Written by Darriel McBride
Today, according to the most recent statistics from the US Census, there are roughly 20.4 million veterans in the United States, yet among those who have served, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night. 1
Gulf War veterans face unrelenting barriers when trying to receive treatment for the symptoms of their own post-war illnesses. In fact, in 2014, a study released by the Department of Veterans Affairs stated that 80% of Gulf War related claims are denied by the VA, especially veterans suffering from a prominent, yet undiagnosed medical condition. 2
While many Americans appear to have favorable view of federal agencies, the VA received the lowest rating among the 10 major agencies in the country where roughly half of U.S. adults (49%) had an unfavorable view. 3
The pervasive and exigent nature of these obstacles are exactly why we should be honoring our veterans. As the year quickly comes to a close, we celebrate the continued courage, humility, and strength of our veterans–including four particular veterans who are breaking economic and social barriers by inspiring the world beyond the scope of the military.
NICK BARE: FOUNDER OF BARE PERFORMANCE NUTRITION
Nick Bare is an army veteran, fitness enthusiast, and founder of Bare Performance Nutrition which he developed out of his college apartment. Nick Bare is not only known for his successful nutrition supplement business, but also his social media presence as a successful YouTube channel with over 250K subscribers. Prior to building a successful company, Nick served as an active duty US Army Infantry Officer in South Korea. After serving in the army, he began his YouTube channel as a platform to talk about his military experiences.
SARAH MAINE: CURVES N COMBAT BOOTS
Sarah Maine and her husband, Elijah, are the power couple behind Curves N Combat Boots, the womans’ fitness apparel line with an audience size of over half a million. The company’s mission is to bridge the gap between fashion and function with the support of the military community. Sarah is currently serving as an airwoman for the US Air Force Reserves. She also models for her brand with other female veterans.
MARCUS LUTTRELL: HOST OF “NEVER QUIT PODCAST”
Marcus Luttrell is highly respected within the Navy SEAL community and is the author of the book, “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10” Currently, Marcus is the host of the Team Never Quit Podcast where he talks about the importance of resilience with various guests.
CEDRIC KING: MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
Master Sergeant Cedric King is an accomplished U.S. Army veteran, endurance athlete, author, and motivational speaker. While serving in Afghanistan, Cedric stepped on a pressure plate that initiated an explosion. He endured disfigurement on his right hand and both of his legs were amputated as a result. Since his injury, Cedric has earned numerous medals and awards, ran marathons, and even climbed mountains.
Our veterans come from all walks of life and their success goes beyond what they have achieved from serving our country. Veteran’s Day is a moment in time to celebrate the heroes of our nation, and although the celebration is brief, their endless contributions and humanitarianism will last a lifetime.
These service men and women have so much to teach us, listen to this inspiring story from Davia Malcolm, a student from Skidmore College, who shared with us her memories of her veteran uncle, who served in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
We want to hear from you. If you or your family members have served in the military, we encourage you to share your photos and stories with us!