TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® works to make life easier for veterans

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-Written by Erik Sargent

As we enter the month of November, all around the country, we come together and celebrate the heroic acts and sacrifices of the men and women who have bravely served in our armed forces.

Freedom isn’t free, and it’s important to take the time to recognize what each and every one of these individuals has done to give us the life we all live today. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, these sacrifices are not lost on us, and we work our hardest to make sure we give back as much as possible to our veterans all over the United States.

Each fall around the time of Veteran’s Day, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises run our Movers for Military campaign, where the franchises partner with local schools, businesses, and veteran’s shelters in their community to collect essential care items that can be donated to veterans in need.

These donations go a long way in helping our veterans maintain a good quality of life, and can often help them get back on their feet after hard times.

“We feel this is a good fit because we employ so many veterans at each of our locations,” said Charlene Bush, marketing manager for four TWO MEN AND A TRUCK locations in Southeast, Mich. “Some of our longest tenured movers and drivers are veterans, and we wanted to be able to give back and show our appreciation for their service.”

Hiring veterans

Along with the Movers for Military campaign, another way TWO MEN AND A TRUCK works to give back to veterans is by hiring them in a variety of roles.

From drivers all the way up through franchisees – and even at our Home Office location – we employ veterans for many different positions in our company, and they make up a big portion of who we are as a company.

The team environment allows for a seamless transition from military life, and as Pasadena, Cali., Move Manager Cody Setser pointed out, these similar works styles are easy to adjust to.

“The main similarities are honestly just staying motivated and being disciplined,” Setser said. “When you’re supposed to show up, show up, because people are counting on you and it can screw up everyone’s day. Just be fair – you can still have fun while being disciplined at the same time, and that’s an important thing.”

Setser joined TWO MEN AND A TRUCK after serving six years in the Marine Corps Infantry, and immediately joined the company after his time in the service.

One of the biggest reasons he’d recommended the company to someone is due to the team-environment that TWO MEN AND A TRUCK instills at each franchise location.

“It’s a solid group of guys, and it has the same basic comradery that you can get with the Marine Corps,” Setser said. “You’re doing tough work, but at the same time, you can still have fun with it and there are a lot of similarities. It’s a great group of people to work with.”

For Jerry Swartz, team lead at the Central Illinois, Ill., franchise who also served seven years in the Army, he noted the chain of command as a major similarity from military life to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK life.

“The biggest similarity is the chain of command,” Swartz said. “That’s always important, otherwise you just have people walking into offices and it’s very chaotic. Then, just that daily discipline of showing up every day and being dependable.”

We’re thankful for all of the veterans in our company and for the hard work they do every day to help us continue Moving People Forward! To find out more about if our career opportunities fit your veteran background, visit our careers page here.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Understanding and addressing the daily struggles veterans all across the country face

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-Written by Erik Sargent

During the month of November, we stop to take time and recognize the proud men and women who have served in our military – past and present – and thank them for their courageous service to this great nation.

Freedom isn’t free, and these veterans put their lives on the line so we can enjoy the many activities each of us take for granted every day, and it’s important to show them how big of an impact they‘ve made. Unfortunately, for many veterans, life can become challenging when they return home from their service, and tough times become the norm for many veterans across the country.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans – although impossible to count because it changes so frequently – there are roughly 39,471 veterans that are homeless on any given night.

According to the National Veterans Foundation, 20 percent of the veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, and studies show that only 50 percent of veterans who need treatment for these issues receive these services. Both homelessness and mental health are two major issues veterans deal with upon return from overseas, and there is a strong correlation between the two.

“Mental health is a big contributor to homelessness, and what we need to do is be able to prevent this homelessness,” said Joe Davis, director of communications, publications, and public affairs for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The VFW – and many other organizations like it – are designed to help assist veterans in getting the proper services and care they need from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, a task that in theory should seem easy, but is often difficult and time consuming. It starts with identifying the problems and the people who need help, and figuring out who can tackle the issues.

“The VA has been so badly bruised, and veterans don’t go there for the services that they’ve earned,” said Mark Sutton, public relations director for The American Legion Department of Michigan. “They go at it improperly, and they are not using expertise to help them get the benefits, and they get frustrated by the system. The bureaucracy of the VA pushes people away. As veterans, we’re all people who just want to get stuff done, and the VA is completely the opposite.”

Each veteran is different, and must be treated on a case-by-case basis. This requires raising awareness across the public, and finding out ways to at least get these veterans in line for the services that can help them with some of the struggles they face.

Some need assistance more than others, and many are more receptive, but it’s important that everyone is given a chance.

“We recognize that some veterans want to stay homeless,” Sutton said. “They just do, and they are not going to change anything they do. So trying to recognize them and get them any services we can get them, we try to do that. The second piece is finding those that are homeless but want to know what systems they can get into to get back on their feet.”

While organizations like the VFW and The American Legion aim to tackle these larger scale issues, there’s still a lot that can be done to help the cause of veterans and ensure they have a better life after their service is complete. This can be anything from small, local organizations providing shelter and resources, to people volunteering their time and money.

One instance of this can be found with the international moving company TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, where each fall, franchise locations across the country run the Movers for Military campaign. The campaign is aimed at getting veterans – homeless or those who could use a little assistance – the essential care items they need during the cold months, and making sure they are taken care of.

“We provide every day hygiene items,” said Eugenia Parlow, regional sales and marketing manager at multiple TWO MEN AND A TRUCK locations in Florida. “From soap, toothpaste, deodorants, and other items for homeless veterans and their families. The charities we work with distribute these items directly to veterans living in the streets and in homeless shelters.”

Across the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK system, there are countless veterans working in positions ranging from drivers all the way up to franchise owners, so any work with veterans is a high priority for the brand.

With the ability to use their trucks and movers to both collect and deliver goods, they‘re able to cover a lot of ground, and ensure veterans in their communities are equipped with the items they need to live day-to-day.

“Veterans have given so much of their lives and have endured the stresses of combat,” Parlow said. “Many veterans need help, and the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Movers for Military program provides items they can’t normally get through government channels. It gives them a sense of wellbeing.”

In order to help out veterans, a large government agency or a successful corporate company isn’t needed – all that you need is a willingness to give back and support those who put their lives on the line for this country.

From volunteering at veterans hospitals and shelters, to veteran-support organizations, there are places in virtually every community of in each state that have dedicated organizations working to improve the life of veterans in need.

“For a civilian to want to help out veterans, they can volunteer at a VA hospital or a medical center,” Sutton said. “They can go into the volunteer services and apply to become a volunteer at those places.”

Any type of donation involving time or money goes a long way, and can make an impact on a veteran’s life somewhere in the country.

“Get involved. Donate your time, donate your money – no matter how large or small, it helps,” Davis said. “I always like to believe there are angels walking amongst us, you just have to open your eyes and recognize what you are doing.”

Deployed? 5 Essential Moving Tips to Know For a Military Move

With Veterans Day recently behind us, it’s important to consider the men and women of the military who sacrifice significant parts of their lives for our great nation. If you happen to be a new member of the U.S. military and recently received notice of an upcoming move, you may be feeling overwhelmed and at a loss on how to approach this unique task.

We spoke to a seasoned veteran of the U.S. Navy to learn about the tried and true tips he utilized when moving his family across the country for military purposes. Check out what Petty Officer First Class, Louie A. of the United States Navy had to say about how he approached packing and moving in the military.

1. Military Moving Expenses

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If you’re wondering how to figure out which of your military moving expenses are covered, breathe easy. When the military requests that you and your family move, they will cover 100% of your moving expenses. This includes moving supplies, movers, flights, housing, etc. While your moving expenses should be reflective of the number of members in your household, there is no specific ceiling to adhere to when it comes to how much the military will cover. As long as it makes sense for the size of your family and moving distance, it is 100% covered by the government.

Also, don’t stress yourself over finding your own moving company. The military utilizes their own contracted moving services who will be at your service on moving day!

2. Packing for a Military Move

How to pack for a military move

While the military’s own moving company will handle all the loading, transport and unloading for you, you will need to pack your own belongings before the big day. Packing for a military move does not deviate much from a standard move, though there are certain action items to highlight.

Labeling all your boxes is vital when packing for a military move. Labeling is essential for moving in general, and since movers hired by the military are contracted for a specific period of time, it’s extremely important that you know where each box should go in your new space. Make sure to know which boxes contain your must-have items, such as your child’s favorite blanket, or basic toiletries. Additionally, most branches of the military do not allow the move of contraband, alcohol, or weapons. If you have pets or vehicles, make sure to inform and make the necessary arrangements with your commanding officers. Typically, the military will cover moving up to two vehicles, and pay for the transport of your pet(s) as well.

3. Military housing

What you should know about military housing

While the military provides and pays for all the housing needs in your new city or country such as furniture and appliances, they do allow the option of purchasing or renting your own home. This is not covered under military housing, but you are eligible to receive special benefits and discounts as a member of the U.S. military – the amount varies according to rank and seniority.

Many military families opt to purchase their own home if they’re stationed in a city for a significant period of time. Most banks and mortgage companies offer low-interest loans for members of the military, especially for those members in active duty. If you go with this option, rest assure that you will receive much financial assistance from all fronts.

4. Discussing a Military Move with Your Family

Discussing a military move with your little ones

Unless your branch is under extenuating circumstances, most military moves come with sufficient notice so you and your family have adequate time to prepare. The most important thing that Officer Louie mentioned is to be extra communicative about the upcoming move with all members of your family. Understand that even though moving for the military may not be unexpected for you, your family may be dealing with feelings of anxiety, confusion, and sadness regarding leaving their hometown. Make sure to take great care when explaining and answering all your family’s questions and concerns.

As you will be provided several months to prepare for a military move, include your family in all the moving related discussions and decisions, and ensure that they know they are considered and encouraged to take an active role in what’s happening. Including your family in researching new schools, learning about your new neighborhood or even picking out home decor can help ease the anxiety related to moving.

5. Local vs. International Military Move

International vs. national military moving tips

Although moving internationally or within the United States doesn’t deviate from each other all that much, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. Prepare for longer time-frames when it comes to receiving your things, and make sure to take your essentials with you on the flight.

Also, keep in mind that moving internationally may come with a significant culture or language barrier, so allow more time to research your new surroundings, local language, and culture. This can be instrumental in helping your family properly adjust to their international home. It is important to prepare for challenges like having to pick up your vehicle from a remote location or having to secure a rental or home purchase (if you decide to go that route) well before moving day. Officer Louie recommends living in military provided housing for at least a year before purchasing your own home during an international move.

Serving in the military is a highly respectable and selfless commitment that comes with its own share of challenges. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself and your family while navigating a military lifestyle. Whether you’re completing a solo move or moving with your family, these tried and true tips can make all the difference in your own military moving experience.

Whether you’re moving for the military or moving in general, preparing a moving timeline is key! Check out CableMover’s customizable moving guide that you can