In this Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program Scholar spotlight, Lindsey Streeter, SVP Global Military Affairs CSR Program Manager, shares his passion and approach to serving the military-connected community.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your personal leadership project (PLP).
I am a retired Army Command Sergeant Major who leads Veteran and Military Affairs at Bank of America. I manage the corporate external partnerships and relationships while ensuring the company’s internal climate remains both veteran friendly and veteran ready. I operate my late spouse’s organization, Quad E, which provides health care screening and education to underserved communities. Lastly, I own and operate a semiprofessional basketball team in Savannah, Georgia. This platform allows us to provide a source of entertainment and to raise funds for local community-based organizations.
My PLP is on military spouse unemployment. I have continued to serve as an advocate for spousal employment. I spend time showcasing the myriad of skills which spouses possess while exploring and highlighting the many job opportunities uncovered during the pandemic.
Which lessons learned during the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program have stayed with you the most, and how have you put those lessons into action?
The lesson which has stuck with me the most from my time spent in the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program was to remember to tie an object or desired outcome to an actual person. This single practice has expanded my influence and ability to persuade during arguments. It keeps me grounded and my work focused on what’s truly important.
What drives your passion for serving the military-connected community?
My passion to serve was instilled by my parents at a very early age. We sang Christmas carols outside department stores to raise funding in Washington, D.C.’s effort to build a new children’s hospital. Nearly 30 years later, my niece would be struck by a car and laid in a coma for over a month recovering in the very hospital that my siblings and I had helped to raise money to build. My passion to serve the veteran community comes from my desire to allow those who have served the ability to realize the sensation that I experienced when the forgotten-sown fruits of my fundraising efforts as a child returned as a blessing to my family. To assist my comrades after their demonstrated selfless act is one of the most satisfying emotions I have ever realized.
What do you currently see as the greatest challenge facing the military-connected community and why?
I think the greatest challenge for the military community comes on two fronts. The first is imparting a message to our country that we still need bright minds to serve our nation. Recruiting is down in all branches and the propensity to enlist has been declining for some time. The second challenge is to continue to communicate the challenges facing our veterans as they transition from a life of military service. Protracted combat has fueled support for the obvious issues associated with combat. The challenge now is keeping support channels open as some combat operations cease.
You were recently named the 2023 Veteran of the Year from Military Times for your incredible service and leadership in your communities. Can you share your approach to and the importance of this community building?
The Military Times Veteran of the Year award came as a complete surprise. The selection committee was very thorough, and they caught me secretly doing things for the veteran community and made those things public. I appreciated the fact that they examined the integrity of my motives. I was able to make a significant impact by leveraging my basketball team as a tool in the local community. Connecting with community leaders while staying in tune with the voices and concerns of the people of Savannah proved to be key components of our growth and success. We played good basketball on the court but scored the most points while giving back to our youth, seniors, and veteran communities.