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Dear friends: Heard a really disturbing thing shortly ago that's really got my gander up. A friend who's active duty in the army reserves told me that having that experience on his resume has made it harder to find a job in civilian life. He described (what I'll describe as) that kind of discrimination as "epidemic" in his unit. Now, my values and faith demand that I be a pacifist and devoted progressive, and I have consistently been against both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, I strongly support our troops, both active-duty and veterans, and was frankly shocked to hear this. It's gotten me kind of fired up and ready to go to do what I can to support those — past and present — who have made such incredible sacrifices for me.

My father, uncle, and both grandfathers served, so this is a personal issue as well. Our troops — male and female, (thanks to Pres. Obama's leadership) gay and straight, black and white — are people who have committed themselves to make the ultimate sacrifice, if that's what it takes, to defend the rest of us. Think about that. It takes a certain kind of cojones. Beyond that, these ladies and gentlemen have extremely advanced technical skills that are extremely valuable to the private sector, and more importantly, the leadership experience and discipline to excel at any profession, whether as a janitor (not as if there's anything ignoble about being a janitor; there's not) to running a multinational corporation or working in public service. Beyond even that, our troops are so much more than the folks (amazing, and I'm proud to know that I'm represented by such individuals as those who accomplished this, both on the ground and in the preparation and training) who killed Osama bin Laden; they also help build schools, hospitals, bridges, roads, assist in protecting families and businesses around the world. And if we can't help them and return the favor we owe them, then what exactly are our values as a society?

This is not a political issue. Both Democrats and Republicans, progressives and conservatives, need to do what we can to ensure that our current state of affairs comes to an end — a state which the military and their families sacrifice for us — while we lead our lives separately and too often in ignorance of the particulars of their situations and the sorts of sacrifices, physical, mental, emotional, financial — you name it — they make every day on our collective behalf. How can we call ourselves a community if we don't value everyone equally and strive to understand and support each other?

So join me in supporting our troops, and — though admittedly a small gesture, but one that takes little time and, ideally, helps raise awareness of the alarming un- and underemployment rate among our veterans and active-duty troops and the degree to which it's extremely difficult for our troops to reintegrate themselves into the civilian economy: if you're on twitter (and many of you all know by now that I am @destroy_time; and if you're going to follow me, just warning that you'll be reading a lot about Arsenal F.C.), please take a minute or two to send a tweet including "#isupportveterans because __" filling in your answer and using #jobsforvets and retweet to your followers. I would recommend sending it to your local elected officials and media, as well as @whitehouse, @BarackObama, @MichelleObama, @maddow/@maddowblog and @StephenAtHome/@ColbertReport. Whether or not you agree with Rachel Maddow's politics, she, Colbert and the First Lady have been on the front lines of addressing this issue. Colbert, in particular, has been incredible. Thanks.

Hopefully, if we together can get this trending, it'll make some small difference in ensuring that we properly thank our vets, active-duty troops, and their families for their service.

I created a petition at in support of a second bill (after the November 2011 VOW To Hire Heroes Act increasing funding by $1.7B to help veterans find jobs and providing businesses large and small more resources to hire them) to provide more funding for job training, aid to veterans to seek more education, and support to provide more resources for veterans and veterans' families requiring treatment for mental or physical ailments, and to promote active-duty members of the military and veterans' overall health. It's a small step, but a step in the right direction, and signing it will only take a minute of your time.

What our president has done on this issue: (and if you live in Illinois:

Thanks, and #JobsForVets

Disclaimer: I posted an earlier version of this that differs slightly (though only in details) at my personal blog Destructive Anachronism and on Facebook.

Originally posted to on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos and Invisible People.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "Life has become the ideology of its own absence." -- Adorno

    by destructiveanachronism on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:47:52 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for writing this. (4+ / 0-)

    When more civilians have this epiphany, we just might start fixing some of the issues.

    I just spent the afternoon reconnecting with an Air Force spouse friend of mine and we were lamenting the state of many military families. The wars have changed so much for the military community - employers are all scared of PTSD and families are falling apart from the different stressors that are involved with not only deployment but with trying to survive the after-affects of deployment as well. Add to that the staunch military front that prevents most of the spouses and vets from complaining and it makes for some really difficult problems to solve.

    Republished on the MCM. I hope you decide to write more.

    •  Thanks Angela! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And I've known this individual to whom I referred for quite some time, and just had no idea. I don't think most people do, which itself is part of the problem and indicative of the problem of the growing gulf between women and men serving and civilians. And thank you for pointing out the issues regarding the military brass (so to speak) working to dampen/stifle criticism. That's an important point, and one I hadn't considered when writing this.

      "Life has become the ideology of its own absence." -- Adorno

      by destructiveanachronism on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:04:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not just the brass, though that sometimes (3+ / 0-)

        doesn't help. It's years of tradition - military spouses don't complain. Their active duty components sure as hell don't either.

        In today's military, many leaders are encouraging families to go to counseling, to talk about the problems and the issues, but there is a fear factor involved. Folks are afraid of losing jobs if they aren't fit for duty. You can understand that... the civilian world isn't very accepting either so it's best to keep it under wraps if you're just not sure.

        Talking about it like this helps. And believe me, I let other military spouses know that it is okay to complain, not just to each other but to family, friends, counselors, chaplains, whoever. Only by talking about the problems can we begin to fix them and sometimes the talking starts with a complaint... what the less friendly like to call whining. It isn't whining - it's just finding a way to deal with what life has handed you.

  •  HI, I've had a long week, so I may be wrong (0+ / 0-)

    about this, but I tried to follow the link to sign the petition and kept getting a page with info about the bill, but it was not or as best I could tell a petition.

    Please clarify, and thanks for doing this/sh

    •  Looking into this (0+ / 0-)

      Work at 7 central (so quite soon), but hope to get back to you on this issue very soon. Still encourage you to contact your legislators, media, family, and friends about this issue. It's so critical.

      "Life has become the ideology of its own absence." -- Adorno

      by destructiveanachronism on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:00:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just posted this on my site (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But for the greater majority 99% that don't serve, Don't Cheer, you have yet to Sacrifice, not only as to jobs for these present veterans but your responsibility as to the Veterans Administration a decade plus added to the previous decades, Federal and States, and especially the wealthy or anyone with investments that don't do them themselves, and stay away from defense investments, who are still reaping growth from both these wars, even with Iraq officially over!

    Jobless rate dips to 9.2 percent for young vets
    May 4, 2012 - The April unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans fell to 9.2 percent, a full percentage point lower than in March, the Labor Department announced Friday. The overall national unemployment rate remained mostly unchanged at 8.1 percent.

    For veterans of all generations, the April jobless rate was 7.1 percent, slightly better than the 7.5 percent rate in March and continuing a trend in which veterans generally are doing better than nonveterans in finding jobs.

    For Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans — those who separated from the military since Sept.11, 2001 — monthly jobless rates have been difficult to get a fix on because of large fluctuations, but the general trend has been downward. For March, the jobless rate for veterans of this generation was 10.3 percent.  read more>>>

    Add to an earlier report and plea: The Value of Hiring Veterans
    The current economy is especially challenging for veterans.
    Yet, the experience and education learned in the military is an excellent basis for any business, especially because the military emphasizes action, not rote memorization or theoretical case studies. That is often the key factor responsible for personal and professional success.

    For servicemen and women, the current economy is anything but hospitable. Prolonged unemployment and spending cuts confront military veterans with a variety of difficult situations.

    Veterans seeking to join the civilian workforce face a situation where many companies remain unsure of their hiring plans for the foreseeable future. For veterans who want to dive into the civilian sector as entrepreneurs and business owners, the opportunities are still daunting, as financial lending options continue to be limited at best.

    This situation -- while a problem for all job seekers and entrepreneurs -- is especially challenging for veterans who can -- and do -- make valuable contributions in the private sector. Veterans usually have considerable technical, leadership and life experiences that only the military can confer. The service offers situations that unite individuals of all incomes and backgrounds, and transform each person into a model of integrity, discipline and resourcefulness.

    These are key strengths that every business needs. They are the very ingredients of long-term prosperity and respect.

    As veterans ourselves, we can attest to the training and benefits the military provides to its personnel. Having served in the Navy, we may have a natural preference for our branch of the military, but we also strongly acknowledge and salute the service of our fellow comrades in arms, both active and retired, who have defended this nation and risked their lives for the cause of freedom.  read more>>>

    Except for professions that actually need degree's from a deeper education cycle veterans coming out of the service after four to six years are miles ahead of any others either just high school or the so called higher education industry we've built over the past couple of decades, in most area's businesses not only need but want, they're still even stuck in a chain of command mode as well as team work to accomplish tasks, costing businesses big chunks less to train in what they need, especially now in the tech area's, they use much more sophisticated equipment.

    As to the drop in the veterans unemployment I'm giving this administration, especially the first and second ladies and their work with the private sector, making some feel guilty that they aren't hiring as they reap, reaganomics, but they can only do so much as congress still obstructs even more now with the numbers given them in the midterms as well as the states!!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:37:05 PM PDT

  •  And Speaking of Veterans (2+ / 0-)

    No Revenues = No Sacrifice = No Support = DeJa-Vu all over again! Now a decade and counting, told to go shopping, added to the previous decades of under funding the VA, while the peoples reps Still try and lay blame on the Agency, after rubber stamping wars and costs of and those represented cheer on these wars!

    MO Vet Goes on Hunger Strike over Missouri Senate Lack of Action
    May 3, 2012 - A Missouri veteran has launched a hunger strike to raise awareness of the Missouri State Senate's lack of action over continued funding of the state's seven veteran homes and five cemeteries. Bill Fairbairn of Stover has gone on the offensive to raise awareness of the Senate's lack of positive action. "With this year's session winding down, who knows what could happen," Fairbairn said from the country market he owns and operates in rural, central Missouri. "The lack of action and last minute wrangling from the Senate is shameful and a disgrace to every veteran and their relatives who have ever served our nation."

    The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill (HB 1731) unanimously two months ago and forwarded it to the Senate where Senator Jason Crowell (R), Chairperson of the Veteran Affairs Committee has basically blocked if from coming up for discussion, vote and the Governor's signature. Without a permanent funding solution, the 1,350 housed heroes (and a waiting list of 1,650) could be out into the streets when funding dries up in June 2013. At a Veteran's Rally in the Capitol Rotunda last month, Governor Nixon pledged his full support and pleaded with the Senate to get a bill onto his desk for signature during this term. "The House, the Governor and the people of the state of Missouri know the importance of this funding, what's wrong with the Senate? Especially with young people coming home from at least two wars, what kind of "thanks" and message does this say to them?" Fairbairn asks. read more>>>


    While the wealthy and other investors garner their booty, still, from both and many have the chutz·pa to call themselves more patriotic{?} then others wrapped in those false flags, using false slogans and various cheap symbols of and then seek one day events or parades to wave all that patriotism, call it "Supporting the Troops", then go home and either ignore or forget about those that actually sacrificed for the country!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:40:45 PM PDT

    •  'Sacrifice' owed (2+ / 0-)

      The new 'magnetic ribbons', the 'parades' and 'welcome home celebrations', with no demand for sacrifice get same results, but 'parades' only last a few hours on one day! Think 'Desert Storm' and 'Gulf War Syndrome', Ignored till the last couple of years, finally, after the 'Parades'!

      Have the 'Welcome Home Parades' but at each the one word that should be spoke and on the minds of All, 'Sacrifice', Demand It, You Owe It!

      Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

      by jimstaro on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:42:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Thanks @jimstaro. I just hope, like you said, we can come together to invest in the people making sacrifices on our behalf. It's frankly silly not to.

        "Life has become the ideology of its own absence." -- Adorno

        by destructiveanachronism on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:52:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And! Non-partisan (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jimstaro, Gordon20024

          How few topics can we say are non-partisan now? I hope Republicans, even those like Rep. (R-FL) Allen West and Democrats can come together to support those willing to take a bullet in the brain for those of us not in service. And again, how much courage does that take? I'm in awe of our servicewomen and servicemen. They truly are an inspiration.

          "Life has become the ideology of its own absence." -- Adorno

          by destructiveanachronism on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:55:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Was Pissed, (2+ / 0-)

            and not only me, starting back some four decades ago after discharge, before this century began and then the bush and rubberstampers took over and with this technology the little kombat keyboarder supporters of it all, none serving, and none now supporting or even mentioning the bush but arguing the opposite, this past decade I've been enraged as to the complete Hypocrisy of 'support' which makes it even worse then the previous decades but adds to!!!

            Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

            by jimstaro on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:00:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Add (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              That rage built even higher, surprisingly, when dems either sat home or voted with in the midterms rushing in even more extremism and phony support and not only in the fed but many states as well!!!

              Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

              by jimstaro on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:02:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  The employers are sceptic about (0+ / 0-)

    Veterans having "attitude" problems, meaning PTSD related stories making the rounds and it can backfire on the veteran when searching a job, especially for those who are without higher education and a little bit older than just
    what Americans call their "kids" in the warzones.

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