Why “veteran-friendly” isn’t….
I hate this term! I can just rant a bit about the phrase “veteran-friendly”? This term is everywhere, advertising all types of programs and products, from businesses to colleges to beers (seriously). Since supporting veterans is a very popular thing to do currently (which is awesome!) that means there are others that will try to ride this wave of support to get a piece for themselves (shady, shady people). So what does “veteran-friendly” really mean? Being “friendly” with someone means you maybe by them a coffee, send them a Christmas card, and say hi in the grocery store. It is not a very big commitment to have someone you are “friendly” with. When you say your dog is “friendly” you basically mean it won’t bite or attack you when you pet it. Is that the standard we want with seeking to advertise veteran services – we won’t do you serious harm? The term veteran friendly is over-used and does not provide any value in actually evaluating the quality of a product of service. It is a marketing term, and should be seen in the same light as a tomato being labeled “gluten-free”. By that I mean, any and all products and services should not do harm to military or veterans. The question to all these programs is; how do you actually support our nation’s military and veterans? The term “veteran-supportive” is much more illustrative to what these companies and program should be. If they want to get more attention and public support by using a military or veteran cause, they should be required to prove how they are actually supporting this population. That is the main reason why I wanted to create this business. When I was looking at schools to attend after I left the service, there were tons that said they were “veteran-friendly” but did not really talk about what that meant. If I knew what made a program different, how their school could be a better fit for me than another, that would have been valuable. But having a veteran-friendly ribbon on their website did not. Thank you for letting me rant. Do you agree with my issue, or is it just a matter of word choice? I would love to hear from you!