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Reaching out to vets

Photo: Flickr/kmccaul

The important conversation on caring for our veterans has all too often taken a back seat this election season. Despite the nascent economic recovery, many returning soldiers continue to struggle to find good jobs. Homelessness also continues to be an agonizing reality for many vets.

The situation was noticeably dire in 2011, when the statistics showed the unemployment rate for young male veterans (18 to 24) was a whopping 29.1 percent (nearly double the national average for similarly aged males.) Though this number may be easing in tandem with the lowering national unemployment rate, tackling the original spike requires an ongoing effort. As for homeless female vets, their numbers have also increased (from 4 to 8 percent ) according to the GAO.

There are projects and advocates out there who seek to curtail the problem. The U.S. Dept of Veterans, for example, has a launched a contest calling on developers to create an app for volunteers to locate opportunities to connect vets with shelter, food and medical resources. And just this week, chronically homeless vets have moved forward with a lawsuit fronted by the ACLU.

Last year we showed you the “enduring sacrifice“ and economic difficulties facing today’s vets. This week we return to the issues of joblessness and homelessness, and look at how some of these individuals have fared in the time since we last talked to them.

Tell us, do you think we do enough for veterans of our most current wars and our historic wars? What more could we do to help veterans once they come home?




  • jan

    Those who need mental help should get it and those who need physical therapy or prosthesis should get it as long as they need it and as much as they need.  I would suggest they be able to get that help close to home at local hospitals and doctors offices instead of being forced to drive to wherever the nearest VA hospital is at.  Those can be quite a drive and for people who are sick or in pain or who just have trouble making the drive, it would appear to be common sense to adjust the location for care closer to where they live. 

    Veterans already have favored status with a lot of employers.  Given the fact that jobs are still hard to find, I don’t think its a very good idea to give them even more privileges than what they already have in the employment line unless you want to start a WPA program and transition them into private employment as the economy improves down at the grass roots level.  Veterans and their families are not the only people struggling in the current economy.  For some reason no one wants to look at that fact. 

  • Jim S.

    No Revenues = Still No Sacrifice = That’s Called ‘Support’ For The Troops = DeJa-Vu all over again!!

    a decade and counting 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!

    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!

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71

  • Davezychek

    There needs to be a jobs program in the medical field. Most veterans already have ample training in First Aid, and other skills that can be used as Paramedics or hospital staff, it can also drive down the cost of medical expenses in health care, maybe even lead to a revolutionary alternative medical field!

  • Geowheel

    We have never done enough for our returning veterans. Since the Viet Nam War, when one day they were in the jungle and the next they were flown back to “the World” we have done nothing to deal with the stress of readjustment and PTSD of our returning veterans. We need to increase the aid to these men and women who have been willing to sacrifice all for their country.

  • jan

    I’ll just say that you probably need to do some research into the pay and job requirements for paramedics and hospital staff, such as post high school education, the exam, certification and/or license that you would need before you start talking about asking for a smaller salary. 

  • Kgriggs75

    I am a disabled veteran,unable to find or keep employment due to my disabilities.
    My wife is a texas teacher with, no job due to education cuts. We live on 1300 a month va disability plus what I can scratch together repairing thing. This a not to uncommon situation for ptsd vets with physical disabilites as well.

  • Barb

    Are you willing to relocate?  I have a house that is empty, schools nearby that are hiring, opportunity is available.

  • Anna

    I have been sitting on an concept that would be extremely helpful to disabled veterans.  What agency would be best to work with in getting it off the ground?