November 2015 Heroes of the Month: Operation REBOOT and Operation REINVENT
I first became aware of Operation REBOOT thanks to the leadership of our dear friend Admiral Ronne Froman, U.S. Navy (Ret.).
Ronne is one of the highest ranking women officers in the history of the U.S. Navy. After retirement, she returned to San Diego, where she has helped countless San Diego organizations in crisis – as Business Operations Chief of the San Diego Unified School District, CEO of the Red Cross of San Diego and COO for Mayor Jerry Sanders.
Ronne met a Marine in San Diego who changed her life. Her Marine was a drill sergeant but upon his return to civilian life, he was unable to adjust his mindset to a non-combat environment: he lost one job after another, his marriage was on the rocks and his self-esteem was eroding.
Ronne then met Navy Master chief Maurice Wilson and found out about his idea for “REBOOT” workshops for vets leaving the service and transitioning to civilian life. Thanks to Maurice and Ronne, there have been over 100 three-week workshops in San Diego, fully funded without cost to our vets. The program is run by the San Diego-based National Veterans Transition Service and has served as a role model for others throughout the United States. Ronne has served since its inception as honorary CEO of Operation REBOOT.
But the story gets better. After 57 workshops that were 90% male, REBOOT held their first ever all-women-veteran workshop in 2014 and invited OPERATION REINVENT to come in and stage makeovers for 25 women veterans who had recently separated from the service.
The following story tells what happened and the many wonderful donors who made it possible:
The Reboot Workshop
The women were
treated to a complete personal makeover by a staff of hair and beauty
professionals. They provided the women with detailed instruction on how
to duplicate and maintain a professional image—both beauty and
wardrobe—for job interviews and in their new professional lives.
OPERATION REINVENT brought in three corporate partners who contributed $35,000 in in-kind donations to make PROJECT MAKEOVER a spectacular success:
- Fantastic Sams provided 10 hairstylists for this event, a free follow-up haircut, and hair beauty products for each of the 25 women veterans.
- Stila provided 6 make-up artists and donated a $300 professional-image make-up kit for each of the 25 women.
- Spiegel supplied a wardrobe consultation and $100 gift certificates for each woman.
REINVENT received local TV coverage and created a proof-of-concept video.
But most important was the individual feedback from these strong accomplished women:
- It was an amazing day and words cannot thank you enough. What you are doing is changing lives, and I hope you truly know that. Thank you.” –EW
- Seeing myself in a whole new light is empowering. I have not felt this confident in over 10 years. You do not know how much my life has been affected by your program in general and Fantastic Sams, Stila and Spiegel in particular. You completed the transformation to become the butterfly that I had hoped to be. Thank you!!!” –AG
I encourage you to go to REBOOT’s website (www.nvtsi.org/latest-news/) and get involved, AND PLEASE HELP OUR VETS FIND GOOD JOBS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR!!!
To Ronne, Maurice and your wonderful supporters: Bravo! — Jim