Recruitment 411: Through the eyes and heart of a soldier’s mom – Part 2

This is part two in our blog series with veteran recruiter and military mom, Linda Ortiz our colleague from the IRS Recruitment Office and today’s guest blogger.

I provided training and oversight for the warrior interns and their managers. Slowly, some of them separated from their military service, some returned to active duty and some became permanent members of the IRS family.

In July 2010, we held a graduation ceremony for the remaining interns. Their mentors attended along with their family members. The interns presented me with a very special gift — a small ceramic bear. They told me I was their “momma bear,” always looking out for them to make sure they were okay. Tears filled my eyes as I accepted the bear, thanking all my surrogate sons.

Following the success of the first group of interns, I was asked to help roll out the program nationally – not only in the IRS, but all of Treasury! Helping wounded warriors and veterans with their transition to civilian work life across the nation was a dream come true! This was a win-win program for both the military members AND Treasury.

I started a new chapter in my career as program coordinator for the Treasury and IRS Veteran Employment Office. The program manager, Ernie Beltz Jr., is a Marine Corps veteran and one of the mentors in the pilot program, so we already had a strong working relationship and deep commitment to the program.

In visiting with hundreds of wounded warriors and veterans, reviewing numerous résumés, and receiving calls and e-mails from hundreds more, it is evident there is a large pool of very dedicated, high-skilled military members who would make great federal employees.

In 2010, we helped ten interns from Fort Hood with their transition. Between February and June 2011, our office placed more than 100 interns nationally, partnering with both the Department of Defense and Department of Veteran Affairs.

I once heard a quote about achieving success: “You have to have your heart in the business and the business in your heart.” I understand it now.

As we celebrate our country’s 235th birthday, I have so many different emotions. The words my director kept saying to me in 2009 continually ring in my ears: “We need to give back.”

Part of celebrating a birthday is receiving gifts. We have received many gifts, with the biggest being the freedoms in our country. Now, we need to give back!

How have veterans impacted you or touched your life?

Recruitment 411 is the official blog of the IRS Recruitment Office.

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