Advancing National Service

From Military Officer to Entrepreneur: How One Veteran is Focusing on Renewing America

November 21, 2014
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From Military Officer to Entrepreneur: How One Veteran is Focusing on Renewing America
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The Got Your 6 Storytellers exemplify all that veterans have to offer.

The Got Your 6 campaign is celebrating the accomplishments of veterans through Storytellers, a series of videos that media partners — including NationSwell — are promoting to raise awareness of all that our veterans have to offer the country.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll share the stories of a U.S. Army Combat veteran who uses comedy to heal war wounds, a punk rocker who found his sense of purpose through service, a West Point graduate who says the military taught her how to unf*** things and more.

The first video features Greg Behrman, the founder and CEO of NationSwell. His talk centers on three projects that he’s focused on since returning from deployment: NationSwell, the Connecticut Heroes Project, and his favorite project, which you’ll have to watch to discover!

Behrman opens his talk standing before a picture of his 10-week-old self, squeezed between his mom and his dad — who, as a boy growing up in South Africa, dreamt of moving to America one day. Behrman says that his perception of the United States has always been linked to the sacrifice his parents made and the opportunities that afforded him.

One such opportunity was at the Harvard Kennedy School, where Behrman was a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. While there, he spent a lot of his time reading the stories of service members, coming to the realization that he wanted to be a part of the Armed Forces. He commissioned in the U.S. Navy (much to his mom’s surprise, given his tendency toward seasickness), then did two years of reserve duty before deploying to Afghanistan and returning with the desire to build something new.

Behrman also speaks about his motivation for building a media company devoted to elevating solutions to national challenges, before going on to discuss his work to address veteran homelessness in Connecticut, his home state, and concluding with his favorite project, who looks very much like his 10-week-old self.

“My hope for her is the same one, I think, that compelled my parents to move halfway across the world all those years ago,” he says. “It’s that she has the opportunity to pursue her dreams and the chance to realize her full potential.”

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