While on a 2010 passenger flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, Edge4Vets founder Tom Murphy was seated next to a U.S. Army soldier in uniform. Before the gate closed, the young man started drinking to mask his anxieties and anything else he might have been struggling with.

His behavior alarmed the flight crew, who had him escorted off the flight. The soldier’s behavior didn’t bother Murphy, but the underlying cause did. While still on the flight, he penned an op-ed for the New York Post about what Americans could do for returning U.S. troops.

Murphy never served, but he wanted to do something himself. So he created a training method to teach veterans to translate the skills they acquired in their military service to the language spoken by the civilian workforce.

“They sometimes have difficulty selling themselves,’’ Murphy told an Edge4Vets conference in South Carolina. “People serving in the military learn to work as a team, and they sometimes don’t think in terms of their individual accomplishments and skill sets.”

Murphy is the founder of Fordham University’s Human Resiliency Institute, which conducts research and offers training to help aviation workers cope with the pressures of one of the world’s most demanding career fields.

In 2011, he founded Edge4Vets in conjunction with the HRI to offer similar help to military veterans. The program combines workshop training with online instruction to teach veterans how to turn their military experience into skills for the business workforce and then connects them with jobs. Often, the program offers mentorship in the fields veterans are trying to enter.

Tom Murphy (seated, center) at a signing for his book, “RECLAIMING THE SKY 9/11 and the Untold Story of the Men and Women Who Kept America Flying.” (Edge4Vets)

“Edge4Vets gives veterans and other military personnel the support business leaders say they need most; that is, we teach them how to translate their military strengths, including values and skills, into tools for success in the civilian workplace, then we connect them to jobs that can lead to careers,” Murphy said in a statement.

Murphy estimates that eight out of 10 veterans who attend the Edge4Vets workshops have secured sustainable employment after the training. In all, the group has helped more than 2,000 veterans in seven states find work.

Rich Horan, a U.S. Army veteran who served as an infantry team leader in Afghanistan, is one of those veterans. The infantry is one of the most difficult career fields for veterans when trying to apply their military training to the civilian workforce.

“Edge4Vets helped me identify the value of that skill — my ability to form teams — and present it in a way that companies could see the value I could bring,” Horan said in a news release.

Like many other nonprofit organizations and programs, Edge4Vets has shifted some of its training opportunities to online formats. The next online training workshop is scheduled for April 15, 2021, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. A follow-up session is set for April 30.

During the two-week interval between the sessions, participants can access the Edge4Vets online course through a series of videos and exercises. Interested veterans can register for the Zoom-based workshop on the Edge4Vets website.

— Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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