Connecting veterans with Capitol Hill

The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast this week welcomes guest Justin Brown, the founder and CEO of HillVets.

 “We need to get back to the idea that we can talk with each other and compromise and do what’s right for our nation,” said Brown, a Navy veteran. “And no one better to do that in America than a veteran right now.”

The interview, which was recorded at January’s Student Veterans of America conference, is conducted by Jeff Daly and Ashley Gorbulja. The episode’s release is timed to coincide with the Legion’s Washington Conference this week.

Founded in 2013, HillVets is a community of veterans, servicemembers and their supporters interested in governance, international affairs, policy, advocacy and politics. HillVets helps members of the military community by providing them with contacts, education and resources.

“The goal of our program is to find veterans jobs on Capitol Hill, or in federal agencies or VSOs,” said Brown, noting The American Legion has hired previous HillVets fellows.

The creation of HillVets, a nonprofit organization, was not a grand plan. Brown noticed a gap when he interned on the Hill. “I noticed there was no networking, I didn’t even know any veterans for quite some time working on Capitol Hill. That stuck with me for quite some time.”

So he started HillVets as a way to help. “If you can get involved with an American Legion and help, I’m all about that.”

Time-warping back to the present day, Daly and new co-host Ashley Gutermuth discuss:

• “A perfect military operation.” Also known as Guthermuth’s upcoming move that involves no movers and no house at her new destination.

• A new video game that brings “strategic World War II battles to life.”

• From military service to serving hot wings. “I’m a U.S. Marine turned Hooters girl.”  

Check out this week’s episode, which is among about 170 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel.