MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va --
Sixty-eight individuals connected to the Marine For Life Network traveled to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, for their annual training event June 5-9.
The purpose of the event involved equipping representatives from every major Marine Corps command across the globe with the network and resource knowledge to support future transitions.
“Our program is important because we have Marine For Life representatives that are strategically placed around the United States and they serve as hometown links for our Marines, veterans, and military connected families,” said Vianey Verduzco, Marine For Life Network outreach manager.
The Marine For Life Network program provides Marines a head start when they have decided to transition out of the service and equips them with resources and connections that boost their chances to pursue both personal and professional goals, no matter their location.
Many attendees participated in previous years. However, the 2023 annual training event was unique in that 50Strong, a military employment organization, invited several companies to hold a panel and discuss opportunities for veterans.
“50Strong does a really good job of having well known, large, well branded companies, and puts them all in one space,” explains U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Maureen Lenzi, a Marine For Life Network representative with Marine and Family Programs Division in Kailua, Hawaii. “People see the efficacy of what they’re doing and that makes more people join.”
All attendees received valuable knowledge from different organizations in support of transitioning service members during this event. However, as Reserve Marines, they also learn from each other. In fact, they collaborate regularly and share experiences from their civilian occupations to aid and impart different ways to succeed.
“What makes this event unique for me is connecting with the other Marines across the nation,” said Gunnery Sgt. Angel Soriano, a Marine For Life Network representative with Marine and Family Programs Division in Los Angeles. “You have Marines from all different backgrounds, different employers, different professions, and [you] connect with them and learn what they do.”
The Marine For Life Network willingly helps their fellow service members from around the country. However, they don’t limit their assistance to service members who have made the decision to transition, they also have many resources for individuals who are struggling with employment.
“Last fall the Marine Corps signed a statement of understanding with the VA Vet Center [headquarters] so the Marine For Life Network partners just as closely with organizations that serve our veteran community across the nation,” Verduzco stated.
Soriano also addressed the common misconceptions about the organization’s goals.
“We’re not trying to sell anything,” explained the Los Angeles native. “We’re not in the business of getting any money or promotion if we get a veteran or transitioning service member a job. We’re fellow Marines, so we have that level of trust especially since readjusting back into the civilian sector is a big risk factor for suicide. Marine for Life can be a good resource to point them in the right direction.”
To identify and discuss transition opportunities with your local Marine For Life Network rep, visit www.quantico.usmc-mccs.org.