By Jean K. Park Oct 07, 2015

Today, I am especially proud to be a part of the KKR team. As a veteran, I understand the challenges of transitioning to civilian life after being in the military, as they are the challenges I faced to varying degrees after serving as a Communications Officer in the U.S. Army and my deployments during Operation Iraqi Freedom I & III. Many of the men and women I served with have not had an easy path and today, I am proud to say that the private equity industry is coming together to work on solutions to help.

KKR is joining with Blackstone, The Carlyle Group and TPG to host the inaugural Veterans Initiative Summit in Washington, DC. This two-day event, which started today, will focus on solutions to help our portfolio companies hire, attract, and retain more veterans. The summit is designed to promote the sharing of best practices between our collective portfolio companies, identify gaps and opportunities in our processes, and encourage leaders in our firms and portfolio companies to hire veterans.

Collectively, the hundreds of companies in our portfolios employ millions of people, and supporting our veterans is a critical part strengthening the communities we serve. While much progress has been made in the last five years to help veterans transition to civilian life, with over 30,000 veterans hired at KKR portfolio companies, we recognize that there is more we can do to mitigate the significant challenges they face. We have the opportunity to be part of the solution.

That’s why we’ll hear from leaders such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator John McCain, Executive Director of Joining Forces Colonel Nicole Malachowski, Executive Director of Hiring Our Heroes Eric Eversole and Clint Bruce, a former Navy SEAL and co-founder of Carry the Load.

While many organizations have hired veterans, this is a concentrated effort to help these valuable employees bring their unique experiences, skills, training, diversity and values to our companies. It’s good for business and for our country.

-- Jean Park, KKR Capstone

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