Veteran & business owner lends hand in effort to help veterans find work after military service

Posted by DB Wilson on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 2:17pm.

Brad Gallup’s business, Cable-Safe, is to make sense of the mess of cables from phones, computers and accessories under and around a workstation.

His passion is to help veterans make sense of their lives following their service to their country through finding employment and other resources: he runs Colorado Hire Patriots and is the co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Veterans Alliance.

The Niwot resident and business owner is a veteran himself, having served in the Marine Corp for four years and attaining the rank of sergeant. After an eight-year break in service, he was commissioned in the Air Force and served for 17 years, retiring in 2003 as a major.

During his time between military branches, Gallup attended Ferris State University in Michigan, earning a rare bachelor’s degree in automotive and heavy equipment technology and allowing him to choose the only path he wanted in the Air Force – aircraft maintenance. He worked on fighter jets and served in the Gulf War, and had the opportunity to lead 7 fighter squadrons of F-15, F-15E, F-16, F-16 Wild Weasels and A-10 aircraft.

“I didn’t know I would go back in (to the military),” Brad says. “I just realized I missed it and I always wanted to do aircraft maintenance. I told the Air Force that’s all I wanted to do, so they gave me the opportunity. … I’m really glad I went back; I had a great career.”

Brad, who had been coming to Colorado since 1995 for leadership training programs and fell in love with the state, decided to make it his home after retiring from the Air Force.

“I grew up on north side of Detroit,” he says, noting he enjoyed the wide-open spaces, the mountains and the people in Colorado. “I just fell in love with the West, the people – everybody’s really great. I love it. Coming from Detroit, it’s a pretty nice change.”

And, fortunately for him, Brad had friends in Boulder who owned a company specializing in cable management – as in organizing the cables from computers, phones, printers, etc., so they are not under foot and a hazard at a desk – and hired him. After four years, they gave him the opportunity to buy the company. Despite the recession that followed shortly after buying the business, it has continued to grow and Cable-Safe now manufactures some of its own products, Brad says.

But the plight of vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan touched Brad’s heart and in his search for how he could help them, he came across Hire Patriots out of California. The organization provides a free online forum for companies to post one-day, part-time and full-time jobs, and veterans or military personnel on leave can look for work and post their resumes on the site.

The couple who founded the organization allowed Brad to bring the service to Colorado last fall, and now 27 other states have a Hire Patriots forum, as well.

“For 18- to 25-year-olds who are getting out (of the military) … the unemployment rate is double the national average,” Brad says. “And for the (National) Guard and (Army) Reserve, the unemployment rate in the same age bracket is triple the national average. I just said, ‘This is unacceptable. That’s not how we treat these young guys and gals who have served our country and put their lives on the line.’”

Eventually Brad hopes to get advertisers to help pay for expenses of the site, but Cable-Safe currently foots the bill and it’s been worth it, with veterans finding as many as 15 one-day or part-time jobs, and another five who have found full-time work through Colorado Hire Patriots, he says.

“It’s been an uphill climb letting people know about this site,” he says.

Through his work on Colorado Hire Patriots, Brad has discovered many other great nonprofits helping vets who didn’t know about each other. To solve that problem, he started the Rocky Mountain Veterans Alliance with the help of RE/MAX of Boulder broker Terri Cox as a way to connect the organizations to each other and veterans.

The organization has grown from the six who originally signed up for the first meeting (13 showed up) to more than 80 members and 15 nonprofits, he says.

“We come together once a month to find resources out there to support veterans,” Brad says. “Any veterans or business person is welcome.”

For more information about Brad’s nonprofit organizations helping veterans, visit www.colorado.hirepatriots.com or www.rockymountainveteransalliance.org, or find them on Facebook; for more information about Cable-Safe, visit www.cable-safe.com or call (800) 830-6322.

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