As the newest member of the Sword and Plough team, I wanted to introduce myself. I’m originally from Warren, OH. After I graduated from high school, I attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH where I received a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship and was also a member of the varsity swim team. Upon graduation, I commissioned as 2LT in the Army Transportation Corps. After several months of training at Fort Eustis, VA, I was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC with the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. While there, I served in several positions, gaining experience in leadership, supply, and logistics and also serving a tour in Iraq. Once I had been promoted to captain, I moved to Fort Lee, VA for six months of logistics training. Upon graduation, I was stationed at Fort Carson, CO with the 10th Special Forces Group, serving in the Group Support Battalion’s S3 shop, responsible for all operations and training of the battalion. It was there that I decided it was time to get out of the military and focus on other goals and endeavors. One of those was to join the Sword and Plough team.
There are a few reasons why Sword and Plough has greatly and positively impacted my family and I. While serving for almost 6 years in the U.S. Army, I witnessed young, promising soldiers leave the military and have extreme difficulty finding employment. It always puzzled me as to why these soldiers had such a hard time finding jobs. I knew first-hand of the valuable job experience that these men and women had acquired over their time in the service. They had problem solving skills, led multiple vehicle convoys through war-torn countries, coordinated exercises and mission that involved hundreds of people and millions of dollars of equipment, and had been responsible for the lives of their fellow service members. These men and women had endured some of the hardest working conditions, and rank among the most knowledgeable people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. And yet, they were not able to land a job to support themselves and their families.
When I first heard about Sword and Plough, I was immediately intrigued. I researched the company online and read as many articles I could find. Not only was I impressed that Emily was simultaneously running a successful company and working full-time as an Army officer, but I was drawn to what she and her company stood for - empowering veterans while reducing waste. I personally witnessed the unfortunate waste of supplies that happens as the military transforms and upgrades it’s equipment. I knew right away that this was a company I wanted to be a part of, and a mission that I felt passionately about.
Transitioning out of the military is difficult. You miss the people and the service and the larger mission. Being able to still feel that I can impact a member’s life in some small way is the greatest joy in this job.
Sword and Plough is reaching the civilian population through their bags and accessories. They are bringing awareness to the veteran community. You can not shop on their website without realizing who and what the company stands for. The more people that shop and buy products repurposed from surplus military equipment, the more awareness we will bring to the struggles that veterans face.
I have witnessed firsthand the passion and commitment this team’s leadership has for veterans. They go the extra mile to ensure that they uphold their values and the mission of the company. They work extremely hard to ensure that they hire veterans and procure materials from are military surplus. As this company grows, I am certain their work in the veteran and civilian communities will leave a positive impact.