Honoring sacrifices this Memorial Day

Always remember, never forget those who have given so much for the freedoms we enjoy, not just on Memorial Day, but every day.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine that would attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. I pray that Our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

Abraham Lincoln

Not Your Average Joe – A must read book for veterans searching for work and the companies looking to hire them

First proof of Not Your Average Joe delivered today!! Publish date later in April!!

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Veteran Jobless Crisis???

Recently an article ran in Time magazine (are they still around?) titled “The Veterans’ Jobless Crisis That Isn’t” and can be found on the link below.


The premise of the story is basically there is no crisis, nothing to see here, please move on. It is frustrating on any number of levels which I could go into but found a great response through a LinkedIn connection and will link to it and welcome discussion on the topic.



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Tax credits for hiring veterans – Minnesota

I’ve had the privilege of helping craft a bill in MN which would provide tax credits for employers hiring veterans. Today I testified in support of the bill, MN House File 532, in St Paul. The bill cleared the first hurdle in the State Govt Finance and Veterans Affairs Committee, next stop is the House Taxes Committee. Show your support, committee membership list here: http://tinyurl.com/crfsdrd

The bill can be found here:


The Senate companion bill can be found here:


Stay tuned as this works its way through the legislature.

Dennis T. Davis
Chief Translation Officer, Metafrazo

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MN veteran tax credit press release


SAINT PAUL, MN—On Monday, legislators unveiled new legislation aimed at tackling Minnesota’s veterans unemployment rate, the third highest in the nation for veterans who have served since 2001.

Representative Anna Wills, R-Apple Valley, was joined by Senator Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, and a number of veterans organizations at the press conference. The bill, which will receive its first reading in the House during session on Monday, would offer tax credits to businesses that hire unemployed Minnesota veterans.

“While no single piece of legislation will solve the problem entirely, I believe this is a good first step,” Wills said. “Providing a tax credit for hiring veterans is a win-win for Minnesota. It helps incentivize job creation for our service members returning from overseas, lowers the unemployment rate, and helps generate additional tax revenue for the state.”

Senator Wiger added: “Our veterans patriotically served our country in a time of need. It is imperative we recognize their efforts and do all we can to encourage the public and private sector to hire vets,” said Senator Wiger. “Vets are highly trained and motivated professionals who face a significant unemployment rate. While a lot of programs are aimed at this issue, we need to do more to help lower this rate.”

The bill will help Minnesota businesses hire skilled, disciplined workers. “This legislation is win-win for both companies and veterans and ultimately benefits our entire state. As a member of the Minnesota National Guard’s Senior Advisory Council, I understand the importance to our veterans of putting their training and skills to work in good-paying jobs that can support their families,” said Secretary Ritchie.

The bill has strong support from a number of veterans and veterans’ advocacy groups, many of which were represented at the press conference. Among the groups represented were the Military Action Group (MAG), the United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC), the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), and the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).

Dennis Davis, Chief Translation Officer for Metafrazo, a firm which helps organizations create and manage sustainable veteran hiring practices, praised the bill and the impact it would have for the state’s veterans. “As a veteran who has transitioned on and off of active orders multiple times in the last decade and still serving as a Reservist, I understand the plight veterans have in finding employment at a level commensurate with their experience. Giving employers an incentive to invest in veteran hiring is a win-win-win impacting the veteran community, the employer and the state as veteran unemployment lessons. I firmly support this legislation; it makes good fiscal sense but is also simply the right thing to do for those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we all enjoy.”

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MN tax credit for hiring veterans legislation updates

House and Senate bills will be announced at a press conference today (11 Feb 2013) at the State Capitol, 2PM CST, St Paul, MN. Bill numbers will be provided ASAP. Below is a summary of the bill.

Subject: Veterans Jobs Tax Credit
Date: February 11, 2013
Author: Representative Anna Wills

This bill creates an income tax credit for a business that hires a disabled veteran, an unemployed veteran, or any other veteran in Minnesota.

The amount of the credit is as follows:
(1) For hiring a disabled veteran, the credit equals $3,000;
(2) For hiring an unemployed veteran, the credit equals $1,500; and
(3) For hiring any other veteran, the credit equals $500.

The credit is not refundable, and therefore, the credit only offsets the tax liability of a business. There is no limit on the number of credits that a business may claim during a taxable year.

A business is eligible for a credit for hiring a disabled veteran, if the veteran has a service-connected disability rating as adjudicated by the United States Veterans Administration or the retirement board of one of the several branches of the armed forces.

A business is eligible for a credit for hiring an unemployed veteran, if the veteran:
(1) has received unemployment compensation during the two year period prior to the date of hire; and
(2) is unemployed on the date of hire.

A business is eligible for a credit for hiring a veteran, if the individual qualifies as a veteran. “Veteran” includes any person who has been separated under honorable conditions from any branch of the armed forces of the United States after having served on active duty for at least 181 consecutive days, or by reason of disability incurred while serving on active duty.

1 Veterans Jobs Tax Credit Bill Summary
Subd. 1. Definitions. Defines qualified employee, qualified employer, disabled veteran, unemployed veteran, veteran, and date of hire.

Subd. 2. Credit allowed. An employer is allowed a credit for each individual that the employer hires who is a disabled veteran, an unemployed veteran, or a veteran. Provides that there is no limit on the number of credits that an employer may claim during a taxable year.

Subd. 3. Credit amount. Establishes the amount of the credit and that the credit is limited to an employer’s liability for tax during a taxable year. Clarifies that only one credit may be claimed per hire and that a credit may not be claimed for hiring an individual who was previously employed by the employer.

Subd. 4. Flow-through entities. For an entity not taxed at the entity level, the credit amount is divided between the owners based on each owner’s share of the entity’s assets or as determined by the organizational documents of the entity.

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Final 36 hours…Not Your Average Joe book campaign, help us get published on Amazon!!

We are heading to the end of the campaign and will be sending the manuscript to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, next week!! It is not to late to join the effort and has never been easier to help in translating the value of the veteran in the private sector!!


Thanks in advance!!!


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UPDATE: Not Your Average Joe – Honoring the Service of our Veterans

We are over $2,000 on the campaign, thank you to all who have supported and those who will be joining shortly!! We could not do this without you; at 21% of our goal we still have a long way to go.

Update on the Service Academy Challenge, here are the current standings:


USMA – 2

USNA – 2

It is all tied up!! Which academy will lead the way? USNA says they will. Does the USAFA and USMA agree with that? Show your support now…

More excerpts coming this week and trying to get the draft to the publisher by the end of the week. One way or another, they will have what I have by the end of the week!!

Help us spread the word to get NYAJ published and a national media campaign around it!!

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Not Your Average Joe – Honoring the Service of our Veterans

As we push toward publishing NYAJ, I want to take a moment to honor the service of veterans everywhere, specifically those who stand with us as we seek to translate the value of the veteran in the private sector.

United States Army

Victor Ames, Homer C. Anderson, Bruce Banta, Sarah Banta, Andrea Bond, Chad Byers, Felipe Cases, Ted Daley, Aaron Davis, David Denton, Jennifer Diaz, Giacomo DiGiacomo, Ed Herman, Charles Hollenback, Robert Hosman, Bruce Jensen, Scott Koscielniak, Victor Krull, Brett Larson, Richard Leonard, Michael D. Lewis, Andrew McLean, Rene Montero, Jeff Pratt, Joe Roushar

United States Navy

Anthony Bohaty, Cameron Byers, Duncan Byers, Thomas  Cooper, Roger Davis,     Christian Fager, Nicholas Mullen, Dean J. Smith

United States Marine Corps

Chad Brooks, Tom Delich, Jesse Gerhard, Tim Simmons

United States Coast Guard

George Heller

United States Air Force

Donald Byers, Dennis Davis, Matt Collins, Nathanial George, Dick Hanson, Dave Hardy, Jeff Imsdahl, Kristen Maloney, Jason Miller, Bob Nunnally, Joe Rodwell, Bill Teague

Will you join us?


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Not Your Average Joe – excerpts from the book


Joe is one of many terms used to refer to someone serving in the military. Those outside the military may be more familiar with hearing GI Joe used to describe someone serving. It seems even from the youngest ages everyone knows who GI Joe is, almost as if we are born with an understanding of who is in the military without understanding what they really do. Years ago I remember stopping at a friend’s house to drop something off and happened to do so in uniform. One of her young children came to the door before she could answer and peeked out to see who was visiting. Excitedly, he ran as fast as his little feet could take him to announce to her that GI Joe was at the front door!

Often times the understanding of ‘Joe’ ends with simply the knowledge they serve and little more beyond that. Without a clear understanding or reference point as to what military personnel do or who they are people often fill in the details using whatever information they have, such as the latest media news story or Hollywood movie. Unfortunately this rarely creates an accurate picture of military service and the value ‘Joe’ could bring with employment beyond the military. Stereotypes are formed which portray the veteran as, among other things, a steely eyed killer who will show up at 0500 hours every morning and demand everyone in the office does PT. Those in the office do not even know what PT is (physical training) but they are afraid of it and are certain it will involve many painful variations of a pushup. The stereotypes continue with constantly barking orders, not being team players, inflexibility, no ability to think on their own and if they are not barking orders they are waiting to be told what to do. They believe vets call everyone sir or ma’am and often miss the respect which comes with being called sir or ma’am. They perceive all vets as people who love war and live for the kill; as a result everyone suffers from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Unfortunately, this often leaves veterans on the outside looking in when being considered for employment, especially when they make their initial transition out of the military. Without assistance in translating their value and an internal structure which understands the value ‘Joe’ brings the number of canned e-mail responses received by the veteran which politely decline them for further consideration quickly grows.

As is often the case, there is a grain of truth to many of the stereotypes which exist however there is a much larger disparity between the stereotype and reality. It is this disparity we seek to explore and clearly define why ‘Joe’ is anything but average and the value ‘Joe’ brings which is directly transferable to employment in the private sector. Core values are a belief system instilled in veterans and they are expected to be lived out each day they serve, regardless of military status. Most companies also have core values clearly defined and go so far as to put them on their websites for the entire world to see. Of course, the assumption by many organizations is because they have held seemingly endless committee meetings and rolled the values out to all employees on fancy brochures and posters to hang around the office the work is done. After all, it was made public for the entire world to see therefore they are automatically internalized and lived out daily. Are they really? A look at the number of major corporate scandals over the last 20 years would suggest otherwise. The military does many things right but perhaps one of the things they do best, which leads to success in many other areas, is building and internalizing core values from day one in those who serve. For ‘Joe’ it is these values which drives everything they do. If they have a question on whether they should proceed with a specific course of action, it inevitably comes down to how they have been trained and what their core values would have them do. The military translates values like integrity, courage, excellence, leadership and vision beyond words on a website to characteristics which guide all they do. Ask a recently separated veteran what the core values are for the branch of service they were in and they are likely to repeat them to you verbatim while explaining in greater detail what each ones mean to them. Often times, those who served decades ago can also readily recall this and tell many personal stories of how they their values out over the years since they separated.

Throughout this book we will profile a group of veterans, some who served many years ago and others who are still serving today. All have had varying levels of success in the military and possess skills which are directly transferable to life outside the service. You will hear their amazing stories and real world examples of how they have internalized core values and lived them out daily. In short, you will see why they are not your average ‘Joe’, indeed, they are SO much more.

For more info on the project go to:


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