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Post-Traumatic Growth: Call of Duty Endowment Gets Vets Back to Work

“Rewarding Reads” is a space for articles and personal essays meant to be thought-provoking and informative for everyday business professionals, from sharing the “human” perspectives on workplace issues to book reviews of business titles we find inspiring. Have an essay or blog post to share? Contact us at workspan@worldatwork.org.

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“Honor a veteran by hiring a veteran.” That sentiment sounds simple enough — and on Veteran’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to honor our veterans than to celebrate an endowment whose mission is to help veterans find high-quality careers.

Since 2009, the Call of Duty Endowment has placed 63,000-plus veterans in jobs. It has accomplished this by supporting groups that prepare veterans for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace. The endowment uses a performance-driven approach to fund organizations delivering the highest standards of quality and cost-efficient veteran job placement services.

“We scour the landscape of over 40,000 veterans organizations to find those that are absolutely the best and when we find them, we fund them and we help them grow,” said Dan Goldenberg, executive director for the Call of Duty Endowment.

I was doing a very American thing this past weekend when I discovered the commendable works of the COD Endowment: I was watching a football game on TV. A paid advertisement via the words of General Jim Mattis of the U.S. Marine Corps (retired) motivated me to make others aware of the cause.

“You’ll hear a lot about how coming out of the military means that you’re somehow damaged goods. I would reject that,” Mattis said. “I believe that people coming home from combat can actually have gone through post-traumatic growth, where they grow stronger, they grow kinder, they’re more courteous and … probably the most important thing we can do is provide jobs for those who get out of the military.”

What strikes me most is how in just a few words, Mattis flips the stigma of post-traumatic stress disorder. “Post-traumatic growth.” What a marvelous phrase.

Beyond funding, the Call of Duty Endowment partners with grantees to provide an array of advice and support aimed at maximizing their impact. In 2018, the average cost to place a veteran in a job was $522, about 15% of the cost of U.S. government efforts, according to COD literature.

In addition to supporting its grantees, the endowment recognizes high performance in the veteran employment space through a “Seal of Distinction” program that provides a $30,000 prize and national recognition to winners of the award.

Co-founded by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, the Call of Duty Endowment expanded its support to the United Kingdom in 2017, attempting to ensure that more of those who have served their nation in uniform are able to find meaningful careers.

To date, Activision Blizzard has donated more than $25 million to the endowment.

About the Author 

Dan Cafaro is the editor-in-chief of Workspan magazine. 


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