There’s an Army saying from back in the ‘80s: “We do more before 9 AM than most people do all day.” I can’t speak to how much each of our honorable and inspiring veterans accomplish in a day, but Izzy Abbass has been doing more before 9 for his entire life. In fact, Izzy has done more before age 45 than most people do in their entire lifetimes. He served the United States as an infantry Staff Sergeant deployed overseas during Operation Desert Storm, served in Panama, and also in counter-narcotic missions.
And now that he’s hung up his stripes, Izzy is the Program Director for Boots to Suits. He works with student vets at the University of Colorado Denver, assisting them in their transition from military to college and college to career. Leading the charge in Colorado to help young veterans re-enter civilian life might take most people all day... Izzy is also Commander of Post 1 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (Colorado’s post is the oldest in the U.S.)
Over the last ten years, Izzy has invested his heart and soul in a variety of veterans issues, including reaching out to veterans in higher education, and the formation of STOP 18, which brings attention to the high rate of suicides among former soldiers. Now it’s 7:30. Today, Izzy sits on Project Sanctuary’s board, and on the board of the Denver Fisher House. And in 2012, he was recognized as Veteran of the Year by the United Veterans Committee of Colorado.
All day, every day
“On the side,” Izzy has amassed two decades of experience in wireless, internet and television. He has worked in advertising sales, marketing, operations, and strategy, and he even founded Eleven Bravo, a strategic consulting firm focused on digital implementation. Through Eleven Bravo, Izzy conceived of and implemented a special text message-based Help Line to prevent suicide among veterans. The project was launched in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2011. The man has even worked in cable and broadcast television, launching eight channels in Europe, Australia and Asia.
Oh, and there’s one more thing. Izzy volunteered for 16 years as Vice Commander & Training Officer for Gilpin County Search and Rescue, working with local law enforcement, and leading a team. Izzy Abbass, doing more before 9 than many do all day long, and more before 45 than many do in a lifetime, invests his buoyant, energetic personality into everything he undertakes.
If ever there was a person who embodied the concept of Army of One, Izzy is that person. There isn’t a moment when he stops working to end harmful veterans issues like suicide, unemployment and homelessness. His passion for his fellow servants of this country makes him unstoppable, and his commitment to serving Colorado makes him a saint. We couldn’t ask for a better ally. We know full well that Izzy Abbass isn’t the type to sleep in.