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Published:December 6th, 2009 18:20 EST
Help A Veteran

Help A Veteran

By Ron G Anselm

     With many combat veterans making the transition from the military to civilian life the need for more and more resources to help veterans make it in civilian life is not even close to being enough. We have thousands of combat veterans who spent many tours over in Iraq and Afghanistan getting out of the military and trying to find a job but only to be turned away countless times in the bad economy and otherwise.

     In my experience the best types of workers I have ever worked with are military veterans. Part of the problem we have today and only in my personal opinion from what I have seen " your average person with little to no experience and especially no military experience is very undisciplined. What I mean is their attitude in many cases is if I get the job done, then it gets done or I will get the job done when I feel like it and so on.

     Most if not all ex-military veterans are very disciplined in especially getting the job done. In basic training you learn to get the mission done at all cost, you also learn to work as a team to get it done and protect your brother. You learn to think fast on your feet and make tough decisions under horrendous stress " in combat and when the bad guys are shooting at you or launching RPG`s at you, you don`t have time to pull out your little electronic PDA and check resources, you have to react and adapt. These are skills the military veterans learn that are also invaluable to civilian job skills. Your average person does not possess the types of skills.

     So why are so many veterans now homeless without a job? This question has been in the public eye the last few years and really could have many answers to it. Yes, one answer is many military veterans when they served are very young. Hell, when I went through Army Basic Training I was only nineteen-years old, so you have a lot of youngsters out there that are serving and have served. They have not learned to really prepare for the future as of yet by saving money and building resources.

     These guys also may not know what they really want to do; do they want to stay in the military as a career? Do they want to re-enlist for another tour of duty? They don`t really think about it. Most of the time and as I did as-well when I was in the Army, when you want something to do; you either go to the gym and lift weights or go to the local town (which every military instillation is full of bars and night clubs) and get as drunk as you can, then wake-up the next day at 0500 hours with the biggest hangover you ever had but then you go right back again that night and do it all over again. So, these guys don`t really save money and prepare to ETS or get out when their tour and contract is up they normally spend their money on partying and this may also be their first job since a lot of them are right out of high school, so they have not learned to save money yet.

     The other thing is a lot of these veterans don`t really realize how it is to find a job now days. I used to think with my military experience alone I could find a great job when I got out of the military, not the case. Yes, your military experience has a great advantage to finding a job and employers are supposed to by law select you as a veteran over the average civilian with no military when It comes down to hiring but most employers don`t do it this way, so it makes it tougher to find a job for a veteran. Some employers do love a military veteran and will hire them in a heartbeat but most of those types of hiring managers making the final hiring decision are ex-military themselves. And has we all know - the bad economy makes it harder for anyone not just veterans to find a job.

     Regardless of the reasons Vets are not finding jobs, we need to have many more resources available to them. These guys have served our country and protected us to keep this great country free, we can at least give something back to them " and that`s a helping hand and a thank you. Below is a quote from the White House and President Obama that hits what I am saying right on the head:

"For their service and sacrifice, warm words of thanks from a grateful nation are more than warranted, but they aren`t nearly enough. We also owe our veterans the care they were promised and the benefits that they have earned. We have a sacred trust with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America. It`s a commitment that begins at enlistment, and it must never end. But we know that for too long, we`ve fallen short of meeting that commitment. Too many wounded warriors go without the care that they need. Too many veterans don`t receive the support that they`ve earned. Too many who once wore our nation`s uniform now sleep in our nation`s streets."

Obama, Barrack, 2009.

     We will continue to have many veterans getting out of the military now and in the future and the resources need to keep coming and growing. The Government has expanded the services to military Vets over the years and there are some good ones recently adopted. One good resource is The Recovery Act which provides more than 1.4 billion dollars of added resources in programs to help veterans. And the Government has added more money to the GI Bill for the cost of college tuition.  Also, the general public can help too by donations to Veterans services and to non-profit organizations.  

Reference: Obama, 2009, The White House, Issues, Veterans, (http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/veterans)