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Local veteran says military prepared him for entrepreneurship

(Photo Credit: Matt Bruhn){ }
(Photo Credit: Matt Bruhn)
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A local Air Force veteran turned small business owner is sharing how his military background prepared him for business ownership. But as CBS Austin’s Paige Hubbard explains, not all vets have an easy time returning to civilian life.

For 11 years Matt Bruhn served in the U.S. Air Force. While on active duty, he met his wife Laura, started a family, and traveled the world.

“There's certainly a sacrifice but a lot of pride that comes from having served your country,” said Bruhn.

He eventually wanted to settle down, be home with his family, and help others so Matt opened his own business called Mr. Electric. It’s an electric company that offers residential and commercial services in the Austin and San Antonio area.

“The transition from military life to civilian life is it is a tough one, but when you become a business owner, it's really easier because there's so much variety. And when you're in the service, there's so much variety every day is a fresh day, a new day and there's a new challenge,” he said.

Matt says the skills he learned in the military helped him build his company. But not all who serve their country make it home - nor have an easy time finding a job after leaving the military. Veronica Ramirez is a board member for Workforce Solutions Capitol Area. She says barriers like injuries, mental health challenges, and other hardships often make the job search a hard task for veterans.

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“I think one of the biggest things is trying to transfer your military experience to civilian life,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez advises vets to start reaching out to their local workforce community if they are looking for employment.

“We offer a résumé building, job training, we offer a job searching and we really try and put the veteran's priority when they come to Workforce solutions,” said Ramirez.

Matt says as a vet it’s rewarding to be in a position to help others.

“I think that's important that we share, that we have that community. For those of us who maybe have not shared just to be thankful and express our thanks and what better day than Veterans Day. But every day is a great day to be thankful for those who have served us,” said Matt.

For veterans looking to follow in his footsteps, he offers this advice.

“For those who are considering business ownership, and are veterans, as a veteran, I would just say, Look, if you have any doubts about your capability, you are capable. There are resources to help you,” he said.

To learn more about workforce solutions, and resources click here.

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