Monday, May 25, 2015

What are You Doing to Help Vets?

Most of us on this Memorial Day today are enjoying time with family and friends, but we should also take time to remember those who have lost their lives defending this country -- and the military personnel and their families who sacrifice so much every day.

One of the biggest problems for veterans these days is finding a job in the private sector once they retire from the military. For example, many vets find that it's difficult to translate their military training and experience into language that civilian employers can understand.

Another issue is that uneducated civilian employers may believe that vets all have PTSD, and will be risky hires. Not true. Not everyone suffers from PTSD, and some have very mild forms that allow them to still be very productive.

Recently I was sent a survey by WalletHub that showed the best and worst states for military vets, based on job opportunities to the number of VA health facilities.

The best? Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. The worst? Oregon, Illinois and Connecticut.

The survey also found the the number of homeless vets per 100 inhabitants is two times higher in Alaska than in New York.

But this isn't just a problem for those states. We all have to work harder to make sure those who have served this country so faithfully are recruited into the civilian workforce when they come home, that they receive the training they need and that they also get the support they deserve.

Here's something I'd like you to think about today as you enjoy your time off: What is one thing you could do to help a military veteran get a job?

Think about:

  •  Introducing a veteran to your hiring manager.
  •  Volunteering to help train a veteran in the latest skills needed at your company.
  •  Finding a veteran in your company and asking him/her to help educate others about the skills veterans can bring to any organization.
  •  Reaching out to a veteran's organization and offering to help write resumes, make contacts, etc.
None of these is difficult, but you may simply believe that you don't have the time. Still, I'll bet if you gave up Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even funny goat videos for  few days -- you would find you have just the right amount of time to make a few phone calls or reach out to a vet.

I would also bet that such an effort would be a lot more rewarding than watching another fainting goat.

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