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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Helping Veterans Get Jobs Needs to be Nation’s Focus

  • May 14, 2012
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With veterans’ unemployment hovering at a record high rate and plans for 100,000 service members to leave the military over the next five years, the nation must make addressing the challenges of veterans a priority, according to a commentary in the Washington Post.

Veterans offer valuable skills to employers, yet many companies do not appreciate how the skills veterans hone on and off the battlefield can benefit them. “We need to show them and offer them tools to better incorporate veterans into the workplace,” write Mike Mullen, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011, and Steven Cohen, founder of S.A.C. Capital Advisors. The two are co-chairs of the Robin Hood Foundation’s veterans advisory board.

One of the biggest hurdles to boosting employment prospects for veterans is improving access to treatment for post-traumatic stress and other mental health conditions. Suicide takes the lives of 18 veterans every day. And many veterans find themselves without a home.

“Without proper support, it is little wonder some vets have trouble finding or holding down jobs,” according to the commentary.

While Americans are grateful for the service of those who have volunteered for the Armed Forces, gratitude is not enough. “These young men and women fought for us. Now it’s our turn to fight for them,” Mullen and Cohen conclude.

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