Push to Hire America’s Veterans Faces Challenging Terrain

While corporations have pledged more than 1 million jobs to newly minted veterans returning from two of America’s longest wars, the population of unemployed post-9/11 veterans estimated at about 210,000 has had difficulty finding work, the Washington Post reports.

Veterans face no shortage of jobs programs and career events — Hero2Hired, Hire a Hero, Hire Heroes USA, Operation Hire Our Heroes, Hire America’s Heroes and Hiring Our Heroes are just some of the initiatives under way across the country.

While veterans with highly sought-after skills can get 4 to 5 job offers at a fair, some get no offers at all. The cruel irony is that many companies who have made hiring pledges complain they can’t find enough veterans to hire.

“These young men and women who are coming home from multiple deployments are not coming home to a parade,” Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, said in a recent television interview. “They’re coming home to an American public that really doesn’t understand, and never embraced, what these people have done.”

The story is the second in a series on the plight of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans home from war based on a survey by the Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The first part chronicled the struggles of veterans to cope with physical and mental health issues following their service.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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