In the beginning, the road less traveled can be hard and confusing sometimes on how to navigate. The idea for Expert-Exchange to become a model of the "Peace Corps" for Veterans is still just this, an idea. Right now, we have been using volunteers from all over the world in Cambodia to help with our projects, but have yet to have a Veteran join us. As the Founder and a Veteran myself, this concerns me some. I have been laying the ground work for two solid years now and have not had my vision come to fruition yet. The main set-back is funding, with the airfare from the United States or other locations being relatively expensive.
Here is the thing though, I am 100 percent sure there are Veterans right now who want to help and who are more than willing to come here to Cambodia. There are Veterans who have completed their time in the military and still desire that sense of purpose beyond themselves again and who would desperately thrive on the adventure of a new mission. This mission would be different. It would be not of that with war, but quite the opposite. This mission would be to aid humanity - specifically in Cambodia – by helping develop the country post-war. The implications of this idea are powerful for many reasons. It has multiple positive outcomes including preventing suicide and post-military negative transition; provide meaningful assistance to a developing country with positive culture exchanges between our countries; and, ultimately to be part of contributing to the better aspect of humanity and providing for human needs.
Veterans have tremendous discipline already and are ideal candidates for humanitarian work. I really believe that this is an untapped demographic for aid work, because it is such a natural transition minus the weapons.
What will we be doing in the future to make sure this idea is not just that, an idea. We will start looking for Veterans to sign up for a waiting list and apply for future projects. We will be seeking partners and donors to get this from a concept to reality. Last, we will also be seeking to work with experts to have long term sustainable projects that truly provide enrichment to the country and not just the volunteers.
As the Founder of Expert-Exchange I thank the support from the rear that I have at this time. This support is instrumental to the success of this organization. What I am challenging and looking for is that fellow Veteran who believes in this as much as I do to come join me and make this happen. We can lead the way to creating an organization for our brothers and sisters to find that sense of purpose again and also we will be helping with big problems in the world. Do you want to help? Reach out to us and let us know how you want to get involved!
Executive Director's Blog
Follow Macie through SE Asia as he embarks on a humanitarian adventure and assists inspirational individuals to improve their life quality.