Affect Veterans

No one doubts that veterans have done a great deal for our country. Just consider the fact that about 7,000 of our soldiers lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you begin to understand just how big that sacrifice is. But most service men and women cannot remain in the military forever. Eventually, they have to leave active service and come home, and when that happens, they can’t just sit at home and watch the bills pile up; they have to go out and find a job in the civilian world. Veterans bring a lot to the table when they begin to work outside of the military. Unfortunately, and despite veteran job boards, there are a lot of difficulties that veterans have to deal with when they begin this new part of their lives.

Some Of The Problems That Veterans Face

By far, one of the biggest obstacles that veterans will have issues with is how civilians sometimes view our returning servicemen and women. There is a tendency to think that those of us who have gone to war tend to be violent. Of course, violence is a part of battles and war but it is highly coordinated and carried out according to specific orders. That a veteran has a propensity for outright violence is just wrong. If anything, vets are less prone to violent outbursts that the rest of the population since following a chain of command and orders strictly has been ingrained into them through extensive training. Television and Hollywood bear a lot of blame for this negative perception of veterans because of all the false and violent representations of soldiers that flood the market. Veterans also have a lot less experience with looking for a job than the rest of us; for quite a few, it is probably the only job that they have ever had. Veteran job boards can help but more has to be done. This means that they do not have much knowledge about preparing a resume that will make their best qualities stand out in order to catch a recruiter’s eye and get that first interview in the process of getting a job. A veteran’s resume might not be what employers are looking for, so emphasizing other skills that are relevant to the position being sought becomes very important. The specific experience that veterans have attained through their years of service is particular to the military and its activities so it will probably not translate well into civilian duties. Yet another obstacle for our veterans is the perception that they will have to quit a job at any time because they can suddenly be called back into service, and this is especially true if the veteran is active as a reserve. Once a recruiter hears about that, he begins to think that the resources that will be spent to hire and train the veteran for the open position will simply be wasted and that causes him to make another choice.

We Must Honor Our Service Members’ Sacrifice

The general assumption is that most of the American public feels and expresses a high level of support and confidence in our military as a whole and our veterans, and this became especially true after the attacks of September 11th on the World Trade Center and other assets. People really do believe that it is their duty as citizens to support our soldiers who go off to fight for the freedom that we hold so dear and willingly put themselves and their lives in danger in the process. Unfortunately, that does not tell the whole story because, despite the respect that we all hold for our men and women in uniform, they still find it tremendously difficult to find gainful employment when they come back to us. Although it is true that there are already programs in place to ensure that veterans get a lot of help when they step out of the military and into civilian life, this is just not enough. They need more resources and assistance both before and after leaving the military so that they can be successful.

Possible Answers

One of the most obvious options for returning veterans is to go into law enforcement or related fields. This does make sense but it is not perfect because the situations that law enforcement face are not precisely the same as those experienced in full military combat by our veterans, and both mindsets tend to differ in various ways. But it still remains a good option for many. The government has implemented programs aimed at helping our veterans find a job and integrate into civilian life such as the “Hiring Our Heroes” program that is sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation that not only aims at helping out veterans find a job but also their spouses! This wonderful program has partnered with public, private, and, non-profit organizations in order to be able to help our veterans as much as they can. Veteran job boards should also be improved.