Freedom Friday- The Bearded Veteran
Ryan is the owner and operator of The Bearded Veteran. I met Ryan while on active duty he was a bada** NCO and that showed what leadership looked like. He is just starting out on his journey as a veteran business owner/community. He makes youtube videos and helps veterans transition from military life to the civilian life. Most don’t know but it’s a pretty big and tough transition.
What branch did you serve in?
Army. The real Military.
Tell a little about yourself.
My name is Ryan Smeltz and I am 31 years old. I served in the Army for 10 years with one deployment to Iraq 07-09. I am in school so my GI Bill gets put to good use (don’t have any kids yet). I have a huge passion for the Veteran community and I am an avid supporter of people like Drew Hernandez (A Combat Veteran) and John Burk.
What is your business/organization/blog name and what your business/organization/blog is about?
My business is much more of a community. I am The Bearded Veteran, obviously. My primary focus is bridging the gap between those joining the Military and Veterans.
The Bearded Veteran is bringing much of this information to the fingertips of everyday people primarily via YouTube https://goo.gl/nhDnmc I have begun putting it in writing on a website to come at www.AVetsBeard.com as well as the Facebook page
What led you to this journey?
The reason for this is because before enlisting, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or what to expect. The same thing happened when I got out. No clue, no direction… it was as though there was so much information in Soldier For Life Transition Assistance Program (SFL TAP, old school ACAP) that it was overwhelming and confusing. I yearn to make the transition in and out of the Military easier for people especially since YouTube is where we all head for answers in the first place.
What is one thing you have learned from the service that you use in your business/ organization/blog?
Everything can be paralleled from the Military to Civilian life. I started writing my book in July (title TBD) about everything I learned in the Military and how it can still be applied in a practical sense outside of the Military. When we realize these lessons and how we can apply them in our everyday lives, Veterans everywhere will become a much stronger and knowledgeable leadership force capable of creating positive change within their workplace, regardless of where they end up after their service.
If you have missed the other Freedom Friday articles check them out. I hope Y’all are enjoying this series. I am loving it and being able to share veteran businesses.