“I can’t get a job that’s going to let me get approved for the VA loan. It’s like there are all these opportunities, but they don’t line up with each other,” said Rachel Lauderbaugh, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Anchorage, Alaska.
Like many veterans with disabilities, Lauderbaugh is struggling with the transition to civilian life.
Wells Fargo sat down with her and other veterans with disabilities to listen to the challenges they’re facing around career transition, finding sustainable housing, and financial education – the three focus areas of Wells Fargo’s commitment to service members, veterans, and their families.
“The work these transitioning veterans have done to reclaim their life of purpose and service is impressive,” said Jerry Quinn, a U.S. Army veteran and Wells Fargo’s military affairs program manager. “Their candid remarks concerning the challenges they face help guide the work Wells Fargo does to support this important group of Americans. It confirms for me that our strategic pillars to provide financial education, housing options, and career support are valuable resources for our military and veterans.”
The veterans, who come from a variety of service backgrounds, are participants in the No BarriersWarriors to Summits program, which provides mountaineering expeditions and other activities to empower veterans to overcome barriers complicating their transition home. Wells Fargo has sponsored the program since 2014.
Eric Halvorson, a U.S Navy veteran and treasury services manager for Wells Fargo, co-led the conversation with David Inbody, an expedition leader and U.S. Army veteran, and John Toth, a U.S. Army veteran and the director of No Barriers Warriors.
“The forum was a great opportunity to bring our veterans together to discuss the challenges they’ve encountered after they left the military,” Toth said. “Going from the military — where career progression is laid out, housing is provided, and financial education is available — to an environment where these everyday needs are much more ambiguous and challenging to figure out can be daunting. Having resources available to lessen the burden on our veterans as they make the transition to the civilian workforce, while effectively providing for their families, is incredibly important.”