“It’s a difficult transition, because we don’t have a profession to speak of,” Barrett explains. “We’re handicapped in that regard, and we’re less marketable in the work world.”
While entrepreneur Jonathon Lunardi was researching veteran suicide with his brother-in-law, Paul McDonald, he became familiar with Barrett’s sentiments and saw a need to help veterans bridge the gap and become successful in the civilian world. Together, Lunardi and McDonald started Veteran Central, a job resource and development network exclusively for veterans. Lunardi, now the company’s CEO, told Mashable that the startup focuses on job placement and tools for young, blue-collar veterans.
“The older generation has had time to build their networks and to reintegrate, but the younger veterans come home and they don’t have that network,” Lunardi says. “They’re plopped down somewhere in the United States, and they’re trying to connect to the local community.