By Peter Gaytan,
In this economy, jobs are hard to find for anyone, but veterans, especially disabled veterans, are particularly worried. Job concerns extend beyond the wounded vet. A family member may also become unemployed if he or she has had to quit a job in order to become a caretaker or to be nearer to the wounded vet in a VA hospital.
Hiring Heroes is a Department of Defense program designed to find jobs for veterans and their families. The program organizes career fairs at military installations and medical facilities across the country. A wide range of employers come to these fairs, including the Department of Defense, other Federal agencies, and companies in the private sector. The career fairs also feature resume-writing workshops. On-the-spot job offers are not unusual.
Karen Hannah, program manager for Hiring Heroes, explained, “Men andwomen who are being injured in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even here on our own soil, that changes everything in their whole life. The dreams and hopes and desires they once had are totally changed. One of the things that is really worrying for them, we’ve heard, is ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to have to find a new job. I’m going to have to learn something new.’ [Having a job lined up] is one less stressor to have to worry about, to help the healing. Even if they don’t get a job before they get out [of the hospital], at least they know there’s maybe 80 employers that are coming to that installation that are willing to hire them, whether they’re deaf, blind, missing limbs…whatever their injury may be.”
For more information on Hiring Heroes, go to: http://www.fedshirevets.gov/AgencyDirectory/Karen-Hannah.aspx
Peter S. Gaytan is the author of For Service To Your Country – Updated Edition: The Essential Guide to Getting the Veterans’ Benefits You’ve Earned (Citadel, 2011), available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers. He has served as an advocate in securing and protecting the earned benefits of America’s veterans for more than a decade. Gaytan is the Executive Director of the American Legion, the largest veterans service organization in America.
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