A Personal “Thank You” to Our Veterans

Travis Mills and Matt Albuquerque
Travis Mills, retired United States Army Staff Sergeant and recalibrated warrior, with Matt Albuquerque

Dear Veteran,

On Veteran’s Day and every day, I am thankful for your service and all you represent, not just as the President of Next Step, but as the proud son of a Navy veteran.

In fact, the military has had a profound impact on my life and our mission at Next Step. After serving twenty years, my dad retired from the Navy as a master chief. He had enlisted as a young man, searching for something meaningful after the loss of both his parents. What he found was a culture and people that modeled sacrifice, integrity, and the commitment to being part of a mission much larger than he was – one where he could make a difference.  As he often told me, “the Navy saved my life.” After he retired, the invaluable experience and training he had gained through his service opened up a successful second career opportunity with Sanders Associates (now part of BAE), a defense contractor. As his son, I grew up knowing one thing – if I did nothing else, I wanted to find a way to thank the military for saving my Dad and giving me my strong family and home. Continue reading “A Personal “Thank You” to Our Veterans”

Supporting Amputee Veterans Through Policy and Education

To our veterans:

Navigating the healthcare system can be complicated, especially if you are a veteran. I’m sure you’ve heard the local and national coverage of the challenges the Veterans’ Administration (VA) has in providing the level of service you’ve earned on behalf of a grateful nation. If you’re an amputee veteran, those challenges can be especially difficult as you navigate the complex system for the prosthetic equipment and support you need to reclaim your best possible life.

Next Step Team with Luke ArmSomething we’ve learned at Next Step and through our involvement with NH organizations such as Veterans Count, is that our veterans need integrated and responsive healthcare support. To accomplish that outcome, awareness on the part of lawmakers and providers is key. Our goal is to serve as a resource and information bridge for amputee veterans and the lawmakers entrusted with oversight of military medical care. As an NH-based company, we’ve been fortunate to be able to leverage the national spotlight of our first-in-the-nation primaries to inform our future executive and legislative leaders on the challenges of healthcare and veterans’ benefits. We also have worked with our amputee veterans in understanding and exercising their full range of benefits and coverage through the VA. We know there is much more work to do, and we are committed to being part of the solution.  Continue reading “Supporting Amputee Veterans Through Policy and Education”

2017 Spring and Summer Events for Veterans

Spring is finally here with summer not far behind.

adaptive golf cartWhether you are a veteran looking for a new job challenge, a chance to celebrate, or fun in the sun with fellow vets, we’ve compiled some our favorite veterans events for the warm, sunny months ahead.

Job Searching?

Get in front of employers with these veteran job fairs.

Continue reading “2017 Spring and Summer Events for Veterans”

Veteran Marine On Why He Chose Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics

I chose Next Step as my prosthetics provider after receiving a list of options that I have in the area. Setting up appointments, coming into the clinics, meeting the staff, and really trying to figure out the best option for me as far as my prosthetics. I knew this was going to be a long road and that this is not a decision that I should be making lightly. Fortunately, I picked Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, which has been the best thing I’ve done for my medical needs since I’ve gotten home by far. Continue reading “Veteran Marine On Why He Chose Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics”

An Open Letter to Veteran Amputees Just Living Their Lives: You Don’t Have to Climb Mt. Everest to be Our Hero

veteran amputee The media loves stories of veterans who take on an enormous goal after being wounded in combat. The spotlight shines brightly on heroic feats such as climbing the world’s tallest mountains, running across a whole state or even the entire country, or competing in the Paralympics. We admit, we love these stories too. These tales, and the warriors within them, are inspirational. They give us something to shoot for; a reason to feel like everything’s going to be okay, and that anything is possible. Continue reading “An Open Letter to Veteran Amputees Just Living Their Lives: You Don’t Have to Climb Mt. Everest to be Our Hero”

Amputee Veteran Trains to Become A Firefighter

I always thought it was a long shot for me to be in the fire department.   There wasn’t many times in my life that I felt pity for myself or felt that I couldn’t do something but in that context of having to put myself socially back into society as well as physically,  I didn’t know how that would work.   That’s when I said,  ‘you’re gonna try this.   I haven’t done anything yet that I haven’t been able to do.  I can do anything that anybody else can do.  I just have to find a different way to do it  sometimes.’  Continue reading “Amputee Veteran Trains to Become A Firefighter”

Veteran Amputee Speaks About Transitioning to the Civilian World

I’m definitely in a different mental mindset now than I was prior to the start of my fire training.  If you don’t realize that there are clear lines between military life and civilian life and you’re still constantly chasing that high of being in combat, you’re going to find yourself very unsatisfied with almost everything you do.  Continue reading “Veteran Amputee Speaks About Transitioning to the Civilian World”

Resources to Serve Disabled Veterans

Disabled VeteransYou’ve served, sacrificed, and conquered challenges that seemed insurmountable. You’re ready for that fresh start and new roadblocks emerge. How do you navigate the equipment, transportation, educational, and business challenges ahead? You need resources and have no idea where to start.  Grants for disabled veterans, as well as other resources, can be hard to find, as they come from numerous and diverse organizations – everything from federal, state, local, and corporate to nonprofits.  Continue reading “Resources to Serve Disabled Veterans”

Amputee Veteran Firefighter Talks About Overcoming Doubts

Most of the struggles that I encountered in this process at the beginning, whether it’s people wondering if prosthetics would be able to hold up to the physical rigors of the job and the heat resistance, ultimately comes down to this, my real legs are not heat resistant.  So if I were to be in a situation where something was to happen with fire I would prefer it to be with a fake leg anyway.   It was a lot of people asking me ‘how are you going to do this?” I don’t know if they had doubts but I knew that I didn’t have doubts.  That I’d be able to to keep up with the other people in the class without the disability that I have. I remember one day I heard an instructor yelling at one of the other students: “What the heck is wrong with you? There’s a firefighter here with one leg that’s kicking your ass.” It’s things like that that are nice to hear.  Lets you know that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.  That you’re up to par with everybody else. Continue reading “Amputee Veteran Firefighter Talks About Overcoming Doubts”