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The Long Term Economic Damage to American Troops

posted 1/8/2013 4:06:25 PM |
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Beyond the dead, maimed and psychological damage our veterans incurred, they face another damaging effect; reluctance and even fear by employers to hire combat veterans.

I am a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and I get a monthly magazine, DAV Magazine. It had an article in the November 2012 issue that confirmed what I sensed during my tenure as a veterans employment counselor, many employers are hesitant to hire veterans with some afraid to do so.

The crux of article centers on a survey, albeit a small sampling rate of 339 respondents, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. While government (91 percent) and corporations (82 percent) had hired veterans in the 36 months prior to the survey, only 53 percent of the privately owned for-profit companies had.

Seventy one percent of respondents who had not hired veterans had made no effort to recruit and hire them and had no plans to do so in the future. Forty percent of the respondents were “very unlikely or unlikely to recruit veterans with either service-related illness or injury.”

The article cited that a barrier to hiring a veteran was “employers’ perception of readjustment issues and [post traumatic stress disorder] PTSD, with 42 percent of those responding citing them as a challenge.”

The cheerleading lip service and all of the superficial support for our men and women rings ominously hollow. What is going to be their future? Our experience of Viet Nam vets may give us a picture and it is not necessarily very rosy.

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Jan 8 @ 6:48PM  
I can understand both sides of the issue. There needs to be better services to help vets adjust to living in a non-combat situation. The government has failed miserably on that front in my opinion (even with recent improvements) and I think that is why some people are afraid to hire them when they have the perception they might be putting themselves and other employees at risk. On the other hand these people put their lives on the line and deserve a fair shot to be employed when they come home. Perhaps tax incentives to businesses who will train and hire them. Money tends to talk. And a jobs program to help them (if they can ever get anything through congress which I doubt) It is a tough situation for all concerned with no easy answers at this time.

Jan 8 @ 7:04PM  
Perhaps tax incentives to businesses who will train and hire them. Money tends to talk. And a jobs program to help them

Those are in place to some extent. The article does not cite what employer incentives there are and offer any statistics on how many employers take advantage of them.

Jan 8 @ 11:07PM  
First of all, thank YOU for your service. Second of all, I agree with your assessment. On the bright side there are many organizations springing up to address the problem and assist vets in securing a job or retraining if they need it. On the dark side, there is such fierce competition for every available job in this country, often the only way ANYBODY finds a job is if they know someone or are at the right place at the right time. And I'm afraid it wil get worse before it gets better. Keep praying.

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The Long Term Economic Damage to American Troops