HELPING AMERICA’S VETERANS

November 28, 2018 at 5:15 am

Craig Newmark isn’t just the name behind Craigslist. He’s also on the front line in the fight to keep America’s veterans well on the home front. He joins us to share the details.

Aired on November 27, 2018. 

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>> HE WEARS GLASSES, AND HE
CALLS HIMSELF AN OLD SCHOOL
NERD.
AND WHILE YOU'LL KNOW CRAIG
NEWMARK HAS THE FOUNDER OF
CRAIGSLIST, HE'S A VERY SERIOUS
PHILANTHROPIST, EARNING HONORS
FROM THE WOODROW FOUNDATION AND
THE ORGANIZATION, IRAQ IN
AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA.
THE LIST OF HIS EFFORTS, HELPING
V
VETERANS IN NEED IS VAST.
NOW, FOR THIS PART OF OUR SERIES
ON POST 9/11 VETERANS, FRONTLINE
TO HOMEFRONT, CRAIG NEWMARK
JOINS US TO DISCUSS WHY HE
SUPPORTS THESE VETERAN
ORGANIZATIONS, WHAT THESE
INITIATIVES ARE DOING, AND OTHER
MAYBE NERDY PROJECTS HE HAS ON
THE TABLE.
CRAIG, NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.
>> MY PLEASURE.
>> YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY THE
ABILITY TO ENGAGE IN ANY NUMBER
OF PHILANTHROPIC EFFORTS.
WHY HAS IT BEEN, THEN, THAT THE
VETERANS ISSUES HAVE BECOME SO
IMPORTANT TO YOU?
>> WELL, AFTER MEETING WITH A
GUY YEARS AGO FROM THE IRAQ AND
AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA,
I STARTED REALIZING HOW MUCH I
PE
PERSONALLY OWE VETS AND THEIR
FAMILIES.
VETS AND ACTIVE SERVICE MEMBERS,
WHEN DEPLOYED, THEY RISK A LOT
TO PROTECT ME.
THEIR FAMILIES SACRIFICE A LOT
TO SUPPORT THEIR ACTIVE SERVICE
MEMBER.
SO WHEN THEY COME BACK AS VETS,
VETS AND THEIR FAMILIES HAVE
ALREADY EARNED A LOT OF RESPECT
AND SUPPORT FROM US.
AND I THINK IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT FOR AMERICANS TO
FOLLOW THROUGH ON OUR
COMMITMENTS.
I'M DOING OUR BEST TO FOLLOW
THROUGH ON MINE.
>> WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES THAT WE AS A
SOCIETY SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON TO
HELP OUR VETERANS?
>> WELL, IF A VET COMES BACK AS
A WOUNDED WARRIOR, WE SHOULD
PROVIDE EXTRA SUPPORT FOR THEIR
FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS.
IF A VET IS LOOKING FOR A GOOD
JOB, WE SHOULD SUPPORT THEM
FINDING A GOOD JOB.
FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, IN
TECHNOLOGY, THAT'S WHAT I KNOW,
WE EXPOSE VETS TO THE CONTACTS
WITHIN THE COMPUTER AND
TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY.
FOR EXAMPLE, ONCE I JOINED THEM
ON FACEBOOK, VETS AND TECH GETS
TRAINED IN SALES FORCE
TECHNOLOGY AND GETS THOSE VETS
JOBS.
MORE RECENTLY, VETS AND TECH
WORKED WITH CYBER SECURITY FIRMS
TO GET THOSE VETS TRAINING AND
THEN PLACEMENT, DOING CYBER
SECURITY WORK.
THAT'S A BIG AMOUNT OF NATIONAL
DEFENSE RIGHT NOW.
OUR COUNTRY IS BEING ATTACKED
THROUGH THE INTERNET.
WE NEED MAYBE 300,000 MORE CYBER
SECURITY PEOPLE.
>> THAT MANY?
>> IT'S A GREAT CAREER PATH.
>> HOW ABOUT SOME OF THE OTHER
ORGANIZATIONS THAT I MENTIONED
THAT YOU'RE INVOLVED WITH.
>> IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETS OF
AMERICA IS THE BIG LONG STANDING
ORGANIZATION.
THEY ADDRESS REAL VETERANS'
NEEDS IN THE HERE AND NOW.
LIKE HELPING MAKE SURE THE G.I.
BILL GOT PASSED, AND IS
PRESERVED, DESPITE ATTACKS.
THEY ARE TRYING TO HELP VETS GET
PROPER TREATMENT IF THEY WERE
EXPOSED TO BURN PITS, WHICH IS
LIKE THE NEW AGENT ORANGE.
AND WOMEN VETERANS.
AND THERE'S NOW A COUPLE HUNDRED
THOUSAND OF THEM OR MORE.
>> WITH PROJECTIONS THERE WILL
BE MORE AND MORE WOMEN COMING
INTO THE MILITARY.
>> AND AMERICA AS A COUNTRY, AND
THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS
AFFAIRS, NEEDS TO RESPECT AND
PROPERLY SUPPORT WOMEN VETS, AND
IAVA AS A GENUINE LEADER IN THAT
REGARDS.
>> IF SOMEBODY IS WATCHING OUR
CONVERSATION AND SAYS THIS
SOUNDS LIKE GOOD WORK, WHAT CAN
WE SUGGEST THAT THEY CAN DO TO
HELP?
>> THEY CAN HELP VETS FIND WORK.
IF THEY KNOW A JOB THAT'S
AVAILABLE.
IF THEY'RE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM,
THEY COULD HELP MAKE SURE THAT
THE KIDS OF ACTIVE SERVICE
MEMBERS OR VETS GET A GOOD, AND
THEN A BETTER EDUCATION.
FOR EXAMPLE, THROUGH
CONTRIBUTING THROUGH DAUGHTERS
CHOOSE, WHERE THE SCHOOLS --
THEY CONTRIBUTE TO TEACHER'S
PROJECTS, WHICH ARE IN THE
SCHOOLS THAT SERVE MILITARY
FAMILIES.
AND THE IDEA IS THAT PEOPLE CAN
FIND OUT WHAT PROGRAMS ARE
AVAILABLE TO VETS, AND THEN GIVE
THEM A LITTLE NUDGE.
>> WE TALKED ABOUT YOUR
VOLUNTARY WORK WITH THE V.A. AND
BEING TITLED "THE NERD IN
CHIEF."
WHAT SORT OF WORK WERE YOU ABLE
TO DO WITH THEM?
>> I TOOK THE RESIDENTS PROGRAM
AND CALLED IT FOR ME THE NERD IN
RESIDENTS PROGRAM.
TWO REASONS, TRUTH IN
ADVERTISING.
AND I MAY HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR,
ALBEIT ON THE DRY SIDE.
I THOUGHT I WOULD BE HELPING
THEM WITH TECHNOLOGY.
I WAS WRONG.
THEY KNOW HOW TO DO PRETTY MUCH
EVERYTHING THEY NEED TO DO.
WHAT THEY NEEDED WAS AIR COVER
AND SUPPORT, BECAUSE THEY'RE
ALREADY DOING REALLY GREAT
STUFF.
BUT SOMETIMES THEY NEEDED
POLITICAL HELP FROM THE WHITE
HOUSE TO GET PERMISSION TO DO
OTHER REALLY GOOD STUFF.
YEARS AGO YOU WOULD SEE BIG
PILES OF PAPER FILES, WHERE
VETERANS WERE WAITING FOR
BENEFITS MANAGEMENT PROCESSING
TO HAPPEN.
HUGE AMOUNTS OF PAPER, SHELVES
BE
BENDING UNDER THEIR EIGHT.
AROUND THEM, THEY WERE FINISHING
THE BENEFITS SYSTEM, WHERE THEY
SCANNED IN CLAIMS, GREATLY
EXPEDITING THEM AND THEY'RE
MAKING ENORMOUS PROGRESS.
WHEN YOU SCAN IN FILES LIKE
THAT, YOU MAKE IT A LOT EASIER
TO FIND THEM, YOU MAKE IT A LOT
EASIER TO GET THEM FROM ONE
BENEFITS PROCESSOR TO ANOTHER.
BUT NO ONE WAS GIVING THE V.A.
CREDIT FOR THAT.
SO I WROTE A HUGE THANK YOU NOTE
TO VETERANS BENEFITS
ADMINISTRATION, ONLY TELLING THE
TRUTH, BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WAS.
SO I THANKED THEM ON THE RECORD,
AND THAT MEANT SOMETHING.
>> HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT WITH
THE PASSAGE OF TIME WE DON'T
START FORGETTING?
>> ALL I KNOW, BECAUSE I REALLY
AM A NERD.
I'M NOT A COMMUNICATIONS OR PEER
PERSON, BUT TELL EVERYONE THAT
WE SAW VETS A LOT.
WE OWE THEIR FAMILIES A LOT, AND
WE CAN'T FORGET THAT.
AND LET'S REPEAT THAT NOW AND
THEN.
>> CRAIG, YOU'RE DOING MARVELOUS
WORK FOR PEOPLE AND I'M SURE
THEY APPRECIATE WHAT YOU'RE
DOING, AND YOUR PERFECT
ILLUSTRATION OF THAT NOTION OF
DOING WELL AND DOING GOOD.
SO WE CERTAINLY THANK YOU.
AND I KNOW THE VETS THANK YOU.
>> I APPRECIATE THAT.
BUT ALL I'M DOING IS SAYING
THANK YOU FOR MUCH BIGGER WORK
DONE BY MILLIONS OF AMERICANS.
>> WHICH ALL OF US NEED TO DO.
>> THANK YOU.
>> PLEASURE.
>> TAKE CARE.

Funders

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