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Jul-17-2011 01:17printcomments

Back to 'No Work' for our Veterans

To have our returning veterans suffer a 45% higher unemployment rate than the average U.S. citizen, is shameful.

Soldiers in Iraq
Iraq, summer of 2008. Photo by Tim King

(HARRISVILLE, N.H.) - According to an article titled “Veterans face high unemployment after military service”, written by Alana Semuels, and published by the L.A. Times on July 11, 2011, the unemployment rate for veterans who have served since September of 2001 currently sits at 13.3% while the average unemployment rate for all U.S. citizens is currently 9.2%. Ms. Semuels suggests that the disparity between the unemployment rate for veterans and non-veterans will widen even more as our servicemen and servicewomen return from Iraq and Afghanistan. I have one question: Why?

Why is our government allowing an unemployment rate for returning veterans that is almost 45% higher than the norm to continue, without doing something to (at very least) normalize this disparity?

I know that some consideration is given to veterans for state and federal jobs but I believe the issue is one of qualifications for the available jobs. Let’s face it; there is not a great call for mechanics who are expert at working on F-22 or F-35 Jet Fighters, for example. Many of our returning veterans went into the service right after High School. The only practical training they have received was that which they got in the service.

We all know that some of the training provided by the military is directly convertible to civilian jobs but a considerable amount of training is not. Here is a thought: Why not fill-up the government classrooms for all training that is amendable to civilian job conversion, with returning veterans? All Armed Forces train Firemen, Police Officers, Nurses and Paramedics, Accountants, Computer Specialists, etc. Giving our returning veterans a leg-up by making this training available to them free of charge would be a good start toward normalizing the veterans vs. non-veterans unemployment disparity before it gets even worse.

Can it be that our politicians believe that these young men and women who have given of themselves, who have agreed to be put in harms-way, who have sometimes lived for long periods in terrible conditions, who have led lives so filled with stress that non-veterans can’t even imagine, are not worth the time, effort, and expense of this kind of helping hand? Can it be that focusing on a re-election campaign is more important than helping our veterans? If that is true, these politicians should be recalled and publicly ridiculed for the heartless and uncaring slugs they are! If that is not true, then they need to get going on helping our veterans and they need to get going right now!

Folks, here is one more thing you can begin writing your Congressional Representatives and Senators about. To have our returning veterans suffer a 45% higher unemployment rate than the average U.S. citizen, is shameful. Writing to your politicians about this is a great way to say “Good job ladies and gentlemen... and Thank you for your service” ... but, that is just my opinion.


Writer Robert Collinsworth is an American who isn't hesitant to talk about the good side of his country, and that is a welcome thing in this day and age. admittedly, is very critical of both American politics, as well as those of other nations that we perceive is being wrong in their motives and actions. At the same time, within these structures we criticize, are many outstanding people who make each day a better place for all those around them. They embody and personify the American spirit that is sometimes fleeting, but always present. These are some of the things Robert takes into account when writing commentary that is designed reach people, to "get them thinking" in his words, and indeed it does.'s goal is for all people to be on the same page, we appreciate Bob's more conservative approach toward that same goal."

You can write to Bob Collingsworth at this email address:

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Luke Easter July 18, 2011 6:05 pm (Pacific time)

No boss wants an underling to garner more respect then him or her. That's one of the problems hiring Vets. Another is being, "up staged" by someone who knows a thing or two about real team work. Becareful though, "because the toes you step on today may be connected to the ass you'll have to kiss tomorrow."

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