HKY4VETS BLOG

Interview with Adam Sides: Embracing New Horizons at HKY4Vets

By Nathan Huret June 3, 2024

We are thrilled to welcome Adam Sides to the HKY4Vets team this summer as our new Director of Operations. Adam joins us through the DoD SkillBridge program and is the second person to do so. His experience is already proving invaluable in modernizing our backend infrastructure and guiding our evolution into 2024-25. We had the chance to sit down with Adam and ask him a few questions about his military career, transition to civilian life, and his vision for the future. Reflection on Service Q: Looking back on your military career, is there a particular moment or experience that reshaped…

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Stable Connections: An Event Recap (May 2024)

By Nathan Huret May 16, 2024

At HKY4Vets, we’re committed to creating a vibrant community that supports veterans and their families. A recent highlight was our event at Still Waters Farm with Operation Battle Horse, a perfect example of how we’re bringing people together to foster connections and growth within the Catawba region. This gathering not only embodied our mission but also showcased the deep and meaningful support we aim to provide through our community-focused initiatives. Rain almost played spoiler, but our gathering at Still Waters Farm in Conover ended up being a beautiful, healing experience. Everyone—veterans, their families, and folks from around the area—came together…

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The [short] Roadmap for 2024

By Nathan Huret January 17, 2024

Looking back at our achievements, HKY4Vets recognizes the importance of the past as a guide for growth and improvement. We honor our history while actively forging a future where our initiatives continue to evolve. Our plan for the year ahead is robust and has our team excited for 2024! Below is a quick overview of some of the work we hope to carry forward this next year. A key highlight of the HKY4Vets 2024 Plan of Work is the continuation and enhancement of our virtual hiring events. These events are crucial in bridging the gap between military and military spouse…

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Niels Larsen: Spotlight Interview

By Nathan Huret September 11, 2023

We recently had the privilege of sitting down with Niels Larsen, our newest Fellow from USSOCOM’s Warrior Care Program. With a distinguished 20-year career in the Air Force, Niels brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to our team. We posed five questions to him, and his insights were nothing short of enlightening. Reflection on Service Q: “What reshaped your perspective on service, leadership, or life?” Niels: I think I was drawn to the military with a sense of patriotism and adventure on a path of personal growth and development. Military service has always been a part of…

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A view from the mountainside – a milestone for HKY4Vets

By Nathan Huret April 24, 2023

HKY4Vets will reach an important milestone this week – celebrating our 7th anniversary of working with and on behalf of military families eager to make a successful life/career transition(s) from their active military service. To those that have supported us, partnered with us, taught us, sought us out, listened to us, guided us, funded us, and been assisted through our work these past seven years, thank you for your individually large contribution to HKY4Vets and its mission. You have made our work possible and have brought joy to much of the hard work we seek to accomplish every day –…

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HKY4Vets announces 15 employer partners building a talent pipeline from our nation’s Armed Forces

By Nathan Huret August 9, 2022

HICKORY, N.C. – HKY4Vets, a community initiative fueled by the private and public sectors in Catawba County that assists transitioning military and military families find career opportunities, professional connections and other veteran resources in the Hickory Metro, is honored to announce 15 Talent Connect Partners for 2022-23. Over the coming year, HKY4Vets will work alongside and on behalf of these veteran-ready employers to connect them with military and military spouse talent throughout the Southeast, while also benefiting the service members in their search for their next purpose, mission, and team. Founded and led jointly by The Chamber of Catawba County…

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HKY4Vets – Our 6th Anniversary

By Nathan Huret April 25, 2022

The 3-hour car ride home from Fort Bragg (April 28, 2016) was filled with many questions. Yet, the car ride also had this unique energy to it – possibilities swirling of what could come or ways to harness what we had just experienced talking with transitioning service members and spouses at the Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair on post. It is true a small candle of inspiration was lit in us all that day – one that has only grown and sustained over these 6 years. At that exact moment we (Lindsay Keisler, Danny Hearn and myself) had no grand…

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It’s About Time [Aren’t You Almost 40?]…

By Nathan Huret December 29, 2021

Our co-founder Nathan Huret wrote this short blog post as he reflects back on his 2021. Though the narrative may be for him, some of the same feelings of “faking it till you make it” apply to #transitioningmilitary, #milspouses, or #veterans in those moments of life transition or times of doubting your own tremendous abilities. All our best for a great end to 2021! What follows is something I needed to write for myself – in the momentary pause for reflection brought about by a coming New Year. I am happy to see 2021 go. Not for those cliché reasons…

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My Catawba County Interview w/ HKY4Vets

By Nathan Huret November 10, 2021

This blog first appeared on the My Catawba County website and is re-printed here. The organization was founded in 2016 by Nathan Huret, director of existing industry services for the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, and Lindsay Keisler, president/CEO of The Chamber. With Veterans Day right around the corner, we asked Nathan (who serves as HKY4Vets’ chief engagement officer) to share more about what HKY4Vets does and why this work matters. What is HKY4Vets? HKY4Vets assists transitioning military & military families find economic opportunities and resources & make valuable connections in the Hickory Metro of North Carolina. It is a…

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Looking For a New Job? Things to Look For in a Company of Interest (3/3)

By Nathan Huret August 17, 2021

As part of our upcoming Virtual Hiring Event, we have put together a series of blog posts for our attendees – hopefully some helpful advice on how to best prepare and approach next week’s (August 26th) event. In our third installment, some ideas on preparing for an interview by researching a potential employer. The hunt for a new job can be a challenging and frustrating experience. It can look like multiple rejections after job interviews that you thought you nailed, or as we so often see/hear from folks: getting no response at all. Doing well with interviewers is more than…

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Best Practices for a Virtual Hiring Event (2/3)

By Nathan Huret August 5, 2021

As part of our upcoming Virtual Hiring Event, we are putting together a series of blog posts for our attendees – hopefully some helpful advice on how to best prepare and approach the August 26th event. In today’s post, how to best prepare for a virtual hiring event. The pandemic-riddled 2020 saw millions of Americans switching to remote roles, and 74% of industry experts expect remote work to become significantly more commonplace (and desired in some respects) in the coming years. It’s not only the jobs themselves that will enable employees to work from anywhere. Mainstream acceptance of virtual communications…

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This is your first impression – your resume (Part 1/3)

By Nathan Huret July 22, 2021

This blog post represents the first in a series of posts we will be making over the coming weeks as we gear up for our inaugural HKY4Vets Virtual Hiring Event on August 26th (info here). We hope this information is helpful to those attendees, but perhaps it might be useful to others in their pursuit of a new opportunity. First Impressions Count First impressions count, especially when it comes to resumes! No matter your expertise level, an ineffective resume is likely to sabotage your chances of being considered for a position right from the get-go. This is particularly true for…

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The Transition Toolkit: DoD’s Skillbridge Program

By Nathan Huret May 20, 2021

Having never been through it myself, I suspect one of the most worrisome periods of transitioning from years (or decades) of US military service, is getting a foot in the door BACK into the civilian job market. You’ve most assuredly got connections and have obviously served our nation courageously in numerous capacities, yet that is not EXACTLY like being a Loan Officer at Wells Fargo. To make that leap or to get beyond the limited experience hurdle, you should seriously consider something like the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Skillbridge Program – something that has been our organization’s radar for several…

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It’s WHO You Know vs. WHAT You Know

By Nathan Huret April 16, 2021

You have heard it before – sometimes taking the next path on your professional journey comes about because of WHO you know as opposed to WHAT you know. This theorem of life can prove both powerful (if correctly harnessed), while also at times frustrating – especially when perhaps you have been passed over when (at least on paper), you feel more than qualified or knowledgeable for that opportunity. Networking and making connections is and remains paramount in our professional pursuits.  Yet, like everything else it has touched, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our working habits and, of course, the…

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Like A Lightning Bolt

By Nathan Huret December 16, 2020

I recently received one of those notes that has the ability to “make your day”.  It was an unexpected note from the CEO of a HKY4Vets Talent Connect Partner, singing the praises of a recent veteran hire – a great employee that has already been promoted in a short amount of time because he “has been a home run”. Day made. As I begun to craft an appreciative response back – I can feel a long-held, but hidden truth rising to the surface in my words.  HKY4Vets, as it stands today – a ragtag but committed group of volunteers and…

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A Letter to the Military Community (in honor of Veteran’s Day)

By Nathan Huret December 2, 2020

Dear Veteran and Active Service Member, We are so grateful for you and your family. The Hickory Metro region is where we enjoy a community of wonderful people, beautiful surroundings, thriving economy, and growing job market. We have the freedom to walk around the bustling and growing downtown on a Saturday night; to stop for a local dinner and drink (or two)! We have the freedom to take a quick drive to the mountains for a hike on Sunday afternoon and enjoy the beautiful fresh air, sunshine, and breathe-taking views. We have the freedom to shop local and support small…

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Veterans Caregiver Program HKY4Vets North Carolina

New Benefits Incoming for Veteran Caregivers

By Nathan Huret August 28, 2020

Military veterans with severe chronic diseases or disabilities have two options for care.  They may be admitted to a VA hospital if they require specialized medical support.  But for many American veterans, it is the spouse or a family member who steps into the role of a part-time to the full-time caregiver.  Especially when the veteran is unable to conduct activities of daily living (cooking, cleaning, and self-care). But what impact does that have on the household?  Veterans have a standard monthly income established by their earnings and length of service.  Additionally, if a veteran was wounded in service, they…

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North Carolina Veterans HKY4Vets

It Has. It Can. It Will.

By Nathan Huret August 22, 2020

There is one aspect of our modern US military which has always amazed me – the ability of individuals that come from every corner of our country, from different cultural backgrounds, from different races, religions, political persuasions, [insert typical cultural divider here] to rise above that multitude of differences to form one team, with one mission, for one country. The thought immediately conjures up a stupidly Hollywood example – the scene as Forrest Gump describes fellow members of his platoon, “There was Dallas, from Phoenix; Cleveland – he was from Detroit; and Tex… well, I don’t remember where Tex come…

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HKY4Vets Jobs for Veterans North Carolina

Veterans Say Separation and Transition Programs Still Fall Short

By Nathan Huret July 11, 2020

Unless you have served in the military it can be difficult to understand the realities of transitioning from military life back to civilian life.  Just as the military thoroughly trains and prepares soldiers for active duty, is the same level of conditioning provided for veterans to step down from military service? There are most definitely programs for military men and women who are transitioning from active duty back to civilian life. These programs are designed to help military personnel get ready for a different kind of life. Returning to their former civilian lifestyle. But if these programs exist with the…

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HKY4Vets Veterans North Carolina

Coming Home is Sometimes Harder Than Staying in Military Service for American Veterans

By Nathan Huret June 24, 2020

The road to home is long for veterans, who count the days to completing their military service when they can return to civilian life.  But when the day comes, it is not always the joyful homecoming and freedom they anticipated after being discharged. Today more than ever before, the obstacles that veterans face while they transition from active service to civilian life are being recognized.  The Annual National Veteran Suicide Prevention Report for 2019 shares some tragic statistics.  There has been an average of 6,000 veteran suicides annually since data was collected and reported annually in 2005. What are some…

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