During a recent episode of “Talk About It Tuesday” (TAIT), Lia Mort from the CBS reality television competition “Tough as Nails” joined us for a discussion of VA and the Veteran experience. TAIT is a livestream dedicated to discussing VA career opportunities and advice that airs each week at noon EDT on our LinkedIn page.
Joining the military
Mort, the “Tough as Nails” Season 3 winner, has served in both the Marine Corps and the Army. She offered some insight into what it means to be among the 1% of the U.S. population who has served.
“I was coming right out of high school, and I really didn’t have any direction, so I thought that joining the military would be a good start,” Mort explained. “The Marine Corps appeared to me to be the most physically challenging and the most disciplined, so I decided to go into the Marine Corps.”
The military, including her deployment to Iraq, provided her with the training and wherewithal to rise to not only the challenge of serving, but others throughout her life.
“Being in the military has taught me to approach any kind of challenge with a positive attitude,” she explained. “I don’t have any expectations that everything is going to go smooth, but I know I can get through it.”
Taking advantage of VA resources
A portion of Mort’s discussion also highlighted the resources available to Veterans through VA, whether it is medical services or education credits. Mort praised her local VA representative for assisting her with submitting the paperwork needed to register with VA and “navigating the system.”
She and TAIT host Mike Owens shared how valuable it is for Veterans to sign up with VA, even if the resources aren’t needed right away. Circumstances could change, they agreed, and having access to VA benefits ahead of time could alleviate an unexpected burden.
Networking through your service
Taking a turn towards TAIT’s focus on career advice, Mort discussed how her time in the military helped her establish herself professionally, not in any one particular job, but with her skill set.
“When you’re in the military you learn to work with everybody,” she explained. “And when you get out, you just have a comfort in meeting people you haven’t met before and connecting right away.”
Those connections, she added, can carry over to potential employers. Those who have served in the military themselves or have worked with other Veterans know that a Veteran applicant is well-trained, bringing with them a good work ethic and a certain flexibility that allows them to adapt to new challenges and succeed even in difficult circumstances.
Work at VA
Learn more about post-military careers and the advice Lia Mort offered to fellow Veterans.