If you are a military reunion planner or have anything to do with the hospitality industry – even if it’s not in the military or veteran space – you need to plan a trip to Louisville, Kentucky to attend Reunion Friendly Network’s Education Conference Sunday, June 26 – Tuesday, June 28.
Why Kentucky? Because Boone Cutler is kicking off this leading educational event. Several months back I had the opportunity to talk with this radio personality and Warfighter Rights Leader. Our short 15-minute conversation (he was interviewing me, when I really should have been interviewing him) led to further exposure to a shadow world of raw emotions and struggles often experienced by those who have served our country in combat.
In 2010, Boone founded the National Warfighter Symposium to bring much needed attention to Warfighter issues, such as post-combat life — particularly the alarming rates of Warfighter suicide and homelessness.
Those of you who are frequent readers sadly know that America currently loses at least 23 Warfighters (22 veterans + 1 active duty) to suicide every single day. This is a number that Boone has made his mission to combat with his creation of “The Spartan Pledge.” Warfighters promise not to take their own lives, and instead vow to find a new mission to help one another. He has chosen GallantFew.org, founded by US Army Ranger Karl Monger, as his signature charity.
In 2012, Boone was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s Disease, secondary to a blast injury in Iraq. He is currently starting to campaign for more awareness on the issue in the Warfighter Community. And you can give a sharp salute to Reunion Friendly Network for making him the keynote.
Reunion Friendly Network was founded in 1991 to assist military reunion planners. Now based out of Snohomish, Wash. and led by hospitality industry veteran Sharon Danitschek, the network is hosting the three-day education conference. The event is open to veterans and all individuals in the hospitality industry and will cover a wide variety of topics including Hotel Contracts, Social Media, Third Party Event Planners, Working with Airlines and Cruises, 501c-19, Site Visits, Menu Planning, Budgets, and Event Insurance/Liability.
RFN is holding 10 spots for any veterans that want to come as well. They will cover registration, hotel and group meals. You just need to cover the airfare.
Bottom line: Kentucky may seem like a sacrifice for some of you — but after this conference, you’ll not only be educated but you’ll likely have a different perspective on the definition of “sacrifice.”
– By Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs