Stanwich School Students perform at Combat Boots to Business Suits launch at C. Parker Gallery, Greenwich.
Roberta Bryant, Founder and Chairman, Business Development for Veterans, photo 2.
"They're ready to go when they get home. It's like they're overseas thinking of what they're going to do when they get back." Roberta Bryant, Founder and Chairman of Business Development for Veterans.
Yesterday was the launch of "Combat Boots to Business Suits," an event sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of Business Development for Veterans (BDV). The event took place at the C. Parker Gallery, Greenwich, and was organized by State Representative Fred Camillo (R, 151) who is also Executive Director of the CT Chapter of BDV.
BDV was developed by Roberta Bryant, the daughter of a Marine, who saw a need to help Veterans make the transition from military service into everyday life through entrepreneurial opportunities and training.
Yesterday Greenwich came out and supported BDV in a big way.
The night was abuzz with all kinds of folks gathered with a single goal: Helping our Veterans. In attendance were Vets of every stripe, proudly supporting their own, businessmen and women dropping in after work, families with children, young adults, and teen's with parents.
The Stanwich School Choir, under the direction of Elizabeth Crawford, performed a medley of patriotic tunes, covering all the official songs from our four branches of military; Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. The concert concluded with a robust performance of our National Anthem, one that got the crowd singing along with the kids.
The official Emcee for the evening was our town's own meteorologist, Bill Evans. The Local Greenwich band, The Head Rattlers played some good old American Rock 'n Roll. The silent auction table over-flowed with bidders vying for a variety of prizes, from Fitness Edge Gym Memberships, to jewelry and sport's memorabilia.
I had a chance to speak with Roberta Bryant at length. Roberta believes support is the beginning of the battle for returning Vets. "BDV offers on-going encouragement for our Veterans," said Roberta. She added one huge supporter is Connecticut's Mohegan Sun, who has made BDV their main Veteran-sponsored charity.
Roberta is also looking forward to a meeting with former President George W. Bush this spring, to discuss plans for an upcoming BDV event in Texas. BDV has a chapter in Texas, and President Bush has expressed his support for the cause.
Roberta believes transitioning service members are natural entrepreneurs. She said her phone does not stop ringing with calls from Vets, all with passion, ideas and hope for their future. She is proud of the fact that BDV is not handing out loans, but grants, each with the promise of a three-year professional oversight provided by Well's Fargo and SCORE. SCORE is a national non-profit organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start and grow.
Yesterday was a proud day for Greenwich. It was very cold, but if you closed your eyes, you could almost believe it was the 4th of July.