This Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, Fantastic Sams, a sponsor of Operation Reinvent, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women Veterans transition from the military to the civilian workforce, is setting up a two-day workshop that helps with interviewing skills and provides makeovers.

Fantastic Sams salons willingly stepped up to serve this cause by collecting donations to help make this day possible. At the Fantastic Sams National Convention in September, the company presented their donations (a total of $48,000) to Julie Lewit Nirenberg and Nancy Northrup, founders of Operation Reinvent.

Emily Carroll, one of the new faces of the 2017 Fantastic Sams "Real Guests" campaign, and a graduate of the Operation Reinvent workshops, was a memorable figure at the recent convention. Carroll spoke of how difficult it was to leave the military, and how heading out into the “real” world was a scary and overwhelming experience for her, and how it can be for others.

However, Carroll found the acceptance and kindness she needed starting on her first day of her Operation Workshop. She remembers a woman handing her a name tag and saying, "For the next few days you are Emily, there is no rank here!" It was an uplifting and welcoming experience, she says.

The workshops helped relieve some of her stress and pressure, as well. Carroll couldn’t say enough great things about the Operation Reinvent program. She felt as if she emerged as a "beautiful, confident butterfly ready to spread her wings."

Emily was quoted in her convention speech as saying, “Operation Reinvent’s logo includes a butterfly and I think it perfectly exemplifies my experience. There is an old saying that, ‘Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.’"

“Operation Reinvent is a makeover from the inside out,” she says. “I left that day with the tools, the relationships and the confidence I needed to spread my wings and fly to where I am today. In the Army, we are mission- centered and in my case…my mission is complete!”

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