On The Outside Looking In

My name is Kassie and I am your typical 22-year-old woman. I grew up in Minnesota, attended college here, got a four-year degree and set out to find my dream job, like every other recent college grad I know.

With an Event Management degree in hand and four years of non-profit experience I was ready to tackle the dreaded fresh-out-of-college job search, what I hoped would be the first step to fulfilling my dreams. Unfortunately, after three months my fingers were curled to the keyboard and stiff from the carousel of job applications; my opportunites seemed to narrow considerably with each passing day.

A brisk day in November had me in a mix of emotions when I came across a posting for an assistant to a Chairwoman of a new non-profit organization.  She scheduled an interview with me immediately and, after much conversation, she advised me to check out her organization. “Medal of Honor Convention Twin Cities.”  Once I got past the vast title I began to do some researching.  The website radiated with patriotism, which, to someone who knows little about our armed forces, was both enticing and intimidating. I sifted through tabs on the site and came to the simple conclusion that this non-profit must have something to do with an event for people in the military.

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My first day on the job Chairwoman and I were walking through a grocery store when she asked my opinion of the military. In my head I began to think, What does that even mean?  Am I supposed to have an opinion?  No one has ever asked me this before, and my favorite, Who is even included in the “military?”   That last question makes me laugh now but I really had no idea what that broad term meant.  I had a feeling that my new boss was catching on to my naïveté when she handed me a stack of six DVD’s about the Medal of Honor.  I sat down with my computer, stared at the screen and, within fifteen minutes, I was sucked right in…Let me tell you why.

As a born romantic, I have always loved military and war-centric Hollywood movies (Saving Private Ryan being my personal favorite).  To me, without much, if any, direct contact with servicemen and women, the movies were exciting and the sub-plots always captured my heart.  However, while I sat watching DVD after DVD of raw footage of men who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and risked their lives for our country, I became overwhelmed with emotion. For the first time in my life I felt a connection to the military, and I was intrigued.

Starting to grasp the idea of the Medal of Honor and who the recipients are, I still barely understood what the non-profit organization was about. Passion arose within me for this enormous project even without full knowledge of the Medal of Honor Convention.  Day after day I would arrive to work with new questions. With basic knowledge of non-profits working with the military I never thought my talents would fit in, but I began to realize my event management major could come in handy. Watching the two worlds collide, I hit the ground running.

On the outside looking in, I felt I would never obtain enough information to fully understand the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of the Medal of Honor Convention.  Daunting is the appropriate word to use… But, we all have a part to play, we just have to be willing to find it

I encourage you to take a look at this website, even if just to get a laugh imagining me perusing around with an ignorant mind. Click around and see if you find yourself in the same place I did: confused, but oh-so fascinated.

Links:

Website //  http://www.cmohs.org

Vimeo //  https://vimeo.com/13578914

 

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