You serve your country. After years of dedicated service, you retire or separate. You think, “free at last, free at last” You’re free at last of the confines of wearing a uniform… or are you? You’re excited and looking forward to embracing life as a civilian. In a perfect world, you would be ready to take on a new job and get started right once you get out. That’s the way it always works right? Well, maybe, but maybe not...
Many veterans who come out of the service are still relatively young and don’t have the college education that many of their civilian counterparts might have. Additionally, some may have been exposed to war. A worst case may have both mental and physical injuries which can really make the transition to civilian life and work tough.
If that isn’t enough, veterans get a bad rap as a whole from the get-go. Employers disconnected from that sort of sacrifice, or far-removed from knowledge of military service may see veterans as hot-headed, stubborn and too set in their ways. Just these assumed traits alone can make finding a job a major nightmare for any veteran who really just wants a chance to better their lives. Bring on some scattered isolated violence incidents acted out by a random ticked off single veteran and that spells a whole lot of stigma for our veterans who are 99% law abiding citizens.
Here’s a short report via Texas public Radio from Carson Frame that is indicative of those thoughts: https://www.tpr.org/military-veterans-issues/2017-12-20/study-finds-evidence-of-social-disconnect-between-veterans-civilians
How Can a Veteran Even Have a Chance?
Let’s face reality here. Your typical veteran of the armed services is not some gun-toting Rambo looking guy roaming around in a tank looking to jack stuff up. That’s just not the truth.
Your veteran is an average person (male or female) who brings to the table discipline, attention to detail and commitment to seeing a job completed. And it doesn’t matter what type of job it is. It could be a bottom of the barrel starting position, a skilled worker in the trades, or in the corporate arena. Veterans have been trained to do things right the first time and nine out of ten of them will do what needs to be done. The hurdles our veterans face are overwhelming and while the veteran resources are great, many still have a difficult time securing sustainable income on their own. They may have families to support and existing mortgages to pay and kids to feed.
One of the hurdles veterans face can be lowered is through education and work opportunities made available by the employers who are looking for high-quality workers. The stigma that surrounds the simple label of “triggered vets” needs to end as well.
Unfortunately, we will always have isolated negative incidents committed by both civilians and veterans but that doesn’t mean one bad apple has to ruin it for everyone. Everyone who wants to succeed should have a chance to do just that in the free world.
All our veterans need is a chance to succeed. They will take care of the rest.