I'm a connector; I work with local vets to help contect them to resources, such as legal & education
On a great day, I'll go to a meeting and get new information on a benefit or event coming down the pipe. Then I'll go to the local VA hospital and deliver fliers and meet with vets to keep them abreast of what's going on in the community. Then I'll head to a meeting with a councilmember about a piece of legislation to discuss what it's going to take to get it passed. At the end of the day, I'll take my notes and turn them into a newsletter at the end of the month to keep everyone informed.
The best thing you can know how to do is listen. When a veteran presents his or her community with a problem, everyone wants to jump right in and try to help. But as an advocate, you have to really listen to your constituents and fully understand the problem before you can begin to start working with the right people on getting things accomplished. The other important skill you need to know is collaboration. Like the Military, its a team - you're not going to get anything done by yourself.
Here's the first step for college students
You have to realize right off the bat that going into advocacy isn't going to get you rich. If you're interested in making $$, this isn't the business for you. What you need to be interested in is being a part of something that's bigger than yourself. Once you get into the service mode, education is the most important piece. Get educated so that you actually know what you're talking about, and you know the proper channels and collaborations you can utilize to best help the cause.
"Am I doing the right thing?"