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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.”

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  • Yar

    I actually think there may be a simple fix to lowering unemployment of combat veterans.  
    Health care for life for all veterans. 
    Employers would love to have employees that did not add to their health expenses.  We must make a long term commitment to our veterans and fund their healthcare in a way that doesn’t leave them victim to budget cutting.  We owe our veterans the security to know that their health is covered.

    • JUST CORY PLEASE!

      Did you say “for all veterans”, or “all Americans”?  :)

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ALL U.S. Citizens, is what is needed!  It is FAR MORE than paid for, with Health-Care executives’ pay, etc…!

      • Yar

        You are on to me.  
        The military was the first to integrate, maybe they can also be the model for the healthcare we all should have.It is the right thing to do. 

  • Rob

    I have a military surplus sore and recycling plant I hope to hire 200 vets See our business Armynavydeals,com 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Use Caution?

      • JCogswell

        “Use caution?” What does this even mean?  You seem to be saying that to hire veterans requires some degree of caution.  If so, I resent this greatly.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I’m a veteran.  The post seemed a bit questionable to me, so I was advising those that might go to it, to use caution.   Vets have enough problems, but predators love them.

          • JCogswell

            Ahh, alright then, my apologies.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I wasn’t sure how to word it, to caution the vets.   No offense taken.

  • Wick Sloane

    There is no greater problem, especially with all the troops
    now home from Iraq, that the refusal of the leading colleges to offer any help
    to veterans.  This sets the tone in higher ed.  Williams College in Massachusetts has zero veterans.  Princeton has two
    undergraduate veterans.  Bunker Hill Community College, where I work with veterans, has about 450.

    Here is my, sadly, annual report on this issue in my role as one of the nation’s leading obscure columnists —

    http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/11/11/essay-annual-count-veterans-elite-college-campuses.

    After WWII, all the top colleges expanded, set up quonset huts and accommodated veterans  for just the problem faced today.  The economy can’t absorb
    them all at once.  Now, this was in the days before the mega
    endowments.  Did the colleges do this for the greater good?  Not
    entirely.  A lot of the reason was for the money the GI Bill
    brought.  The GI Bill then paid the tuition, Yale or Nebraska State. 

    The mega endowments of top colleges, including Williams and Yale from which I have degrees, mean the colleges have plenty of cash.  This lets them ignore the veterans.  These wealthy colleges depend, however, on federal benefits.  Why not suspend such benefits until returning veterans all have jobs?
    Wick Sloane
    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Keep up the fight!!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    ‘W’ and Cheney campaigned that they would INCREASE the Budget Surplus, and CREATE jobs!   They and a LOT of other Republicans campaigned for TAX CUTS for the rich, to CREATE jobs!  ‘W’ campaigned with pictures of him in flight suit, in front of a plane, and talked about the millitary with apparent respect. 
       Cheney’s company, Halliburton, I was told,  was making over a hundred million dollars off of ‘administering’ the Veteran’s Outpatient Clinic, that caused so many veterans to get sick!
       They got the MONEY, the LIVES, the SACRIFICE of the millitary, for LIES!

  • JUST CORY PLEASE!

    In the good old days, a worldwide economic slowdown was cured by militarism and a thinning of the human herd.  Young men of prime working age were the 1st to go.  Now, we’ve gotten so good at killing that in 10 years we’ve lost fewer than 10,000 men.  Now, these soldiers are coming back home expecting to cash in on the promise of a victorious and grateful nation.

    Uh oh.

    Maybe these folks who are trained and accustomed to self sacrifice will be a motivating force to get some good things done at home.  Problem is, the 1% may be tougher, more determined, and better funded than the Taliban or Republican Gaurds.

  • Jasoturner

    Look, this in not a knock on soldiers, but some of them (hello there cousin Tommy) don’t really have skills that bring immediate value to employers.  And employers cannot afford to be “nice guys” who can carry an employee while he learns the ropes.  At least not any more, when qualified candidates are scrambling to find work and can immediately contribute to the bottom line.

    Perhaps the military needs to reinvent it’s training methods, devoting some time to skills development that works in the civilian world but not in the armed forces.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The millitary is geared for RETENTION, not training for civilian skills!  They have a Handbook of Occupations, to give you an idea of what civillian jobs your Millitary Specialty is similiar to, but they don’t train you for a civilian job.

  • Gerald Fnord

    We have far fewer vets than after the Second World War, so we should be able to give them more generous benefits than then. Maybe their status as heroes (a designation my vet father derided, but it’s popular among those rest of us who didn’t bother to serve and need to salve our conscience by empty accolade) will alllow us to do some more of the massive government spending this economy still needs, recent stimulus packages having been an order of magnitude too small…and just maybe we could manage to raise taxes on the top to where they were in 1946.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Veterans are a disposable group, to the GREEDY rich, that use us for their own personal gain, then want to renege on the promises they made to us! 
        Read up on the Bonus Marchers, that went to Washington, D.C., to try to get the war bonus they were promised for fighting WWI!
       The original G.I. Bill, produced the greatest increase to the country, of ANY government program, yet it was cut!

  • Beez

    Much of the returning military are kids who went in right, or recently, out of HS. They were encouraged to join through recruiters, false patriotism and the idea they would be a “hero”. If they are not going to stay in the military for a career, then go to college, and get an education.
    As the poster below me- and fellow engineer- pointed out they don’t have many skills that translate beyond the military. The adults in their lives, including those recruiters, should have made that clear to them when they signed up. Do they still have guidance councilors? More than likely they were praised for their bravery and encouraged to join without understanding the implications when their service was complete (I admit that is an unfounded statement that may be off-base).
    It’s similar to much of the employement issues these days; people with limited skills expecting well-paying jobs. It’s not like you can go work in the steel mill or factory where dad worked for 35 years, earned a reasonable wage, and was able to own a home and put kids through school while mom stayed home. It’s a different world and people are not making the neccessary adjustments.

  • Brandstad

    Tom,

    Cant the Federal Government could hire them as border guards for the southern border?  Pay them $30K + Lodging for working 6 months a year as a boarder guard and hire 10K of them to do the job! This way they could be with their family for much of the year, but make enough money to keep paying their bills.

    • TFRX

      Sounds like you’ve ceded the idea of ever being taken seriously about the concept of “useless government jobs” in this corner of the internet ever again.

  • Dan

    Why should they get special treatment for jobs?

    They had a job until recently.

    We’ve been out here for 3 years now struggling to get by with now end in sight for employment opportunities?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Remember all the Republican promises of JOBS ?  Tax cuts for the rich, to create jobs, promises of jobs if this Republican gets elected, and a LOT more empty promises, for those that keep getting RICHER!
          We veterans, and the civilians, are being repeatedly screwed over, by these empty promises!
         I hope you don’t get too much flak about your post, from those that have spent time in a tent, or fighting-hole, on a cold mountain in Afghanistan, or the sandy deserts of Iraq!

      • Dan

        I don’t think the military serves this country.

        These wars were not to defend this country but rather to protect the interests of trans-national corporations.

        The US military turns volunteers into killers for these corporations and the criminal elite.

        Please don’t expect me to thank them for that.

        As for coming home to no jobs, criminal bank Chase says they are happy to hire them with our tax money.

        • TFRX

          When addressing “them”, I’d caution you to remember that the military is not a democracy. Many of the decision-makers (civilian and high-ranking military) are not in a position to suffer from the bad decisions made this last decade or so, but all those GIs are.

          Perhaps differentiation between the brass and the actual troops in the theaters of war is in order.

          • Dan

            The GIs like to tell themselves that they are defending our freedoms.

            That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s delusional.

            They are the hired killers of the trans-national corporations that control this government.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I answered you elsewhere!

          • Nutricj

            we are serving our nation, we are serving our fellow citizens. you have the right to say these things on this page because our nation is defended. you can disagree with the way it is done, but protection has kept your rights in place sir.

          • Dan

            I don’t agree at all.

            In fact, I see the military as the enemy of civilians in this country.

          • JCogswell

            Unofficial motto of the Marine Corps: No better friend, no worse enemy.  Sounds like you’re making a choice, Dan…

          • Nutricj

            fine by me- you have the RIGHT to that protected opinion because you live in this country- you can believe in flying pigs and stand on a soap box about it because your opinion is protected.

            your welcome

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You had better HOPE not.  I doubt you fly and maintain your own F-16. Do you have the same armaments?  The support services?  The esprit de corps?

          • Four Elements

            You are absolutely right – they are a privileged gang. They have the weapons and the training and when things fall apart they will be the ones who get paid and fed. And you have already been threatened by JCogswell! Creepy, huh?

          • Beez

            That’s one of the biggest problems with our current “military mindstate”:
            These recent wars ARE NOT protecting my freedom! They are advancing the oil industry, U.S. political interests in the region, defense contractors, etc.
            I know alot of peopel who joined had good intentions but they are unaware and uninformed as to WHY those countries were invaded

          • Terry Tree Tree

            A LOT of money is spent on mis-information, to make that happen!

          • Nutricj

            true that many have no idea either what they are getting into and moreover- the whys and the whos involved. but it is the greater purpose of wanting to serve our fellow citizens that shouldn’t be forgotten. even misguided political, military decisions…it is the service we should see in our veterans.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Dan, there is a difference between volunteering to serve your country, and the way you are utilized! 
             Only high-ranking officers, and the civilians appointed and elected above them, make those decisions!  We took an Oath, to follow all lawful orders from those appointed above us.
             Your complaint should NOT be directed against the veterans, but the companies that abuse their Oath of Service!

  • Louis

    Why don’t we require companies that procure military contracts to hire a required percentage of vets?  If they cannot find enough qualified vets for the jobs then offer training programs and / or pay into a fund that sets up training programs. The program could be called The Federal Veteranian Employment Standard and structured in a similar manner as state Renewable Portfolio Standards that require utilities to purchase a set percentage of renewable energy or pay into a fund that develops new renewable sources.

  • Anonymous

    Please discuss how individual state by state licensing requirements impair fluidity in the job market.  This affects everyone but especially veterans and spouses who are not the primary wage earner.  I am a Texas licensed attorney and was not entitled to reciprocity in NY because I had not worked “full time” for the 5 out of 7 years before making the application.  Crazy, expensive, time consuming and prejudicial.  I heard of one lawyer spouse of a veteran who had taken more than 5 bar exams.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I have talked to millitary Medics, that have treated IED injuries, gun-shot wounds, and other critical injuries, that could not get any credit toward an EMT, Paramedic, or nurse license!

      • Anonymous

        It starts with turf protection and ends with state licensing agencies collecting fees and schools getting more tuition.  Your roadblock is their gravy train.  Albert Einstein, if he dropped down out of the sky today, would need years of extra education before he could teach high school physics.  Re: military Medics – they have clinical experience far superior to what a standard  domestic school or program could provide.

  • Jcogswell

    For me, the New England Center for Homeless Veterans was a critical resource in getting my life re-tracked and moving forward.  I went to them over 4 years ago, and am now enjoying a job which I love in the medical field.  It’s all about knowing where the resources are and retraining yourself, and retaining those valuable soft skills and translating them into the civilian job market. 

    Least of all knowing how to market yourself to a civilian in terms he can easily understand, without intimidating them with military jargon.

    Life is good, but it wasn’t so good before I went to the wonderful people at Court Street in Boston.

  • bob

    It has always been difficult to re – integrate vets into most civilian jobs for a number or reasons – firstly – the vast majority of military skills do not match up well with what the private sector is willing to pay any premium  for.  Want to flip burgers, OK – think that your mil – skill is worth more than what the next HS grad knocking on the door has to offer – Not really.  Also – even when employed, vets tend to initially believe that hard work is rewarded by promotions or pay advancement as they saw in the military.  The private sector is very different; at its heart, it wants to only keep you around at the lowerst possible pay rate and your career advancement is of little concern – never promote the guy who may one day, take your job.  Finally, dynamic leadership, which in the military is fostered from day one – is feared in the private sector.  What employers want are work – a – day pods, show up, do the tasks, go home, ask no questions, have no ideas, make no waves.  The best advice for vets is to go back to school, enhance a skill set that is in demand and the private sector Is willing to pay for.  Thanks for your service … please fill out the application form and then … leave.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Medics, take the state tests, if they will let you!  Your training and experience should exceed it!

  • Sara in VT

    Are there any efforts to allow training/certification to carry over, such as with the medic that just spoke?

  • julie amelie

    i’m a veteran stay-at-home mom (by deliberate choice), college educated, and i’m in the same fix as our returning veterans except with possibly less on my resume….

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thank you for your service, both to your country, and to the little citizens you are raising!

  • Erica

    The short term focus, that is an excellent point!  I completely agree that investing upfront in fostering and transferring military skills into the private sector would pay off for both the employer and veteran in the long run! Thank you for bringing that to the table, long term investment!

  • Nutricj

    most of us (veterans) joined because we needed jobs, we needed an education and couldn’t afford an edu otherwise, or chose not to rack up student loans, travel, worldly experience- but i have yet to meet a vet that didn’t join foremost due to a higher purpose- wanting to serve our nation in whatever capacity we could. i believe in the peace corps just as much as i believe in military service, social service, volunteer service. cj, gulf war vet

  • KOABD

    It’s pretty naive of Captain Barcott to say that no one in the military is there simply for a job. While the Marines may appeal to a warrior ethos and fraternity, the Army most definitely has always positioned itself as, among other things, a jobs program. Remember “Be All That You Can Be”? Have you seen the current advertising, particularly for OCS, related to creating leaders for the real world? The issue, as others have mentioned, is whether or not the job training the Army provides actually opens the door for civilian jobs — particularly if we’re talking about individuals who aren’t credentialed (i.e. college educated).

    • Not Gross

      In my time as a military officer, we knew we had a job to do. Duty, honor, country…all good things, but you couldn’t idealize it or you’d be disappointed. It was peacetime, but you have a much better chance of doing okay if you didn’t treat it like a higher calling.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Your answer is my answers to Dan.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          This was answer to Quadraticus.   ??

  • Annedraw35

    Vets come home from dealing with chaos, making do with what they have got and finding a way to make it happen. What if they used those skills to enrich their communities and own their own businesses?

  • Stewart Cohen

    We’ve all seen the commercials for the armed forces: join and learn these valuable skills.  They sure do give the impression you’ll be employable when you get back.  I think the high unemployment levels are going to work against recruitment.  One solution would be some hard work on the part of the military to provide in depth career counseling and placement, and not just rely on the private sector to step up.  Just like VA medical care, this should be part of our long term care of veterans.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Vets are a disposable commodity, in the eyes of many!  Especially the decision makers!

      • Anonymous

        Did you forget to take your meds today?  You seem very down on life.  Can you say anything good about our country?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I am a veteran that has faced some of the crap that my fellow veterans are facing.  You obvioulsy cannot read.  Otherwise, you would have seen where I have tried to help my comrads, with my limitations.
              Since you hide behind that flag, what is YOUR service?

          • Anonymous

            I wan’t able to serve in the military due to some medical issues, thank you for so kindly reminding me.  I did work for NASA, and for a federally funded research institute though. I am hiding behind nothing.

          • Anonymous

            Wait a minute, you worked for a federally funded research institute and now that you have your dosh you want to cut government spending on everything. Buddy you are the very definition of a hypocrite.

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t realize I was talking to someone with reading skills comparable to a middle school-er but I will simplify it for you.  

            I don’t “want to cut government spending on everything.” unless everything=waste.

            Your illogical name calling only shows the world your intellect and there is no need for me to comment further.

          • TFRX

            No, he doesn’t want wasteful gummint spending to benefit the lazy, and by some definintion (to be determined) he is neither, becausehesaidso.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            If you were medically disquallified for millitary service, I have no problem with that.  If you can’t, you can’t. 
               I have been acosted many times, by flag-wavers, that COULD have served, didn’t , and keep finding fault with those that serve!  They are the first to call for sacrifice for the country, economy, or any other cause, that they benefit from, but DON’T really sacrifice for.  That is the hypocricy that I rally against!
            Dick Cheney is one of them.

          • Anonymous

            I am not a fan of 
            Dick Cheney either.

          • Anonymous

            He waves the flag while wanting to cut the benefits for vets though all that screaming about big government. People on the right are hypocrites. Bush went to war without raising taxes to do so. The first president to do that and the first president in modern times to invade a country. The right wont talk about this reality, but the vets will reap the all the strife of this debacle.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            AMAZING how that HYPOCRACY works!

          • Anonymous

            What 
            HYPOCRACY  are you talking about?  

            The HYPOCRACY of jeffe68 telling you LIES.

          • Anonymous

            Jeff,

            You have free speech rights but you have no right to speak for me.  

            You obviously have no idea what I want since I have never called for cutting the benefits for vets.

            Please speak for yourself and this will be much more productive.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    My friend/business partner and I are trying to start a business that employs  vets first and foremost, disabled vets in particular, and we’d like to start with unemployed vets.

    But we’re running into the problem of finding financing. We’d love to capitalize on the new tax incentives, but banks don’t want to lend. We’re looking into SBA programs for vets, but we run into the problem that to get a loan in today’s economy we have to prove that we don’t need a loan. Like if we had the money we’d be asking for a loan? ARGH!

    BTW, my friend/business partner is a female disabled vet. She’s been a squad leader, firewoman, paramedic, and is a nurse and has amazing organizational abilities. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The BEST of luck to you!  Have you tried S.C.O.R.E.?  Small Business Development Centers?  Eneterpreneural organizations?  Venture Capitalists?  ( a CAUTION; some of them earn the name Vulture Capitalists)
         I’ll come back to this, with more suggestions.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        We’re trying different tacks, and, yes, looking into SCORE and the SBA is supposed to have some streamlining programs for vets, but it’s streamlined us into a wall so far.

        I joke with her that being a disable woman vet isn’t enough, that we
        have to find a way to make her a black, Hispanic lesbian to widen the
        potential pool of sources. lol

        We’re trying to get more of our ducks in a row and renew and redouble our efforts once the new year is here.  She’s been having a rough time of it with some personal issues not of her own making, and she’s got two kids with special needs and the “holidaze” season doesn’t help. 

        Back to the biz – We’re going to need IT, HR, labor. We want vet advocates working for us to deal with the VA…  We’ve also talked about other areas of business we can get vets going.  And we want the vets to be able to get further eduction if they want it, but to actually buy into what we’re doing by offering a franchise they can buy into as they work, so no up-front costs. 

         

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Glad you two are keeping your sense of humor!
             Keep up the good work!  Something will come through!

    • Gregg

      Good luck with that, it’s an incredible workforce.  

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thank you for that endorsement!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Can you tell me more about the business, so I may get ideas that are more help.  Others may too!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Blast!  I should have mentioned Angel Investor organizations, long before Venture Capitalists!  Sorry.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Also the Handbook of Scholarships and Grants, at a large library, which also may be on-line, is a resource to be checked out.  There was a LOT in there the last time I saw one!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Considered a form of Employee Stock Options?  Deferred pay?  Full, or partial?
         Possible to pre-sell orders, and take them to bank, or SBA, as proof of business idea.
          There have been some grants, and other encouragements to employ the dis-abled.  Tried them?  DAV may be able to help?   Wounded Warrior Program?
         Good Luck.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Scott, have you tried for help, in some way, from AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, and so forth?
          Your partner sounds amazing, why do you expect her to become the black, hispanic, lesbian?   What have YOU done to enhance your company status?  “J”

  • Anonymous

    I would like to see more Vets run for state and local political office.  Our country would be better if the number of Vets outnumbered the amount of Lawyers in political office!

    • TFRX

      What about Republicans who are lawyers (see all those chickenhawks) v. Democrats who are veterans (Max McCleland and Tammy Duckworth)?

      Or do those combinations not exist in your world?

    • Gregg

      I think Allen West is on a few candidate’s short list for VP. 

      • TFRX

        That crackpot? It takes a heap to stand out among the GOP class of 2010, but he’s done it.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, vets such as Eisenhower would a good start.
      How about if they were democrats? No. You are so transparent it’s not even funny.
      You’re the first one who wants to cut government spending and yet the Vet administration depends on tax revenue. You can’t have it both ways.
       

      • Anonymous

        I too am totally disgusted by the swiftboating of veterans and this also occurs from the left via outlets like Truthout.org. But to the credit of the left, there hasn’t been an instance that I’m aware of where funerals for veterans are disrupted and made into a circus due to the sexuality of the fallen or grieving mothers of fallen vets are called all sorts of ungodly, vulgar names because they dare to speak out against the war. These are not my family values and I cannot and will not ever support a party who lectures to me constantly that they should be.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Thank you for your revealing comments!

  • Anonymous

    After WWII the job creators of the time sent the women home from the factories. 

    • Guest

      Thank goodness, that behavior is illegal today. You seem to think differently. How sad.

  • Jon

    Tom,

    In Massachusetts (and maybe other states), veterans get credit for military service when taking the firefighters civil service exam.  Often described as a para-military organisation, the fire service may be a good fit for returning veterans.

    Jon, Franklin FD.

  • Harry

    One of the best thing anyone can do for their resume, while
    looking for work, is to volunteer for a non-profit. If you’re asked during an
    interview, “What have you been doing the past 6 months (or year of two)?” What
    better answer than, “I’ve been volunteering at [Organization Name] helping to
    develop programs to [something impressive]”? This shows the prospective
    employer you’re not just sitting around collecting unemployment and expecting a
    job to magically appear.

  • Chris

    I think we are seeing the same points being brought up and again and again here. What we really need is a government backed transition program. No matter how you look at it, the core values from the military to carry over to civilian life but not without the additional education that civilians recieve at the college level. If anything they offer the soldier a better foundation to build on but hardly anything else. That’s just the way it is. No one gets a job based on their merits, you get one based on your education and what you can viably bring without question to your position. Military life is military life, civilian life is civilian life; they are two different things. Until we can agree on that the problem is in the manner of transition this will be an ongoing discussion for the life of our country…

  • Anonymous

    Tom,

    Do you think Obama didn’t speed the exit of Iraq because he didn’t know what to do about the returning vets lack of jobs possibilities due to the Obama economy?

    • TFRX

      Didn’t you said recently that we should all be thanking Little Boots (George W. Bush) because the withdrawal from Iraq happened on the timetable he created?

      Not that you’re trying to have it both ways.

      • Anonymous

        Yes I did.  Since Obama followed Bush’s timetable. Bush got us out of Iraq.  I wish Obama could have been responsible for getting our troops out earlier. I am not having it both ways.

        • TFRX

          So, by your reckoning: Bush gets the credit all by himself, and Obama gets the blame for not changing it all by himself.

          Try to convince me you haven’t just started this concern over troops being on the ground in Iraq the moment Obama was inaugurated. I wouldn’t follow you out of a burning building.

          • Gregg

            Bush negotiated the SOFA and Obama, despite campaigning to cut and run sooner, stuck with Bush’s timetable… and military tribunals… and indefinite detention … and keeping Gitmo open. It’s a plain case of campaigning on a lie.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Obama TRIED to get GITMO closed!  Republican Congress stopped it! 
               If ‘W’ had kept his word, know what he was doing, or hadn’t been getting rich off the war, troops would have been out SEVEN years ago!
               Blame that on Obama?

        • Anonymous

          Your comment is flawed on so many levels. The war was unnecessary and has cost us billions and human cost will be with us and the Iraq’s for decades to come.

          • Notgoneyet

            can you hear my violin from where you are?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          ‘W’ got us INTO the Iraq war!  He sure didn’t get us out in the eight months, his admin. said! 
              Blaming Obama for ANY problems with Iraq is like blaming the fire-fighters that put out your house, that your accident caused!  If you can’t see where the problems came from, you sure aren’t going to be part of the solution!

          • Anonymous

            Terry Tree Tree It would take a full time staff to fact check all of your comments but this one was far to misleading blaming Bush for a change in policy when you don’t also blame Obama for changing his policy.
            In Oct. 2007, Obama supported removing all combat troops from Iraq within 16 months, saying, “I will remove one or two brigades a month, and get all of our combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months. The only troops I will keep in Iraq will perform the limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al Qaeda. And I will launch the diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives that are so badly needed. Let there be no doubt: I will end this war.” The quote appears on the campaign’s Web site.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ‘W’ told us it would only take about 18 months, in 2003!  Obama would NOT have been ANY factor, IF the ‘W’ admin. had done what they said, or knew what they were getting the country into?

          • Anonymous

            Stop making excuses.  

            Excuses are for wimps and I hope our president is never a wimp

  • okitaris

    The age that a veteran is recruited is an age where the person is idealistic often looking to the military to fulfil these ideals.   Then they are totally and dramatically disappointed. Therefore tramatized.  Finding that the military is built on lies half truths and decete.   Going to war and killing families such as in Viet Nam central America now Iraq and Afganastan
    They find as I have being a veteran that they only reason  that is kept from the child conscritpted into the military to make and keep rich men richer.   This turns many away from the jobs which do the same – thus we nave the OWS movement who is trying to put reason back into the system.

    • margbi

      I think it was Monty Python who said in one skit, “Join the army, get trained, travel to foreign lands – and kill people.” How would this be training for employment after the soldier returns?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Millitary personnel are trained to operate so many kinds of equipment, most of which is more expensive and complex than civillian equipment.  MOST civillian jobs are part of the millitary training, from Air Traffic Control, to Heavy Equipment, to Human Resources, to Administration, etc…  and the list goes on!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    There are ‘head-hunter’ groups, (employment assistance services), that specialize in finding jobs for veterans, officers, and enlisteds.

    • Not Gross

      But that doesn’t necessarily help the ones with the biggest problems. Junior officers usually do okay, stepping into a management development program designed for military.

      An infantryman or tank driver can’t get much help from these firms (and they do add to the price of hiring someone — anywhere from 15% to 25% of salary) and those are the ones with the least transferable skills. Headhunters are paid to find people to fill hard-to-fill jobs and aren’t in business to “help” job seekers.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Some help is better than NO help.  I do what I can.

  • Nutricj

    it is so dependent on the business in terms of the service helping or hurting the resume: i was a chef for years in los angeles, it always helped me get hired and get higher pay. as a nutritionist it hasnt helped at all and i fly solo- BUT i leaned to be a nutritionist in the AF.

  • Anonymous

    How many Vets go into law enforcement jobs when they return home?
    Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/20/local-cops-ready-for-war-with-homeland-security-funded-military-weapons.html 

  • Donna

    As the child of a WWII veteran, there are many consequences to serving in war that are not necessarily immediately evident. As some of the callers-in have said, PTSD has lifelong effects. I think our veterans deserve much more than we are giving them – training, guaranteed jobs, free college education and an affordable place to live. They have risked their lives and well-being.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thank you, on behalf of my sister and brother vets!

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The old GI Bill that paid in full for college was the best economic policy this country has ever had, I think.  This helps the veterans, and it helps our economy — it pays back 7:1 in the long run.

    Neil

  • Quadraticus

    I take issue with the notion that soldiers are “serving our country”. They are, in fact, serving the government and the rest of the military industrial complex. Whether these wars benefit the people of the United States is not at all clear, but unlikely.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Your problem is with the people that make the decisions on where the millitary goes, and why!  MOST of them are civillians!

    • Anonymous

      I hit the liked button by mistake but I think your opinion is a load of rubbish. Let’s not overlook the 75% pro-invasion approval rating of the US population as conducted by various polls following Colin Powell’s famous UN yellowcake speech and let’s not also forget the near 90% approval rating of the general public who was out for blood against agains Afghanistan. We as a country and as its citizenry had our parts in this debacle.

  • Guest

    This is a matter of RISK. A risk of mental problems, as one example. No college degrees, as another example. When we test them, they score anywhere from 10 to 30 points or worse below what we consider acceptable. There are many problems in hiring a VET and I have just mentioned three of them.
    Please explain to VETS that they must come back and enroll in college, complete their degrees and then they can apply like the other applicants.
    I do not see any advantage from military service in the corporate world, unfortunately.

    • Nutricj

      i did exactly that- returned from the gulf- got a degree on the gi bill, then went to work and got another degree partly on the gi bill and i was eagerly recruited (not just me but many of my friends too) but this was in the late 90s/a very different $$ climate. but, i only make the point because it was corporate america that was calling me the most. often cited were things like long hours, dedication, reliability, leadership skills, etc. and i was not an officer- i enlisted to serve my country and pay for college. it worked- both because i didn’t get killed and because there was a job market. our vets need a lot more help in this economy. i had dozens of prospects- it just isn’t that way for the returning women and men today.

      • Guest

        Thanks for your reply. I am seriously interested in how to help and I am about to retire. How do we help? There are so many VETS who come back damaged. In a Federal position, where we deal with millions of people (annually) we must have top-notch, mentally healthy people on board. It is the mental health of VETS that concerns me the most.
        Congratulations for your success and THANK YOU for your service.

        • Nutricj

          oh thank you for that, truly! of course we saw things we wish we hadn’t and it still gets to me today, but my husband and i both came back and had each other as support. we were the lucky ones. homeless veterans is my biggest cause because there is a huge number of mentally dysfuntional veterans in our streets. i ponder how to help everyday of my life. it is a big big problem. personally i volunteer at food banks and shelters and target veterans- i do free nutrition advising, i drag along unsuspecting dentists and counselors with me to volunteer ;-), i bring as much food as i can and give fruits and vegetables and omega-3 supplements that i can afford, etc. etc.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Semper Fidelis

          • Nutricj

            thank you for your service too Terry! cj

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Informing the vets of the services available, and assisting them to get there?  Informal counselling, when formal counsellors are unavailable, in time?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Too bad that you are short-changing your company.

      • Guest

        What you are missing is the RISK. We hire the top 2% and have no issues and we can’t have any issues. Everyone has a minimum of a Masters and most have a PhD. Once these requirements are met, then we consider all applicants, equally. How is that short-changing anyone?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The top 2% of what?  The top 2% of wealth don’t NEED a job. 
              Since you don’t tell your company type, how can I answer?
             What percentage of the population enlist, or become millitary officers?   What percentage of those graduate basic training?  Advanced Training?  MOS School?  Survive their millitary service?  With each , you get closer to the top 2%!

          • Guest

            TTT, I am seriously trying to see how VETS can be helped, so let me say this clearly. We TEST, do background searches back to High School, check everything…police records…EVERYTHING. The top 2% includes IQ, education, clean background, not overweight, and the list goes on. We must have the top 2% available. Does that clear this up for you?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Since you actually explain nothing, No.
               If you are trying to help vets, thank you.
               Veterans should easily qualify for the top 2% of most any qualifiers.

    • Nutricj

      and, also, you could set up an educational support program if you want to support vet hiring and education for vets. my gi bill covered me so i did not take the grants but i had companies, grants, and scholarships (usually corporate based) lists lined up at the ready just in case. the more companies that invest in the education the better it is for all.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Could you post a list of these resources for the vets needing them?
            For example, larger libraries have a Handbook of Grants and Scholarships, that has a diverse amount of help. 
            One of the scholarships is for left-handed tennis players!

        • Nutricj

          all the state university systems that i know of (i went to Cal State Long Beach, CA) have lengthy lists and most have a veterans support person/office. i am not against the ivy league- but it is usually at the state schools where the most info is there- especially if you have breasts, LOL- but seriously- women in business support women vets getting education, and there are others really specific to various minority groups with prior service.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2537832 Brendan Duffy

          Tree Tree Tree,

          We’re building a company that will provide veterans with an education from top-tier universities (U of California, etc.), the cost of which will be covered by the GI Bill. 

          We’re also developing partnerships with companies and corporations that will allow for vets to get the experience/internships they need to be competitive. 

          Additionally, we’ve started to build our mentor network, because we believe that good mentors are crucial to success. 

          If you’re a professional (any industry) who wants to give back, we’re taking applications:
          http://www.fideliseducation.com/signup/mentor

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Construction Electrician, that didn’t finish my Associate in Mechanical Engineering, due to family and other impediments.  My best wishes for the sucess of your endeavor!
               Love the name of your link!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2537832 Brendan Duffy

      I think the risk of PTSD-related issues is overstated. Certainly, some people have problems reintegrating. But the majority of vets transitioning out of the military manage just fine.

      As for this: “I do not see any advantage from military service in the corporate world, unfortunately”, I’d say you haven’t done your research. Luckily, the nice folks at Harvard have.

      Here’s the link to the HBR series entitled “Frontline Leadership”, which explores some of the lessons learned during military service:
      http://blogs.hbr.org/frontline-leadership/

  • Marty

    I left the Army in 1979…do you recall the “Misery Index”?  It was 19.72 then…it’s 12.53 now.  What’s similar?  During both periods we have a Democratic President who is clueless with respect to economics…back then, unemployment benefits lasted 6 weeks.  Now it’s 99!  I got a job, finished college, graduate school, and returned to the Army.  I am now retired.  Forgive me, but how bad is it, really? 

    • Anonymous

      hmmm. Well besides the fact that a lot of these guys have been at war for the last 10 years, mostly under a republican president, I would say for some it’s been hell.
      What is the point of your post? That democratic presidents are bad? Not a good point.

      • Marty

        Statistics (when reported accurately) are very convincing…at least to those of us who have studied statistics…the “Misery Index” almost always increases under Democratic administrations, and almost always decline under Republican administrations…the one exception was Bill Clinton’s time…but, then, it was losing the House that forced him into sounder economic policies.  As far as the point of my post, I thought it was obvious – we now hand out benefits   much more liberally than in years past…maybe if we cut back on the benefits, people might actually seek employment.  As far as war is concerned, you may recall, we were attacked on September 11, 2001, and Saddam thumbed his nose at the terms of the cease-fire agreement.  By the way, did you serve?  I saw first-hand what that guy and his soldiers did to Kuwait…even Bill Clinton attacked Saddam (albeit to take attention off of Ms. Lewinsky)…so, I think my point is very good…good-bye, Mr. Jeffe68…maybe someday you will see the truth of how the world works…

        • Anonymous

          Oh please spare me this crap. Your nothing more than right wing tea party type who thinks that because he served in the military he has a God given right to use this fact to brow beat anyone.  What your comment shows is that you don’t know what your talking about at all. Your solution is to cut benefits to vets. That’s your answer to the huge amount of unemployed service people who just spent the best years of their lives serving?

          As to your crap about 9/11 we were not attacked by Iraq. We were not attacked by Afghanistan. We were attacked by terrorist who mostly came from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but hey why argue over the details.
          The war in Iraq was an unjust war that was perpetrated by one of the worst presidents in the history of this nation.

          As to how the world works? Well I know I’m glad it’s being controlled by the likes of you.

          • Crawerttrainer

            We OWE our vets!!! They give the govt a blank check when they enlist or join. The government has misused their trust. I am tired of all the yellow ribbons and bumper stickers saying support our troops. That’s only while they are fighting and dying or getting maimed in various ways??? What about when they get home? We owe them a LOT!

          • Marty

            Always happy to make a liberal miserable.  It’s so easy…

          • Notgoneyet

            they’re halfway there at birth

          • still here

            And approved strongly by Democrats…you need to get over your so-called life

          • Notgoneyet

            dude, you are the misery index

      • Crawerttrainer

        Guys? What about the gals? As a female vet I am always offended that the women veterans’ sacrifices are not noticed

        • Anonymous

          I meant both, when I said guys it was term of speech. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

          • Crawerttrainer

            Saying guys (like troops), even though a guy is a male, is used more often to describe a group of men and women. But ‘boys’ and ‘men’ are not transferable. As a female vet I am sensitive to the slights. I know they are not intentional most of the time, but it is just the internalized slight that I react to.

    • Crawerttrainer

      How uninformed. I also served, got a degree on the gi bill and a job, etc. You are the one who seems clueless. Why did we go to war to begin with?  The Republican axis of evil really lied and pushed to get their way. Now that our country has economic problems, in part due to unfunded, immoral wars, let’s blame Obama. give me a break! Our vets need all the support they can get, more than just the lip service many are getting.

  • Mailit2tina

    One route for those returning to civilian life to enter a high-demand career field with opportunity for continued growth while also serving our country is to enter the field of manufacturing.  For a ‘taste of what I am referring to, go to this link to a very recently aired story about the unmet need for manufacturing workers (i.e. machinists trained as CNC operators, set-up workers, and on ‘up the ladder’)…. Link to “On the Job Hunt: Machinists in High Demand” at  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/15/on-job-hunt-machinists-in-high-demand/ 

    To explore available options,  look at offerings at community colleges and Vo-Tech schools in the area of Manufacturing Technologies, Precision Machining, etc.  Go in and talk to those in the department to get a full explanation of the programs offered. Also, seek information at your regional workforce-related agencies and Dept of Labor where manufacturing is considered a high priority field.  Many schools offer accelerated programs that include internship placements;  in many cases, the internships result in full-time jobs upon completion of the program.  Manufacturing is a work environment where an individual with a military background who is used to routine, a degree of regimentation, working as a team, and being highly productive is going to be valued, respected and most importantly….IN DEMAND. The starting pay and the benefits offered in these jobs is worth looking into. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I hope this is for real.  Most of the machinists that I know , are facing job cuts, or cuts in time.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    How many veterans are unemployed? if you have the Stats please post. We need to know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2537832 Brendan Duffy

    I work for a San Francisco technology company that is actively trying to address the problem of veteran unemployment. We’re doing it in partnership with the University of California, among others.

    Here’s an article about us that’ll give you some background: 
    http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/24/fidelis-college-raises-money-to-actually-support-our-troops/

    If you’re a professional who’d like to mentor a smart, driven veteran who’s working towards a career in the private sector, we’d love to have you on board as part of our mentor network.
    Apply by clicking here: 
    http://www.fideliseducation.com/signup/mentor

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thank you!  On behalf of my sister and brother veterans.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Brendan, I went to your site.   Started checking your terms  and conditions, and left. 
         As a Vietnam ERA vet, that is now a Construction Electrician, I would like to help. 
         Most Construction Unions have a program called ‘Helmets to Hardhats’, or something like it.   This program is to help veterans to get jobs in Union Construction Trades, using the skills they got in the millitary, or to get them into training for the Trades.
         I will come back here, when I think of something else that might help.

  • guest

    http://www.idealmilitaryhire.com/ is a website that helps vets get hired

  • Hennorama

    Where are all the so-called “job creators” that Republicans crow about without end?  It seems clear that if there actually were any patriotic “job creators” that they would be all over this issue and hiring U.S. military veterans en masse.

    Apparently their enlightened self-interest is more about keeping as much money for themselves as possible, and don’t TRULY behave according to the patriotic values they ascribe to themselves.

    • margbi

      Yeah, no taxes have been raised for years. Where are all the jobs?

      • Notgoneyet

        i don’t care what everyone says, you are a genius

    • still here

      Who tells you how to spend your money?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        They SAID how they would spend it!  CREATE JOBS!

  • Arnis

    When the veterans come home they should be given a severance pay the same as they made while on duty for 
    two years.  Most larger companies are hiring Vets first.
     The Federal Gov’t hires Vets that are qualified First.

  • Pancake Rankin

    Except for career officers, an elite cadre, most veterans joined the active military and reserves because they could not find or get a satisfactory job. They hoped military training and experience would enhance their employability, but many times  service sets them behind and lessens their chances. John Kerry hurt himself by saying, but he was essentially correct that services are populated by those of lower socio-economic class and disadvantage. People with other opportunities rarely choose the four branches. So is it any surprise that discharged  persons of lesser assets and connections, some traumatized by violence and hyper-discipline, are less able to find paying work? It’s no surprise, and if we are forced to hire them preferentially we settle for less and inherit military-created  problems. In an Empire such as ours, military jobs are essentially a make-work program, and one of the most counterproductive that could ever be conceived. The Oligarchy can use the indoctrinated recruits steeped in violence as intimidaters, and they can park an otherwise troublesome category of young men at public expense while using them to foster overseas corporate penetration. Without Empire we would face up to the human right of having access to living waged productive work protected on the job by basic human rights. It is the cruelest sadists alive who promise opportunity after service and then cut the benefits that might give the poor suckers a chance. But that’s just what fascists today claim we can’t afford. So do you see the contradiction?

    • still here

      Please crawl back into your hole

  • Anonymous

    I’d actually like to see more war vets get into teaching where their emphasis on discipline, problem solving and teamwork would greatly benefit future generations of Americans. Then there’s the real world experience of teaching the youth raised on X-box that war is not a video game, not to committed to lightly via propaganda and that the “support the troops” mantra should mean more that driving down to the mall, buying yellow ribbons or bumper stickers to be proudly and capriciously displayed while we’re also advocating the drastic reduction of federal funding for support services and benefits with the same breath. Maybe then we’d begin to have a clue about what civilian support and responsibilities during wartime really entails and begin to break the cycle of one war after another throughout each and every generation.

  • Crawerttrainer

    As a Vietnam Era FEMALE veteran I am always offended when the host and guests talk abut the ‘boys’ or the ‘me’ or the ‘guys’ and don’t mention all the women in the service who are affected also. It is time, especially radio hosts, call attention to this bias!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I try, Lady.  My sister and brother vets are the usual way I mention them.  I helped raise a female Marine.

  • Lmacdo5

    I can’t help but feel that your guests used a lot of stereotypical and non-quantifiable language when they described veterans. What exactly proves that they have “integrity, discipline, the ability to work long hours etc.”. I would put any soldier up against my son who did not join to fight in a war he logically and correctly viewed as bogus. Going to college and graduating in four years requires discipline. Integrity means acting in accordance with your beliefs but doesn’t mean that a private employer would necessarily share your beliefs.

    These veteran’s preferences are entitlements. Far too many veterans joined in order to get points and preferential positions on the civil service list. This lists puts disabled veterans higher on the list for public safety jobs ahead of people who might be better suited for the job. What kind of disability is acceptable in a publicly paid police officer or firefighter? Is this entitlement mentality why we have so many disability claims in public safety jobs?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Good Questions!  What is the breakdown of disability claims between vets, and non-vets? 
         There is much about the millitary training that is NOT in most non-millitary training, or schooling.
          Much iniquity exists in hiring systems.  The boss’s son, mistress, neice, fraternity, etc…   Veterans’ Preference was instituted as a way to show appreciation for service to your country.   This usually involves sacrifices and experiences, that the non-vet misses.
         Do you advocate a system that gives preference for something else?  What?  Why?

    • USMC1371

      when you deploy twice in 2 years, lose some of your best friends, nearly die more times than you can count, have the naval hospital botch a surgery which led to two more to correct it, have worked 36 hours straight building bunkers and fortifying a position without a break then stop for 4 hours to eat and sleep only to wake up and do it again for a week in 140 degree heat with snipers taking pop shots at you and wearing a full combat load, then you can talk about entitlement

  • Larry Stein

    Another excellent online venue strictly aimed at veterans is a part of my company called UBM Studios Milicruit (www.milicruit.com). Veterans have the opportunity to live chat with employers in their booths. These are not small employers either: VetSuccess, Hero2Hired, Amazon.com, Dr Pepper/Snapple, Philips, MOAA (Military Officers Association of America), Citi and hundreds more. These are employers who are specifically looking to hire military veterans, so they are very receptive. As a responsible company, UBM Studios has made donations to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (see eCard here: http://www.punchbowl.com/ecards/receive/1b91fe8a38066b031ecc).Best of luck to all of you! You deserve it.

  • Anonymous

    The youth unemployment rate is currently around 20%.  Why is it surprising that there is high unemployment among veterans? Also, integrity, honor, and work ethic are great, but they are not really quantifyable as human capital. 

    It is sad that our president will go out of his way to tout the benefits of hiring veterans but will not provide adequate funding to the VA. 
     

    • Anonymous

      The president of US while he does have a lot power is not able to anything about funding of the government. It’s in the hands of both houses of GOP and the tea party who are into cutting things to nothing. If you want to blame government for why the VA was in such bad shape oGW Bush and the GOP for this. They love to wave flags around and start wars but the do not want to pay for them.
      Witness the lack of armored Humvee’s at the outset of the war in Iraq.

      • still here

        Your boss Obama is a wimp and always was.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Compared to an admitted AWOL, and evident Deserter?

        • Anonymous

          He’s not my boss. Where do you people get this stuff? The president is not the boss of the citizens. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces. Get your civics lessons right then you can come on forums and bitch.

        • TFRX

          But Fox News tells me he’s a dictator. Surely both of you can’t be right.

  • Hidan

    I think one of the reasons so many returning vets are having issues finding jobs is the MOS they pick for the military. Often times the MOS that pay the biggest Bonuses to join are ones that will be the last to translate to an civilian job. When I joined back in 2000 with an 1-2 year delayed entry there was an 3k bonus for Accounting/Finance but 30k for gunner/grunt type jobs.While the 30K is great when the service member gets it as opposed to just 3k many don’t see that taking the bigger bonus may make it harder in the long run to translate to a good civilian job.

    Though I think the U.S. government so have programs or help returning Vets to adjust back to the civilian lifestyle our army vets should also take some responsibility on what MOS they choose to go with and how it will help in the future. I blame this lack of connection of the two on our Politicians being far to eager to go to war and not thinking about the long term effects of prolonged war and attempts at bribing the young to join with such bonuses.

    I think Military families should be more vocal with our warmongering Congress and when they wish to put there family members at risk. They should be weary of Congress trying to bribe them to keep silent. I have two cousins and brother whose soon to be going into the Navy and feel it’s the least I can do for them.

  • Laura

    I served four years during peacetime and have nothing but appreciation for those that serve during war.  But not all veterans are created equal.  I have two friends with sons home from Iraq.  One is a tremendous young man who absolutely has skills and attitude deserving of preferential hiring.  the other was a messed up kid when he enlisted, and is now a messed up veteran.  I certainly wouldn’t expect someone to hire him just because he’s a veteran.  It’s more complicated than black/white.  Would it be more realistic to suggest that the basic skills and requirements must be met and only then we give the vet preference?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Vet Preference is only additional points, 5, to add to your employability score.  I think it’s 15 for disabled vet.   You have to meet the basic requirements for hiring, unless the company is stupid, or has other methods of choosing hirees.

  • Eseftx

    Employers, particularly in law enforcement, where a lot of returning vets feel they will have a shot at employment, may be reluctant to hire ex-military, because they see them as “untrainable.”  Servicemembers are so entrenched in their military mindset that they may be unwilling to accept direction that doesn’t mesh with their own learned military view.  There can be the perception among military that they “know better,” and this may make them difficult to work with outside the military. 

  • Lori

    The army is consolidating forts and leaving established forts like Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, NJ vacant. Why don’t they let the veterans come home, live in these forts and give job training and housing to these veterans including internships and WPA type trade/construction/maintenance opportunities to them before they settle back in as an option. Kind of like an Americorp type program. They could bus the veterans to work sites far and wide. My husband travels an hour and a half to his corporate job each day and back, that kind of commute would provide needed services to a large radius of citizens. Just thinking a bridge to joining back in here and an opportunity to make connections and be contributing…

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Very Good Idea!!  I hope someone takes it and RUNS with it!

  • Cris

    Unemployment of ex-military is no different than the unemployment of any American.  If you go to culinary school, and finish when no one is hiring chefs, you have to adapt to that.  People that join the army know what they are getting in to, and it just turns out that no one is hiring murderers right now. 

    I am definitely skewed by my political views, and I’m upset that unemployment is so high right now, but I don’t think that soldiers deserve more attention than the rest of the unemployed population.

    • Swim2dtop85

      First off we’re not murders… We were 18, 19, and 20 yrs old going over to Iraq or Afghan to do a job that only 1 percent of Americans have the courage to do. Now that we come back from war which you will never have the honor to understand what it means to serve your country. We don’t take pride in collecting unemployment because hell we’re better than that. We’re the reason why you have the right to say and type the things that you say. All I can say is I would like to see you go to any VA hospital in the United States and walk in there and call everyone a killer. The last thing we want to do is fire our weapon at another human being let alone another hymen being who is fighting under what he think is right.!I’m a GODDAMN United State Marine and I’ll tell you right now that the best way to win a war is by not shooting one single round. You must not know what it means to either have pride in something you do nor have ever worked a day in your life to think and talk that way about a veteran. If you don’t have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all. That’s something I was thought growing up by my parents.

      • Guest

        Just because the work is difficult, does not make it wise or justified. You have great pride for the work you have done, but in truth the lives of US civilians would be NO WORSE had you never gone to Iraq or Afghanistan, and very likely they would be substantially better. This “let’s get the terrorists” thing was, and is, a total fraud.

        Your LIFETIME odds of dying in a terrorist attack worldwide are 1 in 88,000. You are more likely to die from being struck by lightning (1:56,000), falling off a ladder (1:10,000), drowning (1:8,000), being shot (1:300), homicide in general (1:200), or cancer (1:4).

        Put another way, you are 22,000 times more likely to die of cancer, 440 times more likely to die by homicide, and 1.6 times more likely to die BY BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING THAN IN A TERRORIST ATTACK!!! It is PATENTLY ABSURD, and basically f***ing CRIMINAL to go to war over an event that occurs this infrequently, and which is likely to happen MORE, not LESS frequently as a result of the ill will created by the wars.

        2,977 mostly civilian people were killed on Sept 11th (by 19 hijackers, who obviously died). In exchange you, the armed services, took up the “let’s get ‘em!” cause and went over to kill 100,000 CIVILIANS in Iraq and somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 CIVILIANS in Afghanistan. These wars also killed 6,280 US soldiers, and left TENS OF THOUSANDS forever damaged by amputation, Traumatic Brain Injury, PTSD, etc.

        I realize they brainwash the grunts well, but how can you possibly drone on about courage and sacrifices? YOU CHOSE TO ENTER THE MILITARY. IT WAS A BAD DECISION.

        • Nutricj

          so again, another argument that proves many are blaming the workers for the company head decisions. it’s fine to disagree with the conflicts (iraq, afghan, etc.) as many of us vets do as well- but we don’t get to choose when we give service. it could just as easily have been a hitler situation. so you would praise the US and other nation’s military for having the strength to stop hitler, but you would condemn the recent veterans because you disagree with the modern war efforts.

          i also get a real kick out you lecturing a veteran about the horrors of war and our statistical probabiltiy of injury/death/terrorist interaction. DUH!

          next time you papercut yourself and reach for your snoopy band-aide, think of us on the fence making sure you get to go to the big package USA store of your choice to buy your cute little digit wrap.

          it’s a BAD DECISION on your part to assume we don’t know exactly what horror is and what it is not. but, well, you know what they say about assumers…

          • Guest

            You have a point — I agree that recruits are not responsible for the major military decisions, but to say that I get to enjoy relative security because you joined the military is absolutely fallacious. The military is not keeping me safe from the hostile actions of another country. On the contrary; OUR COUNTRY IS OUT THERE COMMITTING UNPROVOKED HOSTILE ACTIONS ON OTHER COUNTRIES!

            I get it, you’re proud of your efforts. You went and did some difficult stuff in a foreign place. The disconnect here is where you assume that the entire US civilian population owes you some debt of gratitude for doing it. That’s what they tell you, and it’s quite plainly false. YOU CHOSE to do it. Maybe it’s because you thought it would be of some benefit to you, or maybe it’s because you bought into some “let’s stand up for our country” BS (and that’s exactly what it is).

            Nobody made you serve, and NOT ONE CIVILIAN living in the US benefitted from your service.  You want me to pat you on the back for volunteering to do the bidding of congress and a vengeful president?

            We spend almost $700 BILLION on our military! That’s SIX TIMES the amount of our closest competitor, China. The US spends 5% of its entire entire GDP on the military! I would argue that this is paranoid and outrageously unncessary in the modern age. We are more likely to BECOME the next Nazi Germany than we are to protect against it.

          • Guest

            Also, I’d like to add:

            You seem to be implying that I/we (civilians) are weak, cowardly, and defenseless. You think I wouldn’t pick up a gun if there was any plausible threat to the US being involved in an actual war at home? Of course I would, and I’m not the only one.

            Our military VASTLY EXCEEDS our requirement for national defense. The difference between returning soldiers and civilians is that civilians had the wisdom not to add to an unnecessarily large force in what should be a time of peace.

            So you can have whatever reasons you wish for being a serviceman or servicewoman, but please understand: you aren’t out there “defending the American way of life”, whatever the propaganda may say. That thinking is complete and utter BS.

      • Guest

        “Now that we come back from war which you will never have the honor to understand what it means to serve your country.”
        ____________

        How were you serving the country? In what way did your “service” benefit the US? Its civilians? Why is your choice to do this “honorable”?

        The problem isn’t that you aren’t asking the right questions, it’s that you aren’t asking ANY questions. You’re just doing what somebody else tells you is right.

      • Cris

        I really don’t even know what to say to this, except the best way to not wage a war is to understand the differences between other areas of the world, and to realize that American style Democracy is not what every nation is looking to achieve, because it’s not that great.  If you want to be courageous, look at the problems in your town, and try to better it.  Don’t ever think that the problems are solely outside of our community/state/country.  

    • Anonymous

      That’s uncalled for. I’m not exactly pro military and I was against the war in Iraq and thought the one in Afghanistan was handled badly and still is. However comments like this are examples of an uneducated mind at work trying to create a reaction. Well you got one. People who serve in the military do give something up and they also are sold a bill of goods as to job training and experience.
      The people who are seeing action and who are putting their lives on the line for following orders have earned something most of us are not aware of. They have done things most of us will never do and have gone to places in their minds I hope never to go. That alone in my view deserves some respect and we should be helping people to find ways of moving forward with their lives.
      To put the blame on vets for your problems is immature.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thank you jeffe68, on behalf of my sister and brother veterans!

      • Cris

        This is outright ridiculous.  You are completely romanticizing the subject!  Since when do we applaud people for blindly following orders, especially when their lives and the lives of others are in the hands of people that care nothing about them?!!  
         
        You are right, I will never go to a foreign land full well knowing that I may have to kill someone because my government says they are the bad guys.   

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Please carefully read the Oath of Service we took. 
             Until millitary personnel get into a situation, they don’t have the information to determine whether they were sent for a correct reason!  A lot of the time, it’s hard to get that information, in Theater!  

          • Multiades

            And my point is that you shouldn’t have taken that Oath to begin with. By offering yourself up to the military, you’re coming right out and saying “I don’t mind being ordered to do things and having no responsibility for my actions”. It doesn’t matter that there wasn’t a war going on when you joined, or ANY of that. What about this is so hard to understand? It’s very simple — IF YOU DON’T JOIN THE MILITARY, YOU CAN’T BE SENT TO WAR – PERIOD!

            Soldiers in Nazi concentration camps were “just following orders” as well.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Go live where there is no, or little national millitary!

          • Guest

            I was born here, and I would like for here to be that place. Why should I leave my country because it has a minority population of aggressive, foolish war-mongering types? I sympathize, and I sure don’t hate you, but I wish  that you kids weren’t so foolish as to buy into this “national defense” crap.

        • Guest

          You hit the nail right on the head.

          Vets didn’t send the country to war, but they aren’t blameless either. Currently, military service is voluntary. In actuality, military service is always voluntary, even in times of a “draft”.

          The very idea that a person could go to prison for refusing to join the military, or refusing to obey orders is the most dangerous thing to liberty I can think of.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Child, you refute your own words!  Unemployment of your ‘murderers’, is NOT a bigger problem for you, than the unemployment of a seventeen-year-old dropout? 
         Yes, you have some skewed political views, and evidently some skewed views otherwise!
         As a veteran, I know that I have some different views, than the 90% of the population that did NOT serve their country!  I have served for over 22 years, as a non-paid Volunteer Fire Fighter, over 15 years also, as a non-paid Volunteer Rescue Squad member, 6 of those years, I was also a non-paid Volunteer Medical First Responder.  I have DONATED over TEN gallons of my blood, to help my fellow man!  Some of the skills to do these things, came from my millitary training, and esprit-de-corps the millitary instills in  most of us! 
         What do YOU do?

      • Cris

        Giving blood? Wow.  I won’t begin to list my high school achievements in this forum.  What do I do?  I am a college graduate and work my tail off for very little money.  I helped pay for your education, as well as mine (you are welcome).  I also am forced to pay to have Americans flown over to the other side of the world and die for absolutely no reason, and that sir, is what does not sit well with me.  You are not serving your country by joining the military.  You are serving the greed of corporations that have no interest in general population. PERIOD.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Then, tell the CIVILLIANS that send us there!!   Congress, the President, the Senate, the Secretary of Defense, are the ones that make the decisions to do the bidding of GREEDY corporations!  Even Admirals and Generals, except maybe Four-Stars, do NOT make the decisions of where the millitary goes.
             Don’t forget that the CIVILLIAN CIA develops MOST of the intelligence these decisions are made on!
             Prior to, during, and after my millitary service, I paid taxes, income, etc…, that paid for my G.I. Bill, too! 
             The original G.I. Bill got a return of over $2 for every $1 spent on the G.I. Bill, so you can say it paid for itself, and THEN SOME! 
              Ask the veterans that you meet, if they joined to serve the singular interest of a corporation?  I doubt that 1 in 10,000 enlisted to serve corporate interests.

          • Multiades

            Nope, I’m sure that’s not why you joined, and if you’re against the war after having served, I applaud that.

            Where you’re wrong is that you have no culpability. You didn’t send yourself to war, but you sure as s*** joined the military voluntarily. If we didn’t give the government an endless supply of foolish warm bodies, they wouldn’t have anyone to fight with. How’s that for starve the beast? Who’s going to do the bidding of congress if nobody is willing to join? They can’t conscript the unwilling.

            Let me guess, you thought you were joining “to defend the country you love”, right? Unfortunately for the future of the world, there is no shortage of young people naive enough to buy into that crap.

            We have the world’s largest military budget by a factor of SIX. Does it look like we need help with defense?

            Now I’m all in favor of employment for veterans, but don’t start acting like civilians are ingrates for not thanking you — we have no reason to thank you and offering you a job. You did something you wanted to do, and many of us could care less whether you did that thing or not because it has no relevance to us.

            You’re rediscovering what veterans in the Vietnam generation discovered. Nobody cares about military service when you aren’t actually defending the country.

            Also, don’t confuse the CIA and congress with civilians — I don’t know
            what exactly to call them, but I doubt if either one is doing the work
            that the majority of US civilians want them to; the problem is that we
            don’t have any direct say. We elect people, they do whatever the hell
            they want, and when we vote someone else in to take their place the same
            thing happens.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I AM a Vietnam Era vet, and opposed the Iraq War plan, when first announced by ‘W’, and throughout!
               If you are so against national milliary, may I suggest that you go live where little or none exist?  Somalia, Afghanistan, or others?
               The millitary has a good purpose.  Civilians make the bad decisions about where to send the millitary and what mission! 
               ‘W’ couldn’t make the decision to NOT drink, when he was due for duty, yet some people decided he was the one to ‘decider’ where to send Troops?

          • Guest

            I sure as hell didn’t vote for him, and maybe you didn’t either, but the fact remains that if he didn’t have any force to fight with, we could not possibly have entered this mess to begin with.

            Nothing, including loss of our military would make the US like Afghanistan, Somalia, etc. Japan illegalized armed conflict after WWII SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE of the criminalistic militarism that the United States currently embodies. They now have a “National Defense Force” — note that the name appropriately describes its only appropriate function. They spend less than 1% of GDP on this defense force, as opposed to the US 5%. I don’t see Japan turning into Afghanistan, so your argument bears no weight. How can you possibly support the idea that our military is necessary?

            I actually considered joining the military when I was much younger, but decided that being sent to kill and abdicating responsibility for my actions were unacceptable. I wish you and your peers had decided the same.

    • Nutricj

      Everyone else here made the major points so i won’t repeat them, but i will add that you might think next time when an emt, a nurse, fire fighter, a police officer, many many doctors, lawyers, and so on, in your community save or help someone else’s life in your community. who the he** do you think makes up these people in service? i dont know the percentage of police and fire fighters but a huge number are prior military. many of our greatest doctors were trained in the military. i am a nutrionist- i found out what that was working in a military wellness center when i returned stateside in the 90s. btw, there are a lot of CEOs, business entrepeneurs, etc. that were former commanders in the military too.

      you have the right to your opinion but consider what it would be like really if we did not have the history of military strength protecting you? i wonder what people that think like you would do if all the branches of the military just closed shop for a few weeks. dont you think about what it must be like to live in north korea? you really think you get your freedom by luck? yah- well, keep sniffing the fairy dust! for the record, i am a passivist, i do not believe in war, but i am under no delusions about needing to protect ourselves and our freedoms. every life matters as much as the next- but when you risk your life everyday for your nation while your contemporaries are getting stoned zoned out on their computer games, whining about working at the jamba juice- yah- i say we should give them some slightly special treatment!

  • Anonymous

    My name is Stan Duncan. I’m representing MIchael Lerner, editor of the progressive inter-faith journal of politics, and author of many books on social political subjects. Tom interviewed him two years ago for his best selling book, _The Left Hand of God_.

    He has a new book, _Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East_, and is again on tour and searching for venues.
    Lerner is an engaging, thoughtful, innovative thinker and would (once again) bring to your show the kind of wise and insightful conversation that On Point is known for.
    If you are interested, I can be reached here or through my email (standuncan@.harvard.edu) or phone (781-504-6875). For the book’s web page, and comments by an impressive list of reviewers, go here: http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/eip  

  • Schnauzer

    When I left the Marine Corps back in 2006 after serving 4 years I found it very frustrating trying to find a job where I could use my military training and experience to find a job. I realized very quickly that my military training was NO substitute for a formal college education. So basically I found myself to be essentially a 22 year old with just a highschool diploma with no so called “real world experience or transferable skills”. The only advice I can give to fellow veterans is to use your GI BILL, if used properly it can be a saving grace and look out for your fellow veterans.

  • Dave

    It’s a disgrace that these people aren’t getting the training to make them indispensable.
    The whole point of the military as far as I can see is that it is a way of providing social welfare — specifically jobs training, and medical insurance — in a way that conservatives can’t object to. So DO it!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      ‘Conservatives’ have had decades of opportunity, to make it better!   You think they don’t want the millitary to be pretty much of a cul-de-sac for people in need of a job, training, and a chance of a better future?  How else would they have been able to wage the wars of empire?  Did ‘W’ send his daughters into combat, as FDR’s FIVE sons went?   ‘W’ compared himself to FDR!  Was one of ‘W’s children working behind enemy lines, as a modern-day Carlson’s RAider?
          This is a big way they ‘conserve’ the money of the GREEDY rich!

    • Nutricj

      you are missing a glaring point. in peace time there is a lot of time and energy placed on education of the military. recruitment of those who want to give 6 years as a doctor if the military pays for medical school, or jag for example. i was trained in emergency response, police work, wellness center, etc. stateside after war- but there is little time for that during a war. my goodness- how do you and others miss this point? we are soldiers when we are at war- that’s it. it is all about the mission. many leave war and their service time at the same moment so the educational opportunity is lost. they train you to fight, to survive, to protect yourself and the others around you- there’s isn’t time for philosophy or basket weaving 101. medical? social welfare? you think these people don’t work ten times harder than most to earn their benefits?

  • Pingback: Unemployed Veterans | Veterans for Common Sense

  • Guest

    Haven’t heard anyone mention this yet — the unemployment rate for veterans is higher, yes, but that’s because their unemployment rate when they are discharged is probably near 100%! In that context, only 2.5% higher than the general population looks pretty good, doesn’t it? If true, is this even newsworthy?

  • Michaelp

    Dear Tom,Why has the conversation on the Anti-Semitic statementt stopped at 48 comments? It looks like 197 have been accepted here, and this is also an important subject.  I’ve updated my statement, only to have it refused on your site.  One should not,especially in this holiday season, brush past an outrageous caller statement.  Please scroll down to see what I would like topost, to keep the conversation going.This is obviously a very important subject and the conversation should go on.Please schedule a program on the evil of targeting scapegoats.  I’m not using”evil” lightly, having had family slaughtered by the Nazis.  Here’s what I tried to post:Thanks, Jeffe68, for your sage rebuttals. I’ve read your further postings and think you make some excellent points. Daniel has me thinking that I should have posted with more clarity.  Here’s how my posting could better have read:
    Some people do seek easy answers, by targeting scapegoats. I have indigenous new friends in Hawaii, whose nation was invaded long ago. So many lives were lost because of the mainlanders.

    Now my friends are seeking a return of some of their lands, and complained to me that the Jews are against them. I asked for clarification and found that some members of two synagogues in the area had their own ideas about this dispute. 

    I let these friends know that, in the Holocaust, six million lives were eliminated from my tribe alone. As our discussions deepened these new friends declared that I am now part of their tribe, as well. 

    I was adopted by them. They just had to get to know me and know how many of my beliefs coincided with their own. Now they knew that all Jews were not against them, that one should deal with individuals rather than categories.
    So when Scott, the caller, attempted a global condemnation it would have been appropriate for Tom to say that he does not condone hate proclamations.  We all need to practice speaking up to combat prejudice.

    Speaking of that, has anyone taken an interest in my unexpected revelation?

    Please go to Google, look up Ad Busters and take a look at the anti-Semitism voiced by the man who inspired the “occupy” movement. I was curious about the origin of the movement and astonished with what I found.
    Here’s a link:http://www.google.com/search?c

    • Anonymous

      It seemed to me that BUR stopped the comments on antisemitism because it was degrading into a platform for the anti semitic issues you are against.
      I for one am not at all surprised and in my view it was a good idea to close it.

  • Michaelp

    Sorry, the Adbusters link didn’t copy.
    Just try Adbusters Anti-Semitic in Google Search.
    Let’s see if this link posts.  It’s one of many I found
    doing the above search:
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/10/13/occupy-wall-street-kalle-lasn/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Podias/1393501095 Anthony Podias

    We Developed a program called “Welcome Back Veteran Opportunities” to assist Veterans returning from wars adjust to civilian life, and achieve the dream of business ownership.  If anyone is a Veteran or knows of a Veteran looking to work, please feel free to visit  our Page on Facebook 
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Welcome-Back-Veteran-Opportunities/242143079184137

    • Terry Tree Tree

      With all its privacy problems and other problems, I don’t do facebook.  eMail address?

  • Andrea

    Send the troops to Juarez! Give them border jobs. For now. And leave the illegals in the US alone.

    • Austin

      What?  The only border job I would take would be to shoot more illegals crossing over the border.  Or to work as border patrol and drag all the illegals back where they came from. 

      Ret. Army Spc

    • Pissed American

      Notice the word “illegals” in your statement. Oh, thats right, you illegals do not have to learn our language we will cater to your ignorant group and put your language on all things english. Because did you notice they do that all over the world. People in Spain are always putting French writing on their Coke cans. Also, next time you are unemployed, we will just ship you off to whatever hell hole needs warm bodies. With all the drug wars in Mexico, let us know when you run out of Mexicans as we have plenty to ship back to refill.

  • Randunenew

    why do vets have to find a job, dont they have one when thay get back? Does the military lay them off? They know theres no jobs here when they get back, so dont quit the military,

  • Chasb32436

    There is a law stating how many
    minorities must be hired by a company. I feel the same law should
    apply to the returning veterans also. As they are more of a minority
    then the minorities.

ONPOINT
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Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

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The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

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