PLEDGE NOW
Unemployed Veterans

Military veterans, back from Iraq and Afghanistan, who can’t find jobs. We’ll look at the challenge, and what it means to serve your country and then not find work.

In this Dec. 3, 2010 photo, volunteers welcome home members of 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. (AP)

In this Dec. 3, 2010 photo, volunteers welcome home members of 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. (AP)

Troops go to war. Troops come home. And when they do, they need jobs. Right now, those are tough to deliver. A lot of service men and women are coming back now from Iraq. More will come from Afghanistan. Many will leave the military. What jobs will they find in this American economy?

For the youngest right now — vets under 24 years old — unemployment last month ran at almost 38 percent! They have served and sacrificed. They have military skills that the president says will transfer. But it’s not a simple picture.

This hour, On Point: Finding jobs for America’s newest war vets.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Andrew Tilghman, senior writer for the Military Times, which publishes the Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times.

Daniel Hutchinson, a Specialist in the Army, he served as a medic in Iraq from 2006 to 2007. Now retired from the military, he is the founder of Ohio Combat Veterans, which helps Ohio veterans return to civilian life. You can find a report on his efforts here.

Rye Barcott, a Captain Marine Corps from 2001 to 2006, he deployed in Bosnia, the Horn of Africa and Iraq. He is author of, “It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace.”

Thomas Childers, Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s the author of Soldier from the War Returning. The Greatest Generation’s Troubled Homecoming from World War II.

From Tom’s Reading List

NPR “The jobless rate has declined a bit in the past year, but among veterans who have served in conflict since 2003, it is increasing. The unemployment rate for vets serving since the Iraq war began has risen 1.5 percentage points to more than 12 percent in the past year.”

New York Times “In Afghanistan, Cpl. Clayton Rhoden earned about $2,500 a month jumping into helicopters to chase down improvised explosive devices or check out suspected bomb factories.”

Business Week “The “new” part is key. From age 35 on, for the most part veterans have a lower unemployment rate than non-vets. In surveys earlier this decade, veterans aged 25-34 also did well. The BLSreleased figures in 2005 that showed veterans in that age group with a lower unemployment rate than their peers (just 3.8 percent vs. 5.0 percent.) For 2008, the rate for vets 25-34 was just a shade above that for those who hadn’t served in the military. Now for that group it’s 11.7 percent, well above the 9.2 percent rate for non-veterans. What might be most worrying is that what’s happening with younger vets looks like a leading indicator: the cohort of veterans now entering the work force in the midst of the economic malaise may point to a future in which veterans are falling behind their peers.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 31, 2016
This 2006 colorized scanning electron micrograph image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the O157:H7 strain of the E. coli bacteria. On Wednesday, May 26, 2016, U.S. military officials reported the first U.S. human case of bacteria resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort drug. The 49-year-old woman has recovered from an infection of E. coli resistant to colistin. But officials fear that if the resistance spreads to other bacteria, the country may soon see germs impervious to all antibiotics. (Janice Carr/CDC via AP)

A new superbug resistant to our antibiotic of last resort has shown up in the U.S. We look at the threat, and our dwindling antibiotic options.

May 31, 2016
In this July 31, 2015, file photo, an orca or killer whale breaches in view of Mount Baker, some 60 miles distant, in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. ( (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The end of orcas at SeaWorld, McDonald’s using cage-free eggs — should animal lovers be optimistic about a new “humane economy”?

RECENT
SHOWS
May 30, 2016
Rock icon Donald Fagen looks back on a lengthy and ongoing career in his new memoir 'Eminent Hipsters.' He co-founded the classic rock group Steely Dan with Walter Becker in 1972. (Penguin Books USA)

Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen talks “eminent hipsters” and the cultural outliers that shaped his sound. He joins us.

 
May 30, 2016
Author and Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy. (Photo by Bob O'Connor / Courtesy The Author)

Strike a power pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy on the power of presence when you’re ready to act and win.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Good Internet Comes To Those Who Wait
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Remember when we promised you a new website? We meant it.

More »
Comment
 
In The Garden, Mother Nature Makes The Rules
Friday, May 27, 2016

Executive producer Karen Shiffman explains why she turns to her garden for food, friends and natrual comfort.

More »
Comment
 
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the experiences that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Comment