Unemployment and job prospects again tops the news cycle for veterans. In a widely publicized paper issued by senior economist R. Jason Faberman and senior associate economics Taft Foster from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the authors noted that higher rates of unemployment experienced by 9/11 military veterans could not be explained simply through demographics and the business cycle. Instead, the quarter million veterans who are out of work are also fighting issues directly related to their multiple deployments, including “physical and psychological effects of warfare” and the disconnect between training for military jobs and civilian job needs. The paper goes on to warn that the problem will only get worse as the wars continue to wind down.
Huffington Post reporter Danny Hufman writes that some of the problem may be that talk is cheap. Iraq- and Afghanistan-era service members have been called heroes so many times that many believe that “everyone and every organization will roll out the red carpet to them.” Instead, Hufman writes, “reality is much harsher. ” The close military family and its built-in structure disappear with the discarded uniforms. Many veterans find themselves floundering, alone in the civilian world, expected to do it alone. Two transitional programs Hufman refers veterans to are Christian Help and Central Florida Jobs Initiative.
First Lady Michelle Obama steps up to the plate for veterans once again, calling on the nation’s governors to streamline certifications and other licensing requirements to match similar skills acquired while in military service. At the National Governors Association she urged state leaders to enact President Obama’s June 2012 recommendations for the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force. Instead of requiring a military medic to recertify to become a first responder, for instance, the First Lady is proposing that states recognize the training and experience already gleaned.
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