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Episode 28: A Discussion With the Founder of Code of Vets

Welcome to episode 28 of the Veterans Voice podcast! 

In this podcast episode, our host Amanda L. Mineer welcomes Gretchen Smith, the founder of Code of Vets, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the veteran community. Gretchen, as a veteran herself, honorably served in the Air Force for roughly four and half years. Three of which were spent overseas in Germany, where she met her now-husband of 27 years.

She recalls her time in the military as a great way to build a foundation for the rest of her adult life—almost as if it were a springboard to greater things. She even says that she may not have been great for the Air Force at the time, but the Air Force was great for her. 

At the beginning of this episode, Gretchen describes her loving father, the main source of inspiration behind Code of Vets. She tells us about who he was as a father and Vietnam veteran, the man that was a Bronze Star Medal recipient. And then, she tells us about the man he became… a 100 percent disabled veteran who battled PTSD every day—later losing the fight and passing away at the young age of 57. 

Gretchen goes on about her time in the military and her father around the 4:00-minute mark in this podcast. 

Later on in the episode, Amanda and Gretchen discuss the surplus of aid available for veterans now. And that, for the most part, that aid is just waiting for a veteran to be informed about it. You can listen to that discussion around the 10:00-minute mark. 

Then, Gretchen tells us about what Code of Vets does for the veteran community and how, even from its humble beginnings as a Twitter page, it evolved into something greater that consistently helps veterans. 

Finally, toward the end of the episode, Amanda asks Gretchen to inform us about her own background. Specifically, the essential experiences that gave her the confidence to utilize the power of social media to aid veterans in the way that she does. That question and Gretchen’s answer lead us to an entirely different discussion—one that is about how a simple tweet about hope saved a veteran’s life as he was going through a tough time. 

To hear all about the tale of that veteran, the circumstances which made him feel hopeless and later about the homeless veteran population, that is constantly fighting to stay welcome in the country that they served, you can tune in to the podcast at the 35:00-minute mark. 

If you’d like to learn more about Code of Vets, please click here.

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