Written by Shannon P. Meehan, IVMF Media Relations & Communications Specialist
On day three of Syracuse University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), Dr. Andrew Corbett, an associate professor at Babson College and esteemed entrepreneur, taught Developing Entrepreneurial Strategy.
As Dr. Corbett stared out at the crowd of military veterans filling the classroom, he saw much more than their attentive eyes staring back at him. Behind those eyes he saw the stories of these veterans. He felt the heat of their deployments and the injuries that have left them disabled. He saw the pain in their experiences and the sacrifices they have made for not only our country and each other, but also for him.
Seeing all of this in the classroom full of veterans trying to move forward with their lives by becoming entrepreneurs, Dr. Corbett felt the gravity of the situation. He understood the significance of his message to them.
As these veterans, many with scars – both physical and emotional – hung on every word Dr. Corbett uttered, it overwhelmed him. Andrew broke from his presentation, and he broke down into tears. With welled eyes, he thanked the veterans for their service and sacrifice. The veterans saw his sincerity and the appreciation he held for them. And for this honest display of emotion, vets broke out in applause; a sign that they had accepted him and his feelings.
Dr. Corbett went on to teach an excellent class to these eager veterans, and much was learned.
Quite a display to see.
Shannon P. Meehan, a 2011 gradute of EBV-SU, is a communications and media relations specialist for the IVMF. He is also the co-author of “Beyond Duty: Life on the Frontline in Iraq” (Polity Press).