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After serving their country with honor, courage and skill, too many veterans are struggling to find jobs.
That so many exceptional young men and women can’t find a place in our workforce is a loss for us all. Yes, some of these young veterans are coming home with disabilities, but that is the government’s problem, not the company who employs them.
In my lifetime I have found that most people with disabilities are the hardest workers. They not only want to prove to themselves but to the rest of the world that they can be productive members of society.
They just need a chance. It’s really hard for them to understand why they don’t qualify for jobs equivalent to or less demanding than ones they held in the military.
Returning soldiers are the most misunderstood group in our country.
In 2011, the jobless rate among Iraq and Afghanistan vets averaged 12.1 percent compared to 8.7 percent for the general populations. Even as these government numbers showed some improvement in the early part of this year, the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans of America report 17 percent of its members were unemployed, unable to convince prospective employers that skills learned in the field are an asset on the job.
Our veterans should not have to come home and fight again for employment.
I have a grandson presently serving in the United States Navy, assigned to a destroyer awaiting deployment to the Persian Gulf and a grandson recently discharged after six years in the Army National Guard, who served a tour of active duty in Iraq. My husband was a crew chief on a fighter plane in the United States Marine Corps Air Force during the Korean War. You can see why my heart is with the military. We all need to be more appreciative of those who are serving or have served our country.
Thank a veteran.