care of yourself, um, too, but, um, but it’s a, it’s a. night and day difference sometimes when you’re, when you’re looking from what’s goes on in the military to what goes on in civilian world. [00:25:00] And it’s, it’s a difficult transition, I think, to, to make that leap, but, but, you know, having, having the support there, um, to not only succeed in, in the interviews and get your foot in the door, right.

But also, um, having that support where, where the employers now are aware of the differences and aware of what it is that goes on with the, the veterans, what, what’s. Going through their mind. Right. And so, so you can kind of maybe make a little more sense over, uh, you know, what’s going on when, when someone is maybe acting a little bit outside of the normal of what maybe everybody else is.

Okay, well why is that?

Kathy Gallowitz: What I like to say, Scott is, you know, come on, you know, maybe you can meet them at least halfway, maybe a little bit more, you know what I mean? But this is really no different from any, um. Any sort of multicultural or cultural group? I mean, like I don’t, I don’t really understand the, you know, some of the distinctions of maybe the [00:26:00] African American culture or the Asian culture.

I mean, understanding difference is really important for us. as people, as Americans, okay? And, and going outside our comfort zone, like you said earlier, and being authentic to try to understand before you un seek, seek to understand before being understood, right? It’s, uh, That, that old, that old saying that is just so relevant and so prevalent, but it’s not just applicable to military veterans. It’s certainly applicable to all different cultures

Scott DeLuzio: That’s right.

Kathy Gallowitz: and, and, and, the right, the right thing to do. The difference is that when, you know, only three out of 10 Americans, uh, can serve in the military.

You know, if you can’t serve, I mean, it’s really reasonable that you support those who do, right? And not, not because in the employer stand case and, you know, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but for employers, you get a great worker who’s going to make your, [00:27:00] make your organization stronger.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s right. That’s right. Yeah. And it’s, it’s like, you know, think about a multinational company where you have maybe employees or customers or people all over the world. Um, you may have to understand the cultural differences in, you know, what, what’s going on in, uh, in Japan or in Germany or in, in, you know, in the country there’s,

Kathy Gallowitz: Well, and that’s another, that’s another, that’s another benefit for hiring military people. We are global

Scott DeLuzio: That’s true. That’s

Kathy Gallowitz: global citizens and we have, we’re, we’re used to working with all different kinds of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds and it makes it a very rich experience.

Scott DeLuzio: it does. Right. But, you know, I, I think to your point, we can kind of think of the, the veteran community as sort of just one more of those cultures that you have to be aware of. Right. And, and that, um, that you can work with them. Just the same way you can work with somebody from another country and it’s it’s really not too much different than that You know, the the [00:28:00] benefit is they’re here in this country and they have a lot of the same shared values But but it’s just there’s some some nuances some differences there You also mentioned that the military ministry program as well Talk about that and, and tell us about how, uh, these places of worship can create these military ministries and, and the impact that they, they’re having on these veterans.

Kathy Gallowitz: Hosting a military ministry inside a faith community is especially relevant for the faith community is uniquely suited to house them because they’re very hospitable. That’s part of the nature of faith ministry. Faith members, right? Because they have oftentimes other kinds of support services. They’re, they’re used to maybe counseling or, you know, offering meal trains or, I mean, that’s all in the hospitality realm, of course.

Um, you know, their, their, their [00:29:00] mindset is on serving other resiliency. And, and, uh, your spiritual foundation is an important part of our overall wellbeing. And so, uh, a military ministry, it can, there’s no one right approach. There’s no cookie cutter approach to developing a military ministry. A military ministry is, uh, you know, needs sort of a volunteer leader and that volunteer could be a military veteran.

It could be a military spouse. It could be a military mom. You know, it does not have to be someone who’s worn the uniform, but ideally it’s someone who understands the military mindset that understands some of the challenges of deployment or the challenges of active duty life and, um, can, you know, has, has some good leadership skills.

Um, and so [00:30:00] basically through a partnership with your your, your pastor, your rabbi, your, your clergy member. This is a partnership opportunity. You bring the people, you identify the military connected people in your congregation, you bring them together, you assess kind of who, who they are, what their needs are on a, on a very basic level, you ask them what they would like to do, and then you do it, you know, as a leader, you are the facilitator, you delegate responsibilities to your teammates based on, you know, what they want to do, and, um, and you, there’s a, you know, A heavy dose, if you will, of spiritual, um, connectedness in, in whatever.

I mean, you do not have to be a pastor. You do not have to understand, uh, you know, you don’t have to have all kinds of, you know, biblical scripture, uh, memorized to, to do this work. Um, you just have to [00:31:00] love people and want to bring them together because it’s a beautiful thing, Scott. You bring, you bring military connected people together and they bond quickly.

You know, and so, um, my husband and I started VetConnect Fountain Hills about four years ago now, and we have female veterans, a few combat, male combat veterans, not many. Military spouses, military parents, parents of brand new enlistees, and parents of 30 to 40 year olds who, um, have come back and are struggling.

We also have, um, you know, others who just want to support the military, um, and so our group is very eclectic. And what’s most important to them is to have socials once a month. We do some community service as the opportunity arises. And as the, um, as someone in the group is willing to kind of spearhead [00:32:00] that.

Um, and then we pray during the month and I’m, I’m very active in staying in touch with people via, via LinkedIn. And, you know, really what’s, what’s happened over time is these people are like our best friends. They’re like our, they’re our social group. And so that for everyone that fosters a sense of.

belonging, inclusion, and um, you know, we do the best we can to be there for one another. You’re not there to fix people’s problems, okay? You’re, you don’t have to be a pastor or a nurse to do this. You just have to love people, you know, be a good listener, be willing to do a little bit of extra, you know, volunteer work, lean on your pastor when it gets difficult.

And kind of have a general overview of what’s available in your community for support resources, uh, to potentially connect them. And so, you know, just really, um, small things and big things can happen. A small [00:33:00] thing that I think is beautiful is, Uh, of the, the military, uh, a Vietnam veteran was, is married to a, uh, military mom.

Okay. And they were new in the community and her parents had just moved in with her and they were having a 70th wedding anniversary party. Okay. So she invited members of VetConnect and that’s her community. The VetConnect is her community. So we all came and celebrated a 70th wedding anniversary. I mean, that’s a beautiful thing.

That’s just, that’s a small thing, but I mean that just really touched my heart, right? And then most recently, um, one of our military spouses is struggling with, um, uh, substance abuse, addiction. and she didn’t have a place to live. And so one of the other members in our group had created an opportunity for the woman who didn’t have a place to live to come move into one of her homes.[00:34:00]

Okay. I mean, I mean, that is very substantive. There’s also other substantive things that happen, but in the time of interest, in the interest of time, we probably don’t have time to talk about it all, but those are some of the ways that you can be helpful. Uh, just, you know, providing that connection, being, being a support resource, and then doing what you can practically to support each other is really helpful.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And it, it really goes back to the camaraderie that we all experienced while we were in the military. Um, you get that same sense of camaraderie when you come together as a group with shared backgrounds, shared beliefs, things like that. You all come together and. These places of worship, um, no matter where they are, it doesn’t matter the religion, uh, per se, but, um, they’re, they already are set up for stuff like this.

They, there’s, there’s women’s groups, there’s men’s groups, there’s children’s groups, there’s, there’s groups [00:35:00] upon groups upon groups. They have all sorts of different groups. And so they’re familiar with the concept of getting a group of people together, um, whether it’s, you know, whatever the demographic is, getting those people together, um, and they bond together, you know, whether it’s a small group of four or five people, or it’s a larger group of 20, 30 plus people, um, you know, those, those people get together and they, they get that camaraderie and you start.

To get to know these people, you start to care about these people’s problems, like what’s going on, or, or even celebrating the, the, the positive things like a wedding anniversary, like you said, you know, so celebrating and, and helping each other, um, as you’re talking about it, I was thinking like, you know, just, The way that you interact with people in the military, um, when, when you were in the military is, is very similar.

And so, um, you know, it gets you back into that. And I think, um, not only does that help on a, uh, faith based base level, um, you know, whatever your, your faith [00:36:00] happens to be, um, but, but it, it has to bring you back on a, on a, uh, you know, an emotional level too, knowing that there’s this group of people who, who actually care and there’s, there’s people there that I, I’m getting out of bed for, uh, to go.

Be with these people and in actually leaving the house and going in and supporting these people and


Kathy Gallowitz: I think it’s, it’s particularly relevant to, um, when you’re new to a community. Uh, I found, I found that a lot of our members had, You know, just moved into, moved to Arizona within the last couple of years. And so it becomes your friend group and. You know, it’s just, it’s really important. Again, when 55 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans feel disconnected from mainstream America, when our Vietnam veterans continue to struggle with some of their trauma and wounds from the way they were treated when they came home, when, um, we’ve got caregivers all around us who are caring for wounded warriors, when women veterans tend to feel [00:37:00] invisible.

You know, any, any, any way that you can give people a voice, give people connectivity and, and bring in the incredible strength of spirituality. To help people heal, to help people grow, to give them resiliency. I mean, it’s just, in its simplicity, it’s magical. It’s magical. And helping people come to the Lord, and, you know, remember that the Lord, you know, loves you, and, and, and wants you to be there, you know, seek Him, and, You know, there’s just so many powerful ways that you can support people without having the responsibility of fixing them.

You know, that’s not what this is about. Um, it just takes a little bit of time. Takes a lot of desire and love of other people to, um, do your best you can to be there for them.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and I to the point that you made about [00:38:00] Like especially if you’re new to an area, the military is not unfamiliar with moving from one place to another and so very frequently people are Moving to one location and they got to move to another and a lot of times they go to those places I don’t know anybody there and Getting involved in a group like this right off the bat, now you instantly have however many people are involved in that group, you have that many people who now you can talk to, and you get to know these people, you get to know their families and their children and other things like that, and you start to, um, you know, just find your people, uh, if you will,

and, and and build your network that way.

Kathy Gallowitz: Yeah, yeah. Well, and before I forget, um, The first Sunday of every month, I offer a coaching call for someone who has any interest whatsoever in starting one of these inside their congregation. I’ll come alongside you and encourage you and… Give you kind, you know, answer your questions, give you some tips, give you some [00:39:00] tricks, educate you about veteran community resources no matter where you happen to live.

There’s, you know, generally speaking, certain places you can go to look for certain stuff, help you understand what the VA is all about. I mean, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I have a great background and have been involved in build building military ministries for at least 10 years, uh, while I was in Ohio and have studied, you know, and, and am, uh, I’ve studied the military culture differences and know a lot about, you know, the veteran community resources in the va.

So I invite anybody who out there who, who’s interested. My, my email is Kathy. with a K and a Y at VanguardVeteran. com. It’s singular, Kathy at VanguardVeteran. com. Or you can look for Military Ministries Matter. Military Ministries Matter is the name of the monthly coaching call and you can find it on Eventbrite.[00:40:00]

Scott DeLuzio: Okay.

Kathy Gallowitz: that is, that is open to all comers for, uh, if you have any interest or are curious about starting a military ministry, I encourage you to get involved and find out more.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, that’s excellent. I was, I was actually, that was going to be my next question is where can people go to get in touch and find out more about what it is that you do? But I will have those links in the show notes for the listeners who are interested in learning more about that. And I’m sure there’s, uh, information about your, um, you know, the, the, uh, The civilian, uh, veteran champions, uh, as well, uh, on your website.

Is that correct?

Kathy Gallowitz: Yes, and I will send you a couple links so that that’ll make it real easy for your listeners

Scott DeLuzio: Perfect. And I will definitely have all of those links available for the listeners in the show notes. So, so take a look at that. Uh, click through those links, get, get the information that you need, that you’re looking for. Uh, get involved in groups. Um, if there’s no group available where you happen to, uh, to worship, maybe you’re the person who’s going to, going to [00:41:00] start this yourself, right?

Kathy Gallowitz: and, and you know what, we, we heal the most when we serve others.

Scott DeLuzio: right.

Kathy Gallowitz: When we, when we put ourselves out there. And, um, you know, take the risk, maybe get outside your comfort zone. It’s amazing how much returns back to you. When you take that step.

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That’s right. Absolutely. Um, well, before we wrap this episode up, um, I like to do, uh, end each episode with a little bit of humor. And I have a segment, especially when I have another veteran on the show, um, that I like to call, Is It Service Connected? And it’s, uh, essentially for the listeners who are not familiar with this segment.

It’s, uh, sort of like America’s Funniest Home Videos, uh, military edition. We watch a video, a short video of, uh, somebody doing something stupid, and we… We just try to decide is this going to be service connected somewhere down the line. Um, it’s [00:43:00] usually a pretty good time when, when we’re watching these, these videos.

So I’m going to pull up this video real quick so that, um, our guests here can see it. So Kathy can see it as well. And, um, then we will, uh, We’ll be able to watch this video on YouTube. If for the listeners, if you’re not watching it right now, um, you might want to head on over to our YouTube channel or Twitter or X, whatever we call it now.

Um, and take a look at this video for the folks who maybe can’t watch it. Uh, I’ll describe it, uh, as best as I can right now. It looks like we have a soldier who’s standing, um, kind of in an awkward position, like he’s bracing himself up against a wall. Um, And we’ll see what happens here.

Okay, so he’s just standing here. He’s making some hand motions. Uh, not exactly sure what he’s doing. Um, and then someone comes plowing through the wall, like the Kool Aid man. Um, just… Flow right through that wall. I don’t even know [00:44:00] how he got through that wall, but that was pretty, that was pretty incredible that he just, you know, made it, uh, made it through that.

I don’t know if it was a wall and maybe it’s a door. The video is kind of grainy. Maybe he was trying to kick the door in and, uh, just, just went. Full on tackle mode on,

Kathy Gallowitz: So the guy bracing up against the wall knew something was coming, right?

Scott DeLuzio: uh, yeah. I don’t know if he knew where it was coming,

Kathy Gallowitz: Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: but, uh, he, he knew, he knew something was happening, um, but I’m not entirely sure what, um, but the guy coming through that, that door, um, You know, he may have, he may have injured himself coming through. Maybe that’s service connected. I don’t know. But, um, he did come through pretty hard.

I mean, that was

like a wrecking ball coming through there. So I got to imagine there’s some, some sort of damage that went on, but, um, you know, maybe he’s tough. Maybe he can handle it. I

Kathy Gallowitz: don’t know. But you know, if you’re a football player, you go through that all the time, right? You’re up and down off the ground. I mean, maybe there is a service, but, but, you know, we get hurt when we, when we, uh, are wrecking [00:45:00] balls. So that maybe we are, maybe there is something there.

Scott DeLuzio: going to say to that, that football analogy though, football players don’t have a very long, uh, career span, you know, because of those injuries. So, you know, very likely, especially if this person decides to do this multiple times that they’re, they’re going to end up with some serious injuries somewhere down, down the line.

So, um, anyways, uh, thank you again for taking the time to join us. I really do appreciate it. And I appreciate all the work that you’re doing again for the listeners. I’ll have links for everything in the show notes so that you can take a look. And for yourself and see if, um, you know, there’s some support out there that, that is, uh, right for you.

So thank you again, Kathy, for taking the time to join us.

Kathy Gallowitz: Thanks for what you’re doing, my friend. Very, very grateful. Keep up the good work.

Scott DeLuzio: Thank you so much.

Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, [00:46:00] Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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