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Let's Talk About Transition

On this podcast episode of Diapers & Deployments, Michael and Serena talk to Vincent Soto, Founder and Director of Operations of Navigating Solutions. Navigating Solutions was founded by veterans for our nation's veterans & our nation's workforce. Navigating Solutions' goal is to positively impact and create workforce opportunities by building resiliency in our communities through education and training programs, vital career resource venues, and providing critical job placement skills. www.navigatingsolutions.org


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The following is an automated transcript of the interview with all the mistakes. That's what you get when you use AI vice humans. HA. If you would rather read it than watch it have fun.


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Michael (00:00):

Serena, you got a guest to introduce.

Serena (00:02):

I do today. We have Vince Soto and he is the founder of a nonprofit called navigating solutions. Welcome Vince.

Vincent (00:10):

Hey, thank you very much, Serena, Michael. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Michael (00:10):


Vincent (00:14):

My question Rright of the bat is that we have to call your doctor or what

<laugh>. Nah, not at all. You know, it's, it's, it's almost been a year and I'm still just not used to it. I'm you know, every time somebody says that, just, just call me Vince it's it's okay. <laugh> you know, that's what I'm used to going by.

Michael (00:30):

Just so everyone knows Vince was a Corpsman in the Navy, right. And everyone calls them DOC, but, but you have a PhD.

Vincent (00:37):

I do

Serena (00:39):

That makes you a Double doc, a double doc, a doc with a PhD. <laugh>

Michael (00:44):

That's odd.

Serena (00:46):

<laugh>

Michael (00:48):

Well, I met you at Camp Lejeune I guess. I was the CMDCM for what is medical forces, Atlantic now. I told Vince, uh, before you got on here. So Serena we know that when I went to someplace more than once there was problems, right. If I just showed up once it was to shake hands and say, hi and Vincent, I was at your unit a lot.

Vincent (01:03):

Yeah. You know, we, I would, I would go to these meetings and I'd be like, Hmm, he's here again. You know. Put on some miles there. Well,

Michael (01:16):

I gotta be honest though. I, I like the yacht club down there bar, so I found a readson

Serena (01:23):

Were playing there. You were finding an excuse to go.

Michael (01:29):

Was so awesome. Serena. I never went to jail. Alright. All right. We gotta get back to Vincent. All right. So tell us a little bit about what your company does and how you're helping our veteran.

Vincent (01:39):

Well, you know, navigating solutions, a nonprofit, and you know, when I, uh, started to think about developing or, or starting this nonprofit, I, I really started to ask myself, are there too many, you know, nonprofits helping veterans in the community. And, and, you know, I think that me asking the question, uh, was telling me, Hey, I don't think there's ever too many helping veterans, military families in our community. So I did it and I wanted to be a little different, less formal help on the spot type. You know, uh, we don't have any long forms to fill out. <laugh> like what, like, you know, Mike, and, you know, we, we established some, some folks, you know, navigators to instantly, you know, help people out. I may just have a question, you know, a, a service member may just have an, an issue they're working through and they just wanna answer a question.

And I, I didn't want them to have to fill out a long form to have somebody then get back to them. You know, they can simply link with a person, one of our navigators to get back with them, you know, just shoot, 'em an email shoot. 'em a, you know, a message on LinkedIn, which they have their information there. And just, how can we really get down to where the issues truly lie? And if you need, you know, some assistance, you know, maybe we can help you. You know, I, I like to call us the connector, right. And we're not afraid to say, Hey, we may not be able to help you, but we know who can. Right. And, and we, we try to connect service members, veterans, military spouses, military connected personnel, to the right resource. Besides that, I do a lot, um, working with the department of labor, uh, during transition workshops.

I, I think that's where I truly enjoy the most having the impact of transitioning service members in, uh, you know, transition workshops and being able to really enforce the fact of reality, right? Reality of transitioning from the military, especially when I'm teaching an, a much older crowd of retirees or them not understanding or, or not realizing. And sometimes I have to tell them you've been a service member longer than you've been a civilian. You know? So you're, you're, you're stepping out to a, a world that some of us know nothing about, you know, after, you know, spending 26 years in the military, you know, what did I know about being a civilian, going to work every day and dealing with payroll? I, I will tell you, you know, this wasn't my first career move. When, when I got out, I did not wanna go into healthcare, did not, but I'll tell you what, my first job I worked for Devita dialysis. Right. And <laugh>, and I hated every single day of work.

Michael (04:20):

You didn't go in singing Devita. I lost it.

Serena (04:24):

<laugh>

Michael (04:25):

I had to throw that in there.

Vincent (04:27):

Yeah. And, and it was just painful for me, um, to go into an organization every day like that and realize, this is not what I wanted to do. I always had a passion education training. And that's where my background is. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, um, and education training. And I, and I loved it. And I wanted to do that, continue that with, with service members. And after I spent a little over a year with DaVita, I, you know, I, I made my move. I said, I'm, I'm not gonna be scared. I'm gonna, you know, be afraid and I'm gonna do it anyway. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, and I did it. I made that move to do what I really love to do what I had a passion in doing

Michael (04:58):

Well. That's awesome, man. I, I always said when I got out, I did not want a job. That was too Joby. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, I have yet to go to work.

Vincent (05:06):

Yeah.

Michael (05:06):

Work because I got out because I was the same way, man. I, I didn't wanna go to a job. I hated. Right. Uh, I didn't wanna work just for money. Right. Uh, you spend that long, you spend your life inside the military and when you get out, you know, you have some freedom to do what you want. But I, I was on the panel of a lot of those transitioning classes. Mm-hmm <affirmative> a lot of the questions are the same. Yeah. And fear is there, no matter if you're retiring or you spent four years, because you have been in a system, like you said, all those years, and you have this, they have the same questions and they have the same fears and Serena's husband got out about a year and a half ago now mm-hmm <affirmative>. And she went through this transition and they had the same questions and the same fears. Um, yeah. Yeah. It's, it's a hard time.

Serena (05:48):

Yeah. But he fell into the statistic. That's so big of going into a job just for the money at first mm-hmm <affirmative> and then he took his time and found something that he's really enjoying. Yeah. He was like, I don't know what I wanna do when I grow up. I mean, I know what I don't wanna do, but mm-hmm <affirmative> I kind of know what I wanna do, but I don't know if that's there. Right. And then he thought he knew what he wanted to do. And then he did. He's like, no, I don't like this.

Vincent (06:10):

<laugh>. Yeah. That's interesting that you said that, that he said, I don't know if that's there. Yeah. Right. So, and, and I find that to be common, right. Because as we're in the military for so long, the military puts blinders on us. Right. They want us to focus on mission and our job, our specific job, our rating, our MOS, whatever it is, so that they put these blinders on us. So when we're transitioning, we still have these blinders, right. Not really knowing what we can truly do in the civilian world. We have all these skills that relate to so many other things. And we don't know that those things exist because we keep these blinders on. And that's one of the things I, I say in my class, you know, if it's a three day class, I, I say, I hope by the, by the end of this class, I'm able to remove the blinders for you so that you can see all the opportunities that are out there for you, that you, you know, may not think that are there and, and they are. And, and as you start to look based upon your skillset, you'd be amazed about some of the transitions people make into jobs. They didn't even think that existed months ago.

Serena (07:20):

Sure. I mean, he just, just came home like, uh, last week telling me about a position that's opening up at the company he works for now. And it's like, somebody's, you know, like planning, uh, projects. And he's like, I used to do that kind of stuff. Like as a first class. Yeah. Yeah. And I'm like, right. And this is somebody above you. That's doing it. Like, yeah. That's wild to think, you know, I'm like in the military, you were like, go plan this. And here, this is somebody that's on, on a pedestal planning these things. And I'm like, yeah.

Michael (07:45):

Yeah. Well, the military, you just have to go do it. There's nobody, no dream for it. Right, right. You don't have a choice.

Vincent (07:50):

<laugh> yeah.

Michael (07:51):

I don't know if you, Vince, you say, say this to guys, but for me, I always said you had to chase your dream, chase the money or chase the location, but you gotta pick one. If they all three, if y'all three line up, that's perfect. Right. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, it's overwhelming. If you don't pick one of those things, especially the geography part. If you're willing to go anywhere just for money, that's easy. But if you want to be in a certain place, and that is the most important thing, then you have to set your goals to that location and set your expectations to that location. Yeah. Because you're not gonna get paid $200,000 in the middle of West Virginia somewhere. Uh, but in DC you can make 200 grand all day. Sure. Uh, but I ain't moving to DC.

Vincent (08:29):

<laugh> right.

Serena (08:31):

Yeah. We were very cheap. We picked a location. So that was, you know, a, a stump for us. But I mean, here we are, we're good. You know, it all worked out, but it was, it took time what

Michael (08:44):

You guys had that anchor location. So that's, that's a piece that a lot of people don't have that actually helped you. And you just don't know

Serena (08:49):

It. I mean, maybe so, because I think once you set your sites on the one place, then you can really start broadening mm-hmm <affirmative> that circle within the Metro, you know? Yeah. Thank I, God bless it

Vincent (09:00):

Worked, you know, after transition, I stayed in, in the camp of June Jacksonville, Rich's area of North Carolina for, um, maybe about the year and a half. And then once we kind of made our move to happiness. Right. <laugh> um, I literally, one day I looked at, you know, my wife and I said, let's make that move. She says to Florida. And I said, yeah, to Florida, let's, let's, let's do it. And she thought I was playing at first <laugh> and uh, you know, she thought I was really playing, moving

Michael (09:30):

Truck show.

Vincent (09:30):

Yeah. <laugh> yeah. We came down to Florida on a visit. We saw a house that we liked and we rented at first, before we purchased. But, you know, I think she was still shocked when we were like putting stuff in, you know, in the moving van, like we're really making this move. Yes, we are. We're gonna do, you know, follow where, where you want to go. So she had taken a year off her job. And then when we moved to Florida, she went back to the same organization, uh, working. Oh, awesome. In, in Florida. So it was an awesome mix. And, you know, even ATRA, she's walking out right now, but, um, um, you know, here is, I met my wife in junior high school. Uh, I, I think I was the 13, she was 14. We went up to a annex and then we separated.

I, we went to two different high schools Uhhuh, right. So we separated, we were in a school where, um, the school was, I guess, reformatting. So in New York, that school was, she was in ninth grade. I was in eighth grade. It was gonna be the last ninth grade class. So we both went to high school as I went in ninth grade, she went in the 10th grade and we separated. I went to a high school much further away, even though we didn't live too far away, we, we didn't see each other anymore. Uh, always, always kind of thought about it. You know, that one that kind of got away kind of when you were, you were small, you still have feelings for her. What, and I will tell you one day, I, I could not remember her last name. <laugh> I could not remember her last name, uh, to save my life. And then one day I woke up and I was like, Pegon her last name is Pegon. And, and it is been a, it's been like, it was, I still remember was a Thanksgiving right before Thanksgiving. We, I messaged her. I friend requested her on, you know, social media, Facebook. Right. She's gotta be on Facebook, everybody.

Michael (11:18):

Right.

Vincent (11:19):

Everybody. Yeah. I actually, what I did was I found her brother first, who I was good friends with at the time, you know, before, and then I found connected, the pieces, found her and shot her a message. And, uh, that's awesome. Yeah. <laugh>

Michael (11:34):

Well, I'm gonna tell you right now that your, your story of connecting with an old flame on Facebook ends much better than most.

Vincent (11:43):

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And we've been, you know, we've been really running. I mean, you know, we've been through our ups and downs and stuff like that. Just just life, you know, life in general, but we we're loving it. We're, we're absolutely levering we're I think we're doing, you know, our passion, she's an administrator, right. She loves, she loves Excel. She's a master. Oh my gosh. She's a ma matter of fact, she's doing this, uh, analytical functions of Excel class right now, but she loves Excel. And so she does my Excel spreadsheets and, you know, all that record keeping stuff, you know, for the organization and stuff like that. So when you can find a person like cats, you

Michael (12:26):

Know, you have seven kids as

Vincent (12:27):

Well. We do. So, um, they were much older when we met, you know, I actually, I got a high, I got a senior, uh, right now and wow. Um, so we just took pictures. She just took senior pictures today. And, um, man, my last senior, we took pic, man, we that price, when I looked at the prices of those 50 and she's taking more and more poses and looking at the prices on the packages and I'm like, oh my God, like, you know, like, I'm like, you know, it is just every year. And then, you know, she has a son a year behind my daughter and he's a junior. So I'm like, oh my gosh, well, next year it's gonna be horrible, you know, with the pricing, you know? So I was just like, man, but you know, I'm like, Hey, you know, it's your senior year. You gotta go out in a bang. And I told, you know, had a conversation with my daughter today. Hey, this is this year, last year in high school, you gotta, you gotta have fun. You know, you gotta do what you you're supposed to do, but you gotta have fun, you know? So,

Michael (13:30):

Well, I haven't even thought about pictures yet. My daughter's going into high school. I hope she didn't listen to this episode. I'm gonna

Vincent (13:35):

Tell her <laugh>

Michael (13:36):

Maybe we went until December or January,

Vincent (13:39):

You know, I

Serena (13:39):

Remember taking

Vincent (13:40):

Them. Yeah. And, uh,

Michael (13:42):

Serena, I want one,

Serena (13:43):

I have one sitting right here on the board

Michael (13:46):

Ly. Oh, RO you're gonna have to show us that I

Serena (13:48):

Will I'll show you. It's

Vincent (13:49):

Sitting on the board. Yeah, we were on, actually we talk about different organizations. She was on vets to industry all this week, looking up scholarships. They, they have a section with scholarships. You can go down and it'll say spouse or dependent and click on dependent. And I mean, it must be seven pages of scholarships that she's kinda listing right now that she's going to apply for, you know, which ones that she's going to apply for. So she can alleviate some cost, you know, that we have. Well, although we, you know, she's, she's good. She's just looking at general scholarships. Right. Uh, that'll help her financially, what, you know, whatever she wants to do as far as that, cuz tuition is pretty much paid for. So, you know, that's a, you know, as far as connecting, that's a great organization. That's the industry that we often partner with. Uh, a lot. I just did a, they have their networking events once a month. I just a couple of those. Yeah. So I did one, uh, two weeks ago maybe. So I had the opportunity to be the guest speaker there. So, uh, awesome opportunity. Awesome. Uh, program.

Serena (14:46):

So I have a question about navigating solutions. Is it more for somebody who's already out of the service or is this something that, you know, maybe somebody wouldn't start looking into as they are about to transition out of the military?

Vincent (14:58):

We do both. Okay. We, you know, it, what's crazy is, you know, somebody will be talking to me and uh, somebody will say, Hey, you know, my friend has a problem. And sometimes to be honest, uh, certain sometimes I don't even care if it's a veteran. Yeah. Right. And, and if I can help them within the civilian workforce to get a job, you know, any possible way, even if it's rewriting their resumes, because there's a lot of things that even if you go to a civilian resume writer or, or have them help you, it's a lot of things they won't tell you about or, or they don't know themselves. Sure. Right. About different things. And I was just talking to another organization that I'm gonna be doing some, some speaking with, um, um, that talking about resumes. And I was like, Hey, when you write your resumes that we do, you talk about applicant tracking systems and they kind of gave me this blank stare like, uh, yeah.

Okay, cool. So let's talk about that. Right. And you know, is there any, I will help anybody. Right. That's great. I will prioritize veterans and, and transitioning service members, but I will help anybody because this is a, especially this year. Right. And, and actually last couple of years, I, I tell transitioning service members. You're not getting out at a good time. Yeah. You know, you're not, maybe there are opportunities for jobs, but man, the housing market and oh yeah. You know, go stepping into that. And, and that's another thing in the military. We're blind to that. Sure. We're blind. It's not happening to us out there. You know,

Michael (16:32):

I'm gonna tell you it's happening now. And here, here's a great example. Pensacola. I'll use, they're sending people to Pensacola to be stationed there. What? Right. And you get stationed everywhere, but there's no housing for them. So they get there and they're faced with the same problem. Bah has not went up. Inflation has the past year has been horrible. So you take your standard E four, that gets moved to Pensacola. They can't find a place to live.

Serena (16:57):

I can't even, it makes me sick, honestly, thinking of it because even as E sevens with a good BH, we had such a hard time. Yes. And I'm like, how are people doing it? And Washington just came from Washington state where there is no housing. And they just keep bringing in ships and bringing in ships. And I'm like, these people have nowhere to go.

Vincent (17:16):

Right. Right. I's quick story. So we live in a new build that we purchased. We moved in this past November, but we purchased to about a year because of different delays. It took us about a year. Sure. So we moved into November this past November. Right. And in, I would say February, right. We had a little flags out there and a little sign that says Dr. Horton, uh, homes starting at low three hundreds Uhhuh in February, those construction workers or those workers out remove that sign and put up a new sign that said starting at low four hundreds.

Serena (17:54):

Yep.

Vincent (17:54):

Yeah. And I was like, holy cow, like you talk about timing. Yeah. And you know yeah. You know, things going up so fast and you know, I don't know how you know, and that's what I, my class is reality. Let's talk about reality. What you are truly about to face, you know, as you step out. Right. And the military has been taking care of these things for so long, the same military that you thought was so bad as you're transitioning. Right. You're gonna see how spoiled you were. Yes. Right. As you're getting out and I'll tell, look, I'm retired. Right. And we still got a little connection. You know, my, my healthcare isn't that high. I, when civilians have healthcare conversations, I walk away.

Serena (18:38):

I do too. I do too. I feel so.

Vincent (18:42):

Yes.

Serena (18:42):

And we shouldn't feel terrible because you guys served and you put in the time and the work and you did all of that. But we just had this discussion at dinner a couple nights ago. And my husband and I were just like, <laugh>, I mean, we can't say anything. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I mean, someone did say, oh, you guys probably still have Tricare. And I'm like, yes. What we, we do, we pay now. Yeah. But I didn't tell them how much, because they would've <laugh> <laugh>,

Vincent (19:05):

You know exactly. You know, and we, we get as a, you know, a retired service member, you get a paycheck, but that transitioning service member, that's a separate tee.

Michael (19:14):

Yeah. They don't

Serena (19:14):

Get nothing. You

Michael (19:15):

Know, people, I ran across people that they think, oh, you're in the military. You have, you have track air and you're medical for life. I'm like, no, these people that get out at the four year mark, they

Serena (19:24):

Have nothing,

Michael (19:24):

Nothing. They have nothing,

Serena (19:25):

They just quit a job. Yeah. That's it. They just quit a job. Yeah. And if they weren't like savvy in the sense of having like a thrift savings plan and things like that, some of them are just literally stopping a paycheck and getting out. Yeah. And that I think is terrifying.

Vincent (19:40):

So, yeah. And that's what I try to preach that as you're transitioning and, and I was down at camp LA June last week, actually, and you know, some of the guys, they don't think that they have a skill, you know, especially the Marines that are maybe infantry men. And you know, they've got this, this plan, but it's really a long term plan. Uh, and it's not something now. And I tell him, Hey, Hey, use a program like troops into transportation, where you can get your commercial driver's license. Mm-hmm <affirmative> prior you to your separating. And at least you have with the transportation industry, it's a, it's an essential, you know, uh, industry, right? At least you have something to fall back on, right? With a commercial driver's license. You, you have some work, right. You have a job, right. And that you can go into, to work on your, your long term goal or whatever it is that you're trying to do. But that commercial driver's license is essential to the industry. It's just, it's essential to the workforce. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, uh, we, we know that and it's still a shortage. I tell people we've learned the last two years that you've gotta have that job. That's essential. You know, that, that, you know, you need, if it's healthcare, transportation, education, you know, public safety, you know, the trade infrastructure, the trade industry, you know, those things that help that keep America moving, right. That you have to have.

Michael (21:02):

Well, VO, VO tech is back. They did away with, and we preach college to these kids for 20 years and they went and got liberal arts degrees and they can't get a job at McDonald's. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> if you're a plumber, if you're a welder, your as is gonna get a job. Yep. Yeah. Cause they need you and even here in Baldwin county where they have, they're bringing vocational school back finally. Thank God.

Vincent (21:21):

Yeah.

Michael (21:22):

And a lot of these schools, like there's a, a, uh, Marine school up here. They will pay you to go get a skill. They pay you to come there. That's awesome. So I'm time at the end because there's such a skill shortage.

Vincent (21:35):

Yeah.

Michael (21:36):

We, we saw this coming, right? Yep.

Vincent (21:38):

And we, yeah, we

Michael (21:40):

Didn't do anything about it.

Vincent (21:42):

It's, it's, there's all these jobs and not folks that are, you know, no qualified folks to, for the jobs, you know,

Michael (21:49):

And that's where veterans come in. I, yeah. At skill mill, we help a lot of veterans get jobs. And a lot the employers are who I talk to mostly about this and they're looking for veterans, they know, and it's the intangibles. Right. They talk about the intangibles to me. I'm not preaching it to them. They know about the leadership they know about the discipline. They know that the little things like, oh, they're gonna show up to work tomorrow.

Vincent (22:11):

Absolutely.

Michael (22:12):

<laugh>

Vincent (22:13):

Absolutely.

Michael (22:14):

Uh, that's not normal. Uh, believe it or not. Uh, that's one thing, you know, military veterans have that in the civilian workforce. I'm not, not all right. I don't wanna generalize, but people call out a lot. Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah. It's nothing to miss a shift. My kids, my 16 year old, doesn't miss a shift unless it's something bad. Right. My, my 23 year old doesn't they weren't raised that way. Right. But so they're, they're different, but man, they love hiring veterans. Yeah. People love hiring veterans.

Vincent (22:41):

Yeah. They understand the value of a veteran that they bring to the organization. You know what you know, and I always, I say a veteran is a person with, you know, let's say a, a certain skillset, but you walk around with this virtual tool bag that you can reach in and, and grab that skill set out whenever you need it. Whether it's project management, whether it's process improvement, whether it's, whatever it is. It's, you know, I would bet that you have done it as a veteran, you know, that, that specific skillset and some of them don't realize the skills that they have, uh, that, that are transferable to the civilian workforce, you know, until they take off those blinders to really see what they can do in the civilian workforce, you know, they, they, they kind of miss opportunities. Mm-hmm

Michael (23:28):

<affirmative>. Yeah. And like, like we said earlier, just narrow teaching 'em to narrow their focus is hard. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it's hard for me. And I, I have, you know, businesses, but sometimes I get starry at, and I'm like, oh, I wonder if I wanna do this for that. Right.

Vincent (23:40):

<laugh>

Michael (23:41):

I think everyone, everyone does that. Right.

Vincent (23:43):

<laugh> yeah. Yeah. And you know, I, I will tell you some of the programs we don't know of, or veterans don't know of the department of labor just started this year in, uh, 2022, they started a program called O B T T off base transition training it's veterans and military spouses that don't have access to a base. Right. So they may not be next to one, or they haven't gotten there, let's say veteran's card and stuff like that. But there are certain cities that are piloting, uh, Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego, I think Dallas is piloting these O B T T, and we're going out to American job centers. Uh, and we're holding those same transition workshops, you know, understanding a resume, um, networking and all those shops. We're doing it for the veteran at that American job center it's piling through this year. Matter of fact, I'll be in Boston next week, doing that very same course in Boston. So it's piloting through this year and I think it's, it'll really hit and expand, you know, uh, after this year they'll, they'll look at it and say, okay, we can, you know, make it a permanent thing. Uh, so,

Michael (24:51):

So basically it's the job sites and they do seminars and course council and military members.

Vincent (24:56):

Yes, yes. Any veteran that doesn't have a connection or cannot, let's say don't have a base next to them, or, you know, don't have, uh, access to the base, even, even, you know, whatever type of veteran you can think of. Let's say veterans with records, you know, um, felons and stuff like that. They can still use that, that program. It is geared to, to, to help all veterans and military, you know, found spouses as well. That's great. So

Michael (25:23):

Yeah, I never heard of it before. Look at that, you know, we learned some more stuff. Always. We always learn something with that.

Vincent (25:29):

<laugh> also piloting or redoing the curriculum to the employment side of the house, the department of labor employment side. So, um, piling employment, fundamentals, career transition, the department of labor employment workshops. And, um, those are the only two they're piloting. So January 20, 23, transitioning service members will get a new curriculum, uh, for the employment workshops.

Michael (25:51):

Good. Because the current one sucks.

Vincent (25:53):

Yeah.

Michael (25:54):

Yes. Well, you know what though, to be, to be honest, it it's what you put in it too. Right. Lot of these service members go there and they sit there for three or four days because they need to yeah. And they don't take notes. Yeah. And at the end they wonder what they missed.

Vincent (26:08):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um,

Michael (26:10):

You, you know, you have to do your work, you go to those workshops and they give you some information, but you gotta do your research.

Vincent (26:16):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah. It takes work to find work, you know, you know? Oh, <laugh>,

Michael (26:21):

That's one of the things I remember, they said it's a to, for a job is a full-time job. Yeah.

Vincent (26:26):

<laugh> absolutely. Yeah.

Michael (26:28):

And, and 80% of the jobs you get are through networking. Right. So your reputation, the wrong

Vincent (26:32):

Way. Absolutely. You are absolutely correct. Yeah. It's, it's, you know, it's a crazy time. It's, it's just, you know, you never know what's gonna happen tomorrow. Sometimes I'm like, man, am I gonna wake up tomorrow? And this all goes away, you know? Or, you know, or, or what's, you know, what's gonna happen tomorrow. So, you know, I always try to put my best foot forward, you know, and, and, and, you know, we'll figure out the rest when, when it, when it comes. Right. And

Michael (26:58):

Well, the department of labor may need that money for baby formula

Vincent (27:02):

<laugh> yeah. Yeah. Re you know, they redistribute right. Programs to, you know, so I don't know if you, if you noticed, so this year cool program, right. I don't know if you've seen that the Navy, the Marine Corps, uh, ran out of funds for cool program. And it's, we're talking about it's June this year. They ran out like in March. Oh, no. Apparently. Yeah. So apparently they redistributed funds and they took away from the education and training portion. So cool. Uh, they weren't allowed to do cool unless it directly aligned with their rating. Huh. You know, so

Michael (27:39):

Maybe they needed to put some classes on, in, uh, yeah. Overseas or something.

Vincent (27:42):

Yeah. Something <laugh> something. And you know where the, the army and the air force still have fun, still has funds going on. And that's, that's a program that I don't understand. Why isn't it the same across the board. Right.

Michael (27:59):

I don't either. The I'm gonna tell you the Navy, when it comes to the army and the Navy, and I love the Navy, but the army does so much better. Yeah. With helping their service members transition. Yeah. Is horrible at it. Uh, look, no further than the DD two 14 issue we have right now. Right?

Vincent (28:13):

Oh my God. I can't believe that

Michael (28:15):

I't one's happening either. That sailors are not getting DD two 14 S on their way out the door. Cause they're behind. So listen, it says that you have to get one before you get outta the military. Right. It's it's law. Yeah. It's not happening. It's not, no, one's holding them accountable. Now, when you don't have DD two 14, you don't get benefits. Yeah. <affirmative> because there's benefits. Yeah. Mm-hmm <affirmative> because your GI bill mm-hmm <affirmative> you can come for a job. Like the GS jobs you are. You're not getting shit. You're not getting your pay when you retire.

Vincent (28:42):

When did this start?

Michael (28:43):

This started about two years ago.

Vincent (28:45):

Yeah. It's been, yeah. Wow. It's it's, it's I've, I've seen some people. I just had a, um, a retiring senior chief, uh, took her four months to get her duty. Two 14.

Michael (28:56):

So she didn't get paid, right?

Vincent (28:58):

Yeah. No, four months, four months.

Michael (29:00):

So that is no way to treat someone after they serve their country. Wow. That's not to treat someone no matter what, but you can't hold, someone's paid hostage because your, your admin system's broken. Yeah.

Vincent (29:10):

And, and exactly. It's broken. And I'm not imagine if we owed the Navy money. Oh,

Michael (29:15):

Oh yeah.

Vincent (29:16):

Yeah. You'd be eating garbage outta the

Michael (29:19):

Trash. Well, and you talk about transitions already. A pretty stressful time. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it's one of the most stressful times of your life into the military. Like, unless combat and things like that, but like normal compressors. Um, and then you add on top of that, Hey honey, we may not get paid for four months. Yeah. Or longer. Yeah. Yeah. It's, I've, I've written a blog on it. I've sent emails to the right people. I thought I've blasted the Mick pond. Uh, nothing. No, one's doing a damn thing about it.

Vincent (29:44):

It's unbelievable. As you transition what you,

Michael (29:47):

It is unbelievable that this one's not fixed.

Vincent (29:50):

Yeah.

Michael (29:51):

Yeah. And I got a simple solution. Anytime a sailor gets out of your command without a DD, two 14, then the co should send a letter straight to the CNO telling 'em the reason why mm-hmm <affirmative> that problem would be fixed overnight. I bet you, yeah. Yeah. Because that co does not wanna send that letter. Right?

Vincent (30:07):

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Michael (30:11):

Look at us. We got mad. Look at

Vincent (30:13):

That. <laugh> you know, that's what, you know, I tell you, I love being a retired service member. Mm-hmm

Michael (30:21):

<affirmative>

Vincent (30:22):

Right. It's it's, it's, it's beautiful. And, and now I understand the, the shine that your retired service members have on them. As I was active duty, I would say, man, you seem awfully happy, you know, <laugh> as the retirees. And they're like, man, Vince, wait till you get to this side. Yeah. And not understanding. I was like, what do you mean? Wait till I get to that side. I I'm not retiring yet. You know, but you know, really all the, the stressors that you have

Michael (30:51):

Oh

Vincent (30:52):

Yeah. You know, that you deal with, you know,

Michael (30:55):

The day I got out, it's like, I put a weight down that I never knew I was carrying mm-hmm <affirmative> right. You're just used to that stressful lifestyle. And when you get out after that transition part, which is the last stressor. No, you really feel good unless you're getting paid, but after that, you probably feel good.

Vincent (31:12):

Yeah. But yeah.

Michael (31:15):

Well we, we got way sidetracked. That's okay. Yeah. Um, is there anything else you want to share with us, uh, before we let you go tell

Serena (31:21):

Our listeners where to go to

Michael (31:23):

Get, not to hell Serena <laugh>,

Vincent (31:28):

Um,

Serena (31:28):

Board.

Vincent (31:31):

Good.

Michael (31:32):

<laugh>

Vincent (31:35):

Uh, yeah. We have a website it's called navigating solutions.org. Okay. And I'm really proudful of our, our back page because we have a resource page and my wife, she said, why don't you take stuff off of there? Because it, you have to wait a minute. Right? When you press resource, wait a minute, because it's trying to load 400 resources.

Serena (31:56):

I have to admit, I'm trying to get it to load. And I'm like, does this not work? <laugh> I'm not doing

Vincent (32:01):

Joking. So it, it, it takes a minute to load like these resources, cuz there's like 400. I think we're able to put like before it crashed like 404 resources that are hyperlinked, all you gotta do is hit it and they'll take you to the, to the site. Even I wanna say I I'm pretty sure I have skill mill on there as well.

Michael (32:21):

Yeah. Well you should. So

Vincent (32:23):

We're,

Serena (32:23):

I'm trying to get it to load and I can't yet

Vincent (32:25):

It's it's gonna load. I promise you, but it just takes a little bit, but I, I, I love it because my mom says, well, takes them off and I'm like, no, I'm not taking them off. Right. And I, they can wait a little bit. Right. And then, and, and then scroll through. But we do that. I put out, if you go to the website and go to our store, I put out a, um, a couple of months ago, I put out a short book, a little book about, uh, working on the pressure and kind of being at your best, you know, uh, when it matters, uh, kind of just helping, you know, uh, people in stressful environments, you know, as we all work, especially those that don't like going to work or don't like going to the place they go to, you know, every day. Right. And I was definitely one of those people that transitioned into a job that was, I did not understand coming out of the military for profit business. Right. Right. And you know, in the healthcare world, it was all about insurance. I know. Right. And I, I could not do that. I, I just didn't have my standards. Wouldn't allow me to take one patient over another patient because of insurance

Serena (33:35):

That's cuz you're a good person,

Vincent (33:36):

You know, I, I could not, and I would come back home to my wife every day and I was like, they, you know, I cannot put this person on the waiting list when this person needs dialysis treatment. Just as much as this person. Yeah. Right. And not even, you know, and they needed more. Right. Because they don't have the access and you know, because they have Medicaid, Medicare, and this person has private insurance. And I really started to understand the insurance business. And I was like, man, this is a racket, you know, and this, this, this company's making billions off of insurance, you know, off of a treatment, you know, of dialysis, you know, somebody's coming there three times a, a week. Their insurance is pushing out 1200 bucks a treatment, you know, private insurance while Medicaid, Medicare, by the time everything's done, you're getting $17. So I, I wrote this book really talking about the pressures of, you know, work and how do we perform better? You know, just kind of having a mindfulness of your mental fatigue, you know, and, and just, you know, just, just taking a, a break sometimes or, you know, just realizing that sometimes it really draws on you, you know?

Michael (34:52):

Well, uh, we said it before your dream and your passion and yeah. You know, uh, I just took a few months off, uh, not totally off, but just, I stepped back for a few months. Right. Cause I felt that mental fatigue, uh, when you're older that you realize that more than when you're younger, uh, in the military, you can push through it. But now, uh,

Serena (35:11):

You know, you're really old.

Michael (35:12):

Yeah. I'm really old, man. Hey, the mind is a muscle and I've worked mine to death. <laugh> my wife, my wife would disagree. I still do stupid shit for some reason. I don't know why

Serena (35:24):

I'm just scrolling and scrolling and scrolling through these resources. I did see skill mill, but this is unbelievable. This is really cool.

Michael (35:30):

Yeah. Hey, I'm gonna tell you I'm want you to try something, Vince, uh, mm-hmm. <affirmative> load up a resume for you on skill mill, right? Not right now, but okay. Um, and then when you go to hit print on your resume, so what a service member can do now on skill mill. Okay. They can go in and build a profile. They can, they can put as many things as they want in their profile. But when they go to hit print, if, if they wanna highlight certain, uh, skills, they just highlight those, the rest of ' won't print. So you can build 5, 6, 7 resumes, whatever you need off of one profile. Okay. You know, they're always saying you, you need this many resumes.

Vincent (36:02):

Yeah.

Michael (36:03):

Well, you could put all of your, all of your jobs. You can even put the same job in twice and put a different description. Cause maybe you wanna highlight your administrative skills here or, and the other one, you're like, you know, I'm looking for a project management job. I wanna highlight that. Right. So when you go to hit print, you're like, I wanna highlight project management. This, that I don't need anything past five years ago, I'm not gonna do that. I don't want them to see my picture or I do want them to see my picture and you print out your resume and then you can be like, okay, I'm gonna print a different one now for a different company.

Vincent (36:31):

God, God, no else

Michael (36:33):

It else does that.

Vincent (36:34):

It got it.

Michael (36:35):

Okay. That's a new feature.

Vincent (36:36):

Okay. Because

Michael (36:37):

I got, I got tired of taking my resume and editing it and printing.

Vincent (36:41):

Right, right.

Michael (36:41):

So we had a

Vincent (36:42):

Right, right, right. So I might, you know what I'm gonna do Mike in July. I think I'm really going to some good bases. What I'd like to do is zoom zoom a um, an even organization in, so I'd love to zoom you into a class. Oh yeah. And really share with them, you know, what skill mill has to offer them.

Michael (37:01):

Yeah. I can show 'em how to upload their Vme and show. 'em how to print different resumes. Yeah. I love, you know, I'm, I'm a zoom expert, you know that. Yeah. I look way better on the radio than on zoom zoom. Hey, do I have to put a tie on?

Vincent (37:16):

No, not at all. Not at all.

Michael (37:18):

Good. I don't even have to put pants on to do a podcast.

Vincent (37:20):

<laugh>

Serena (37:23):

Don't stand up.

Michael (37:26):

I'm gonna tell you right now. I am guilty of having a tie on and shorts during the

Vincent (37:31