In today's episode, Zach Page and Wyatt Page, two young active-duty officers, tell their noble mission in founding The American Legacy Project Inc. in the non-profit space. Let's delve into how sharing military experiences through stories became a powerful tool to inspire the military community.
01:50- Zach and Wyatt both graduated from Westpoint with an economics major
03:45- What led Wyatt and Zach to start a non-profit business?
15:55- Knowing when to start and having a deeper understanding of a non-profit business
20:10- Benevity portal is a free sign for a non-profit that matches them to corporations that encourage employees to volunteer for them
23:00- The American Legacy Project serves active duty, reservist or veterans, and civilians
24:24- Zach explains the process of capturing stories for the project.
27:40- About 35 legacies have been captured since March
29:45- Why do veterans need to tell their stories?
3 Key Points:
- Sharing military experiences through storytelling is a cathartic and powerful way to better understand yourself and find a meaningful connection.
- Telling veterans' stories is an opportunity to realize the lessons on their service, which inspire those who are coming along.
- Knowing these stories gives a deeper meaning to the common phrase " thank you for your service" and develops empathy between civilians and the military.
- “Find the thing that seems boring to someone else and make it fun to you. If you can find something, build it and make it fun.”- Zach
- “Your time in service teaches you so much in life, and a lot of us downplay because we are shy to introspect, but the more you talk to people, the more stories you see that are ready to be told and need to be told.”- Zach
- “The American Legacy Project is a great way to bring the community at large together regardless if they're in the military or not.”- Zach
Transcript - 012 with Zach Page & Wyatt Fraser - The American Legacy Project - Share Your Experiences to Connect
Scott Tucker: We all have a story to share experiences, to learn from things we wish somebody else would have told us that we had to learn along the way. So if you learn how to package your story, you can find ways to share with others, bring value to the world. And bring connections to yourself to improve your own opportunities.
Hi, I'm Scott Tucker and welcome back to Veteran Wealth Secrets and that aspect of the reality of our own experience, regardless of what it has to do with, might have to do with our military career might not, but. Is it not true that you've learned a few things along the way in that you might be able to share it with someone else coming behind you that can help them improve speed up their time.
Do things cheaper, do things a little bit better. That's what value creation is. And in modern times, everybody can do it. We've never had a better time in all of human history to bring that value to the world. That's what entrepreneurship is. That's what living a life of purpose meaning is. So if we don't learn the skill sets and how to do that, then we're leaving so much on the table.
Number risk, having no regrets that would never truly.
And. I got lucky we had about seven or eight years after I got out of the military. When I was really struggling with my identity. I didn't have it integrity with the way financial services works. And the way I was told this is how it's always done, and you should just keep doing it that way. And I thought back to myself, when I was getting out of the military, when I was entering the financial services industry in knowing everything I knew later, I was pissed.
I said how was it? You? I went to West point. I had these mentors or these people in the industry, certified financial planners that have been in the industry 10, 20, 30 years. And yet none of them told me the reality or the truth about how this stuff works. They just were going through the motions.
And so that's why I ended up writing my first book one that. I've never really even promoted, but I wrote it for myself because I realized, what is it that the Scott Tucker of 10, 15 years ago wanted to hear because. At that time. I knew I didn't want to go out and get a job. I did a resume, but I never really sent it around anybody.
I was in Europe when I was getting out. So there wasn't the, there wasn't LinkedIn, there, wasn't all this stuff going on about, how to get a job. I could have joined one of the recurrent recruiting firms, but they would've had me go back to the States and I needed to stay in Germany. But I, I w I knew I was looking for something different for something outside the box, but there was no pathway. There was no guidance. There was no, here's what I did. And here's what to avoid. And it was frustrating. Now, I didn't recognize that frustration until many years later. And, that's why I wanted to write the book.
I was like, I needed to get it out of my head, all the stuff I wish somebody had told me and somebodies fault, but my own, that's the whole point. That's my whole message. Behind Veteran Wealth Secrets is I wasn't taking responsibility of myself at the time. I was just going to the next duty station, go into the next, booth and the out-processing station.
And that wasn't fair to me.
No, that wasn't fair to those whom I ended up serving or getting as clients as my head. Wasn't right. I didn't truly understand what my job was. My career was I thought, cause I got certifications. I got licenses. I had a label. I was associated with a firm I was associated with. Financial strategies are basically just products that I was a salesman for.
Nobody ever told me I was a salesman. They don't tell any veterans when they're getting into the financial service industry, their salesman, they tell them, Oh, you're going to be your own business. It's not true. In fact, some of these firms, when they're at the Veteran job fairs, they act like they're hiring them, giving them a job.
We have jobs for you at such and such financial company. It's no, they don't. You're not making any money. Unless you make a commission. That's not a job now. It gives you more freedom, but it's misleading. And I find it disingenuous. So that's why I'm so open and honest with sharing my experiences, because I don't want any other Veteran entering this industry.
And unfortunately I see them on LinkedIn and they're making all the same mistakes where we're in a suit. Standard profile. I represent this firm. We've been around 150 years. It's you're just commodity because if you don't make it, which 95% of the people of new people in the industry, don't, they're going to be happy.
They had you a call, all your friends and family and bugged the hell out of them. You messaged everybody you connected with on LinkedIn and. You've have gotten some of them in the door. You'll barely made enough money to survive. And that's probably why you ended up quitting, but they've got the client at the firm.
It's not your client. So that really frustrates me. And the cool thing is it doesn't have to be that way anymore. It used to be, that was the only way to enter this industry. But now things are changing. You don't need to have the series six series seven. I see new financial advisors posting on LinkedIn that I've just passed this new license.
The four required financial advisor licenses. It's like there aren't, there are no required financial advisor licensee who made up that crap. There's financial coaches all over the internet. They don't have any licenses. They don't have any responsibility. You can get or give advice from anybody you want.
Now, the question is, should you be getting advice from someone just because they have a license, the license is only there because it allows you based on government rules to get paid for selling financial products. It has nothing to do with your competency as a financial advisor. And that's why. Through my experience.
I've learned that financial advice has very little to do with budgeting or your stock portfolio or planning out for some retirement 30, 40 years from now because everything's going to change tomorrow. No, it was that way always, but it's very much the case now in today's economy. So instead, why not employ a strategy of flexibility, a strategy of education, a strategy of personal branding, strategy of skillset development, that's Wealth, that's financial advice.
And so I continue to share my experiences and packaged them into books. It led to this podcast that led to YouTube. It led to a website led to blogs, that to speaking engagements, When I started down this path I had, when I wrote that book to myself that I didn't really promote again, didn't expect anybody to read it.
I just needed to get it out of my head. What is it I have to share? And it's led to all this continued ability to bring value to those whom I meant to serve. So I ask you, are you going to package your experiences? Define the expertise, the knowledge, the thought leadership that you have in spin, maybe in an industry or in a field that you're currently familiar with, maybe it's something you're interested in.
You want to learn more about and you want to put your own spin on it.
that's the opportunity we have. And I really hope. You find a way to take it. If you want to learn more about how to do that, make sure you pick up a copy of my book, Veteran Wealth Secrets on Amazon, or you can get the first three chapters for free at Veteran Wealth Secrets dot com. But got an interview today about the idea of sharing experiences with Zach page and why a page.
Two young officers who created the American legacy project. So very interesting stuff. Love it. When people have a passion and want to create something young while they're still in the military. So hope you enjoy the interview. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast. Leave a review, share with a friend, , check out our YouTube channel Veteran Wealth Secrets, and we will see you on the next episode.
Hey everybody, Scott Tucker here again with Veteran Wealth Secrets, we're this show is for those looking for something different or they want something else in their lives or their understanding that we're in a new economy and new age and whether we're still active duty.
We're getting out of the military already out. We want to take advantage of the new technologies and the new opportunities and new connections, new way of finding, meaning, let alone meaningful income. And so that's what my book's all about a Veteran Wealth Secrets. You can get that on amazon.com now released last week but getting great feedback on it.
So that's exciting. And but it's even more exciting. To talk to to young active duty officers white Frazier and Zach Paige who are doing some pretty cool things out there. And I was just really excited to have them want to come on the show from very different parts of the globe, but we'll get into that.
Thanks for coming on. Really excited to hear about. Like your mission, how you came up with it..
Thanks for having us on Scott. We're really excited to share a little bit about what we're doing.
So yeah I'm up here in Anchorage, Alaska. So I'm a 10 times zones apart from where Zach's at over in balm holder. But we are we graduated from West point together in 2017. We were both economics majors. So that's how we became friends. And that's how we got to know each other, kept talking after graduation.
And I'm a medical service Corps officer in an airborne brigade up here in Alaska. And Zach, I'll let him introduce himself a little bit more second, but yeah we we started in the army. Personally me myself after leaving West point, I wanted to still stay engaged with something beyond I guess the army teaches you how to operate within a system, which is a very valuable skill, teaches you how to figure out what the system is asking of you and how to apply a very specific task.
It's not entrepreneurial. It's not supposed to be, it. Couldn't be really you couldn't have. No, 3 million people in the department of defense, all freewheeling, but we both felt like, Hey, there's, know, there's gotta be some way that we can be creative and that we can flex that muscle that we did flex a lot at West point.
You had, whether it was, figuring out assignments, figuring out what you're supposed to do. But when there not an AR or. Emmanuel, in the army it's, what should I do? Oh the men, there's an AR for that, right? Reference this, you go there you read it and it spells out, exactly how you're supposed to run.
This is fire drill, run this live fire, how you're supposed to deliver this shipment, whatever it might be. And we both wanted something where, How do you do this? I don't know, right? Professor YouTube or go to someone else's blog and figure that out. And that's a skill that we, I think really felt like we we saw atrophying.
So that's kinda what led us to start thinking of things. And that's what brought us to. Found this nonprofit, the American legacy project. And before we go on, I'll let Zach tell his side of the story, what he saw. Yeah. So your defense artillery officer. Bondholder, Germany.
Zach Page: But why don't I, we met at West point, but he actually joined my class after two years doing his LDS mission. So it was just one of those circumstances where you meet somebody new, you're going to be lifelong friends. We always knew we wanted to do something together. And we thought about making a podcast or telling stories in some way.
Our, the Genesis of the American legacy project actually started with wine. So he could probably tell that story a little bit better, but we both noticed that like with podcasting people are seeking value in new ways. And storytelling is a powerful way and the long form conversations is a way to.
Bring out the nuance in life that people are creating. And that's one of the aspects of the American legacy project that appeals to not only veterans, but the population at large. Yeah. That's what I was looking at your website and saying, okay, this is more than just a Veteran thing.
A couple of things I wanted to ask you guys about specifically, cause. It sounds like the typical thing coming out of West point is all right. I gotta, I'm doing all these things about being a platoon leader and that's the only thing I'm allowed to worry about. But I don't know if this is because you guys are economics guys or just your personalities.
Wouldn't be more creative or. Or honestly, if your mission work, might've had a lot to do with it. Why? Because I know from having traveled around the world, it was always about language and culture. That helped me. I was a portrait he's major West point. And so I traveled a lot. I always thought that was a bit of a joke.
Just because at that place sucked, I wanted to have some fun. But yeah, I ended up realizing that, Traveling and stuff, helped me think outside the box and it basically helped me become a better entrepreneur. So what was the catalyst for you guys? Had you read a rich dad, poor dad or something like that, or just Hey, we gotta be figured something out.
Or, w what causes. YouTube, it'll just say, listen, I don't know what we're going to do yet, but we're going to figure something out. But then we'll come back to talk more about the storytelling because that's a huge topic I want to get into. But what was the thing that made you want to say, Hey we were still active duty, but we want to go try something.
So let's figure, it's figure out a project here and now if people are willing to do that. Yeah. I I think, it comes down to. Tom, Zach and I always talked about time management. I'm not, we're not saying that we don't watch TV every once in a while or that we don't have, social lives or anything, but there's definitely an element of, you just want to prioritize and to us there's a not a personal mentor or anything, but an intellectual mentor.
Nepal, Rubicon always says, find the thing that seems boring or tedious to someone else and make it fun to you. You're doing the same. He always says, you're doing the same amount of work when you're playing call of duty. You're working, but you're getting a reward.
So if you can make a, building a business or doing something, probably like what you've experienced yourself with Veteran Wealth Secrets, if you can find something, build it and make it fun. So that's what we were always after was trying to find something that could mesh, being productive.
I had, I did, I do still have a mentor. He's a graduate as well as . He's been an entrepreneur and he would tell me he was a professor at West point. And then he went to grad school in the city and I kept a relationship with him and he would always talk about how, when he was a Lieutenant, he would, he made a rugby ball company, drop shipping type stuff, really minor entrepreneurial ventures, but he would just see what he could do.
And when I graduated, I was like, Hey, I want to see, maybe I could do stuff like that. There are definitely times in the army where you're busy. You do not have any at a time. When you're deployed or when you are at NTC or JRTC, there's no time to be running a business.
Like you're totally occupied with that. So Zach and I were always trying to figure out, what can we do that? Would allow us to stay active creatively, but also would allow us the ability to maintain our commitment to our job. Cause that is, we are army officers first and this is combination of a passion project with something that we actually want to build up.
Acknowledging yeah. That, our jobs come first. That's what we are doing right now. But really the entire impetus really started when I was talking to my platoon Sergeant, my very first platoon Sergeant. I get back for, I get done with airborne school, getting into Bullock show up at my unit, and I'm immediately in the platoon leader slot.
And I have this 19 year old 19 year NCO Sergeant first class Marquez. And he's always, he's just telling me so many stories all the time. Yeah. As someone that's served from 2000 now to 2020, he's seen the entire. And he joined before nine 11. Wow. All these stories. And I was like, have you ever written these down?
Do you record these, do you journal? And he's no, I don't think I ever have. And he played them down. My stories, aren't that cool. I'm just starting to Marquez. I haven't done anything. I was like, no, I think they're cool. I think you should write them down.
And so he's yeah. And so then I thought why don't I help you write? You're about to retire. You've really helped me as a mentor. As a new officer, so I'll come over and I'll record your stuff and make this for you, as a retirement present. So I did that and I talked to Zach and we were both like, Hey, we could do this for more people.
If this is one in CEO's experience, I'm sure there are a lot of NCO and officers. And whether you serve five years or 35 your time in service teaches you so much. And I think a lot of us really downplay, for whatever reason, maybe it's a, survivor's guilt for some people, feeling my buddy that I knew his story was cooler than mine or whether it's just this feeling of like I'm out of Greenbrae I, my story is not cool.
All I did was this right. But the more you talk to people, the more stories are ready to be told and need to be told. And for a lot of these people, they don't realize the worth that their own life and story has until they sit down and tell it, we're shy to talk to ourselves, we're shy to, to introspect.
So that was the impetus for starting what's now become the Americans. I love that. And you make a great point. I also think that storytelling while definitely cathartic and meaningful for those who want to tell the story, ultimately he's telling the story to you, the young platoon leader.
This is the kind of stuff they should be teaching at West point. And in my mind, I wish they would have thought, versus nuclear engineering that like that didn't help. But I would have loved to have heard lots of stories from. Platoon sergeants like that. Cause I, I think in this day and age with the ability to mass communicate, anybody can have a book up on Amazon in 90 days.
Anybody can start a channel just like we're doing right now, radio podcast. And why wouldn't they, if what they have to teach and say could help somebody else come coming along. That's our opportunity. I'd like to see more veterans. Getting out there telling their stories. Cause I'm a big, you ever heard of StoryBrand by Donald Miller?
Yeah. Building a StoryBrand. I think you guys really enjoy that book and see how it might apply to your mission as well as it's a branding, here's how to brand and market your your business and stuff. But so Zach what what'd you think when Wyatt. Okay.
And see with this idea of or how did you guys manifest this into what became the Marion legacy project? Yeah, so I had actually just gotten back or was just leaving to a mission and in Europe and he approached me with the idea and he had developed it a little bit. So he had gotten the original domain I think it was USA legacies.
And then he had that whitewash book cover with his concept of how we would display these stories for the service members. I immediately thought that there was a correlation between the humans in New York type of storytelling. And sharing people's heuristics that they develop throughout their lives and highlighting different veterans that to the general public, they don't realize that not every veteran has PTSD or not.
Every veteran is a man or not. Every veteran is even there's not every Veteran is in the combat arms. We just want to highlight that the insights that each person has and something that's unique about the military services and adds pressure to your life. And you're dealing with the same social forces.
That your civilian counterparts are so looping this back to how humans in New York tell their stories. We are able to take snippets of our legacies and share them across our social media platforms. And some future vendors that we're doing is getting into the education space. We actually have a program on our website now, but we're going to develop it further to get into classrooms so people can share these stories and add them to one another and just generate discussion.
When, why I brought the project to me in short, I thought it'd be a great way to bring the community at large together, regardless of if they're military or not. Now. Awesome. So how comes to work? What, cause you, you want people to hear the story, you gotta be able to have people to.
Tell the story, I think, when you start it on profit, most, a lot of folks don't understand that not for profit business, this is still a business. And so there's gotta be some version of funding. There's gotta be some level of organization. You are, you're a solo preneur, or you do need employees, so tell me more about kind of the mechanics. Because sometimes people, a lot of people will start getting into nonprofits. When they shouldn't have, that was me. I did one of those. I just looked at those raising, doing an annual golf outing and they're like, nah, that's probably, for the 10,000 we'll raise, it's not worth the effort.
But I also want to, make people cautious that how do you know whether or not to do a non-profit versus a for-profit as well. So yeah. Tell us more about kinda how you guys made those big decisions. Yeah. Oh yeah. The first part I can talk about the process.
Sure. Yeah. Do you want to talk about the process? So if you want to answer the question about the nonprofit space, I can talk about the process of how we capture the interviews probably afterwards. Yeah. Let's do that. The. The thing was like, like you identified, right?
Like your job first when you're in the military is, as you remember it's hectic. We didn't feel we have a couple things on the side that we've done. That aren't like major businesses. So we were like, okay, maybe we, everyone thinks about drop shipping or stuff like that.
Yeah. You could do like little things like that. That don't take too much time, but like building a business while you're in the military, we were like, there's no, there's no way we're going to build a business that we could scale get funding. It's just not, it just didn't seem possible with the kind of battle rhythm that you have as a BCT.
And Zach over in an air defense battalion. So we were like, what do we do? That can like we said, remain flexible, but also engages a lot of those same muscles. And like you identified a nonprofit doesn't mean everything's free. There's obviously a lot of we've discovered that there's a lot of ways to reduce costs, but things are still, you can definitely, you can ask, accountants and attorneys to do things at cost because since you're a non-profit, they can discount that But they're still going to charge you a little bit, they're still going to be a cost.
Certain companies, Google, we found Google ads. If you're a nonprofit gives you $10,000 a month. But there's still a lot, there's still overhead that you have to cover. So we wanted to identify, you know what's a way that we can do this. So primarily what we found is that donations from friends, families, and other people, that are supportive.
To cover that overhead. And then with each book, we have two tiers of books and Zach will go into that. One of them is paid and the other one we do give no cost to the veterans. And most of the veterans we serve will donate back to the project. So it doesn't come as a they, they realize, I'm paying this forward to some other veterans.
But with the non, yeah, with the, with nonprofits you do have to realize that there is an element of you can't have equity in the company. You're not going to sell it to someone. But you have to stay afloat. There's still business decisions. You have to keep books.
You have to make sure that you have a, a treasurer that's able to take account. You have to file your taxes. You have to go through all the legal processes, which can sometimes be, pretty arduous it's owning a business. You're just not owning the business. And we haven't gotten to the point we're not big enough to take revenue for ourselves. We're not doing this right now to make money for ourselves, but certainly you have to be honest with yourself that if you're going to run a nonprofit if it got big enough, and if you were spending enough time, you can justify that, to your board into your other volunteers.
Thus far, we've found a lot of success in finding motivated volunteers and having a team approach, having a hierarchy where you have, a CEO and then a VP and then a director, and then, employees below that it doesn't work as well when you have volunteers. Because what if someone, all of a sudden has something to do, right?
So we've found having, a team-based approach where everyone kind of shares ideas. And that way, if one person has to extract themselves, there's a rest of the team that still knows what's going on. So running a normal business, you want to have, a decision makers at each tier.
We've tried to make it to the culture inside of what we're doing is much more collaborative. So that way no one feels like, Oh, I can't, I, if I extract myself the whole thing crumbles making sure that works is difficult, but we've found some good volunteers.
We found some programs. There's a portal called Benevity. If anyone else out there is thinking about non-profits it matches you with corporations who are trying to encourage their employees to volunteer. So we've found interviewers, transcribers other people that are professionals at places like Humana, United healthcare that are getting paid by their companies to do work for us, which is really cool.
Cause they know they're companies, Humana United healthcare Rakuten. Microsoft. They'll say, Hey look, our company is telling us, one, one day, a month or whatever, to take the afternoon off and do charity work. So what, yeah, what's that called a man we've worked with so many organizations in the Veteran service space.
I don't think DOD skill bridge typically works unless someone's going to work for a major non-profit. But maybe that'd be some cool ways to. Get access to veterans at like Amazon volunteer. And I see a whole PR man, that's a whole nother project. Number two for you guys. You're. You're being creative, but it's all Benevity.
So B E N E V I T Y. And the Benevity portal. So we enter our stuff. It's free for the nonprofits and. We register, you put job ads up. We were not sure how successful it would be. We were like, okay, let's put up a few ads and we've gotten some really dedicated volunteers. None of whom actually are veterans themselves or have veterans in their family.
They're all people that said, look, I'm, I want to give back to veterans, know, I want to say thank you for your service. So they've interviewed veterans, they've transcribed the interviews and it's been a really cool experience for them connecting. With veterans, but yeah, the Benevity portal has been super useful for us.
And for anyone else, thinking about doing a nonprofit, if you own a company, you can sign up for it. To encourage charitable giving and charitable activity through your employees. And yeah, in the future, we'd hope to be at the point where we can, whether it's, selling merchandise or grants where we could scale up and have, at some point you have to have employees.
If you want to be able to have someone working 20 to 30 hours a week, that's not realistic, ask someone to volunteer that much. Unless they're just an extraordinary person. So at some point you're going to have payroll in a nonprofit, and we're not quite there yet, but that is definitely something that we see in short to midterm that we're going to need.
So that's a consideration for nonprofits. You're not going to get, it's certain incentives, you can present the people, but for the most part, you need to have monetary incentives to make it worth someone's time. Yeah. So even the U S army needs needs funding. Hey Zach, why don't you tell us a little bit more than about the process who, whom do you serve and how are you serving them?
Yeah, so we serve any active duty reservist or Veteran of any branch. So the services that we offer on the civilian side, Typically costs anywhere from a thousand to 4,000 to even $10,000. Wow. Because with a civilian company that, that doesn't interview a custom curated narrative and then placing, their custom photos in a book it takes time and why wouldn't I learn at the beginning is getting that minimum viable product into a.
A robust product takes time and expertise that we just didn't have. So we were lucky enough to get volunteers who were designers to help us with InDesign, to make a really sleek template. And then we found some software solutions online to drive down the cost of transcription and the cost of.
Creating a curated book. So the way it works is anybody can connect with one of our volunteers to, to set up an interview. They can do an interview at home, they can do a monologue. But after that interview, they would send the audio file into our organization and we would kick it to our AI to transcribe.
And from there, one of our volunteers would. Look for any minor errors and create a narrative from the service member's story. One thing I failed to mention was the pre-interview guides are on our website. The American legacy project.com. Eric that'll work. And the, these guide, the Veteran through introspection, and once they fill out the form, they'll submit it to the person interviewing them.
And from there that would guide the discussion that occurs in the 120 minute to 90 minute interview. So once we have the transcription complete. We asked the Veteran to send 40 to 60 photos for their book. And once we tailor the narrative and it's okay. We will either kick that transcription to our partners at the porch swing stories.
It's a for-profit company that does the. Process behind our classic legacy books. And then we also have a premium legacy book that is more curated and we hire designers to help custom curate that book so that one comes at cost, but it's significantly reduced to what the market cost is.
So the cool thing about the classic book with porch swing story is. That the Veteran can go into their portal and build their own book and make chapters themselves. And then when they're ready, they can click print and print. But our volunteers, if the veteran does want to do that, our volunteers will go in and build a book for the book for them.
And the way that's all private for the Veteran in their family. But we also offer our public legacy listing. So in that stage where we're curating the narrative, we'll ask the Veteran, if there's any portions of the store they'd want to omit, or if they were open to sharing most of their photos and their story on the site so that we can share their unique experiences with the.
The broader public and we've found most people are happy to share, and we're glad to have their stories out there because we think they provide tremendous value. But in, in all the whole process is very dependent on the service members participation, because if we're done with the narrative that goes back to them and they have to.
Okay. And We so far have captured about 35 legacies. Since really, since March, we had a couple before that, but it's been an awesome learning process. And I think everybody interviewers to transcribers that have had nothing to do with the interview or the designers everybody's gotten value out of this.
And wanted to come back and serve some more. So it's been awesome so far. Man, guys, granulations on that and put together so quickly. How, when did this all start? When was that we incorporated officially which is a process. As, as a business owner, the IRS is not, it's not easy to work with per se registering regulations.
It started officially in March. But we've really been at this for two, two years and some change. Okay. Putting the systems and the team together, it's either way I know nonprofits that. Have, a military transition program and they've wow, we've been at this for a few years. We've actually only brought like a couple people through, it's, to bring 35 people through it already, obviously you're testing and learning along the way.
But I think you said it right there at the end. If I find this in my business, people can come to you and say, Oh, I want to do the thing that you offer. Yeah, something gets in the way that, you know, and it just it's no, do you really want to do this? And other than, getting there maybe stories in, on paper for further for their kids or grandkids, what's the other, reason I have my thoughts, but they, you think it's important for service members and veterans.
To share their story. It's we've got a couple minutes left, so I thought that'd be a great way to wrap us up. Like why do we need to tell our stories from the individual perspective? Yeah, I think, yeah, you want to comment. Yeah I'll just share two things that, that and then I'll pass it off to Zach.
The first is just the ability when you can talk to yourself and when you can examine yourself, it's super valuable. And like I said, a lot of people, life happens fast. You're busy, there's no, it's not a normal thing to sit and introspect. And whatever form that might take.
Different people you need to be doing that, and this is an opportunity that the people that we've done, it's only an hour and a half interview, but midway through the interview, you'll notice Yeah they'll start to get lost in their own thoughts. You notice they're not talking to you anymore, and that's a huge benefit they'll finish.
And they're like, Oh my gosh, I know I learned something as I was telling that story. I realized the lesson that I sh that I've learned, 10 years later. And the hope is that you continue to introspect and that's, the catalyst for something more. The second thing is, th the empathy factor, between civilians and military, we always ask, as veterans ourselves, we always joke about, thank you for your service, you're welcome for my service. What does that mean? And, when you don't even know what the service is, and I think that empathy that you can develop is so crucial, just understanding what's going on. And understanding what that life is like. So when it says, Hey, thank you for my service, thank you for your service.
Excuse me. When you know that the person looking and thinking, you knows what you're doing, it's not so weird. It's Hey, yeah, you're welcome. Whatever that means for you. I think there's a lot of resentment towards that phrase when it's you don't even know what I did. Like whether I was the owner, whether I, sexual pleasure sat in the training area at Fort Richardson, but everything, it's diff different discussion for the time, but when you can increase that empathy and then just show people the people like you are doing things that maybe you didn't think of before.
So whether that's, We have an interview. Graziella T-square and your Satoshi's on our site. She talks about being the only female in her navigation flight class. She never felt out of place. She never felt like she was discriminated against or anything. But she said, I think a lot of women don't do it.
Not because it's a hostile environment. They just don't ever see anyone. If the only people that you see don't look anything like you don't have your background, then you might think, Oh, maybe that's not for me. And getting stories out there of people. That are, from all different backgrounds and showing that the military is a place that really takes all talents, all types of people.
And again, increasing that understanding from civilians, I think that's been a huge effect. So Zach all, yeah, I think that a lot of the things that I was going to share, but I guess one of the last things that I would add to that is that. When you realize how diverse the military community is with the diversity of thought or background.
Cause we're pulling people from all over the country and the U S territories and people that are trying to get in citizenship and you're throwing them on the same team and you're giving them a task to do. It's something special. And it's one of the last areas where some of the insidious. Nature of our culture right now, does it can see Ben, but it doesn't destroy what makes it valuable and what makes it valuable as a team and being able to look left and right.
Recognize that people are different, but you're on a fan. You're a family and you're human and understanding yourself helps you get to that realization. But really being in that environment does yeah it's pretty special to share these stories with the problem now. I think you guys have a an amazing and a noble mission.
And so I applaud you because I think the answer to that question, of what do I say if I don't say thank you two years after your service, because that's an end of a conversation, right? That's a thanks. Yeah, exactly. Okay. So it's awkward for everybody, we don't know what to say.
They don't know what they're supposed to say. I always say, it's been, say, tell me about your service. Cause that starts the conversation. Then you can go, Oh you were this, Oh, you're just in the air force now. But it's like really? Yeah. But there's contexts, for everything.
Oh you went through the Academy or were on the front lines. A very different stuff. And yeah, because these Wars have been ignored for a few years. I would say most of our communities aren't really quite paying attention other than. Yay. Thanks.
We've been conditioned to assume all of the veterans are out there doing good stuff which they are, but we don't integrate it into society. If we don't actually understand what's going on. What did you do in the military? And likewise, Hey civilian. Tell me about your life too. Yeah, we need to hear those stories.
So we're aware of that. It's not just us coming out of the military, all the cool stories, but Hey guys, thanks so much for coming. On this show. I know really looking forward to seeing where this goes here in a few years. And definitely looking forward to stay on here. After we go offline, I'd like to chat a little bit about how we can help you spread what you guys are doing and find the right people to tell those stories.
Cause I can't say it enough. It's for me, it was cathartic to, to write my first book. It was just like, Oh one, I completed something that was just mine and it got so much stuff out of my head. It really helped me find my true identity of what I wanted to do next. So I think people who don't get that written down in some way, so they can reflect on it.
Are missing out on a huge opportunity. So glad you guys are giving people an opportunity to do that at cost, if not cheaper. Cause you guys are doing it the non-profit way. And Hey veterans like stuff that's taken care of for him, that's for sure. So that's awesome. But all right guys we got to your website down there, the American legacy project.org.
So please check it out and spread the word. And thanks again guys. And we will see you next time. Thank you.