TD salutes the dedication and bravery of all military personnel and their families this National Veterans and Military Families Month. We have a growing community of veterans who bring a unique perspective to our business and a passion for going above and beyond. The bank's mission is to build upon our commitment by creating a community where all active duty, reserve, former military, services, and family members can share their experiences, grow their careers, and raise awareness of veteran matters to our colleagues, customers, and communities.
When we think of military service members and veterans, their lives of service as well as the sacrifices they make for our country and our freedoms, we can’t forget their family. Their spouses, especially, are often supporting and sacrificing in untold ways.
Employment is often a special challenge. Despite most U.S. households needing two incomes to stay afloat financially, more than 20 percent of military spouses are estimated to be unemployed. TD Bank is hoping to help change that with a new relationship with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP).
Behind MSEP are more than 500 employers, including the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as well as TD Bank. The organization connects spouses who want jobs with companies wanting to hire them and features a searchable job bank with nearly 600,000 active job listings.
An Important and Growing Demographic
“The unique demands of military service mean families must sacrifice alongside their loved ones on active duty, and this results in exceptional issues and challenges for the entire military family,” says Robert Opp, TD Bank Diversity Sourcer for Veterans and Disabilities. “The MSEP is an employment and career partnership that connects military spouses with hundreds of employers who understand these challenges and are committed to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining them. As TD Bank continues to lead in inclusion, this partnership offers a direct connection with an important and growing demographic: military spouses.”
The level of support and inclusion that TD Bank offers to military families is a lifeline for those who are struggling to find gainful employment. Many veterans and their spouses experience challenges with re-entering the workforce after serving our country.
The transition to civilian life can be challenging
“Transitioning military personnel to the civilian world is not always easy,” says Chantal Capodicasa, Regional Vice President, Commercial Banking, Southern New Jersey. "To help our veterans find gainful employment by offering programs and recruitment at TD, we are extending that same focus to military spouses. That’s because they too can struggle to adapt to life during or after military service, when they may be challenged with frequent moves or finding childcare.”
As a military spouse whose husband, Lt Col Michael Capodicasa, is now serving in the Air Force Reserve, Chantal knows firsthand the difficulties of adapting to a single-parent lifestyle while he is away. Lt Col Capodicasa has been deployed 8 times and is currently the Commander of the 76th Air Refueling Squadron and a KC-46 instructor pilot.
Chantal understands the emotional toll of constant worry for his safety and the need to comfort the children and reassure them in spite of her real-world concerns. “I think the MSEP partnership speaks volumes about how much TD Bank cares, recognizing that our military families (spouses and children) also make sacrifices for our country,” she says. “They hold down the fort at home and support our loved ones in uniform to keep all Americans safe and our freedoms intact. The MSEP partnership is one more example of TD’s sustained commitment to veterans and their families, and to diversity and inclusion throughout the organization.”
JoAnna Mason, TD Bank Regional Sponsorship Lead Manager for Metros Mid-South and Florida, echoes this appreciation of the support that TD and the MSEP partnership provide. “One of the biggest joys of being part of a community of military families is that you don't feel all alone,” she says. “Military families share a special bond, and we know we can lean on each other through the most vulnerable times.”
Through this partnership and commitment to supporting military spouses and families, TD Bank has created a strong network within its ranks that these people can rely on.
JoAnna's husband Charles (who goes by Chuck) has served total of 16 years for the Navy and Airforce in a unique Counter Terrorism Unit. He has been on eight deployments and is currently serving as a reservist in the Navy while currently employed for the US State Department.
Chantal concurs: “Military families understand each other. They look out for one another, check in on each other, and are always available for support.” This is the spirit upon which the MSEP partnership was built: one of respect and understanding, of community and connection.
JoAnna and Chantal agree that one of the most significant challenges of being a military spouse is when their partners return from long deployments and reintegrating their lives.
“I have to remind myself I’ll never understand the emotional toll he endured while deployed and to always remain supportive,” says Chantal.
To this, JoAnna adds: “Seeing shifts in moods, sleep patterns, and not being able to communicate the details of their deployment and what they went through can be tough.”
The power of community
TD Bank’s participation in the MSEP partnership supports families of military veterans in this important way: The workplace becomes a safe place, where it’s possible to find a colleague who knows exactly what someone is going through and can provide that all-important support to help them get through the tough times.
The liberties that every American enjoys are paid for by the brave service people of our nation’s armed forces and the families who love them. TD Bank’s commitment to supporting our military families through the MSEP is one meaningful way we give back and share our gratitude for the freedoms their service and sacrifice have afforded us.