Veteran’s Day is a national holiday for Americans of all walks of life to honor and show thanks to those men and women who served their country in some way throughout the years. Parades are held, grills are fired up, and everybody shows some level of appreciation. While most Americans think about a veteran’s service, not many think about a veteran’s life post-service.
For some veterans, civilian life is full of uncertainty, unemployment, and other struggles their military training never prepared them for.
While unemployment amongst all veterans has been on a steady decline over the past few years, young veterans, meaning those who served in post-9/11 engagements, are having difficulties finding work once they come home.
A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, found young veterans, ages 18-24, had an unemployment rate of 21.4 percent as compared to their non-veteran colleagues who had an unemployment rate of 14.3 percent.
Upon finishing their service, about 87 percent of veterans say they are confident in their abilities to find a job, according to the Washington Post. However, according to Daily Finance, 37 percent of veterans did not know how to properly write a resume and 33 percent of veterans did not know how to show employers how their skills were applicable to the workforce.
These are not the only obstacles for veterans though who seek to join the workforce. According to a study from the Mental Health Association of New York, returning veterans often lack experience in civilian work, they have higher disability rates, and many veterans struggle to reconnect to the civilian world, all of which makes it more difficult to hire a veteran.
To combat veteran unemployment rates, many companies have said they would hire a number of veterans over the next few years.
Starbucks is one such company, and their CEO, Howard Schultz, has vowed to hire some 10,000 veterans in the next five years, according to USA Today. To help this process, Starbucks has even hired a recruiter who is a veteran who “understands the language,” and the anxiety veterans face in joining the workforce.
“The irony there is that there is a stigma attached to many of them about either PTS (post-traumatic stress) or brain trauma or things of that nature when in fact I can personally demonstrate through the hiring of people at Starbucks who have been veterans that they have done extraordinary things,” said Schultz.
Other employers have said they are more than pleased with the work veterans who work for their companies have put out. These employers said all veterans bring five unique skills to their work; self-discipline, teamwork, attention to detail, respect, and leadership.
Jon Davis, a Marine who served in Iraq and who was also a former hiring manager, told the Huffington Post, hiring veterans has its advantages. One advantage, he said, was a veteran has a “strong vein of personal integrity,” which makes them trustworthy when tasked with a job.
If you are a business owner who wants to hire a veteran, visit a website like the Veteran Recruiting Service to help out. You can also volunteer with other other such as Welcome Back Veterans and Give an Hour to show your support for veterans n other ways.