At the other end of the spectrum was the ridiculous liberal media, who in a very twisted way couldn’t cover the Ft. Hood shooting story honestly — but then they rarely get a military story correct anyway.
Have all you combat vets heard enough now about the stress of being an Army psychiatrist?
And where are the stories about the good guys and gals who’ve served honorably and are now seeking a new direction?
As it happens, there’s a front-page piece in another local paper today that touches on that topic, mostly related to unemployment figures. The article talks of the difficulties of returning vets in finding new careers or jobs.
Our family has had recent experience in that area, and I have some strong opinions about it, as you might imagine. I told my friend Dick Yarbrough the other day over coffee that I’d refrained from writing about it because I didn’t want to seem like a whiner. He thought I should be shouting our experiences over the rooftops.
As a start, I thought I might offer some insight for those who really want to help veterans in their transition to civilian life.
If you’re in a position to hire, remember veterans aren’t your typical civilian self- promoters. They aren’t going to sit in the job interview and tell you they’re heroes (even when they truly are). They might gloss over their expertise in some areas. What is to them routine (i.e. tough working conditions or arriving each morning really early and never being late) are exceptional traits in the civilian world.
Most veterans are humble. So much so, you might be shocked at the contrast between the polite young man sitting there and the chest full of medals he used to wear. (But you’ll probably never know about them because only John Kerry talks about stuff like that).
Please don’t insult our vets by posturing as a great military supporter in public and then assigning your secretary to interview them over the phone.
Don’t assume all vets can do is follow orders. Even the young corporals in today’s military are making life and death decisions these days, and your available job probably looks like a piece of cake to them.
If you can’t see how a particular military-related skill might translate to your needs, maybe the veteran can explain it to you. At the very least, don’t laugh at it.
Expect that a vet will be somewhat fluid on the salary requirements. He knows he must start new, and is often willing to sacrifice once again, for the chance at a new career. (But how about not taking advantage of that either?)
For employers who only take applications online, did you ever wonder why you get so few veterans’ resumes? Maybe it’s because their unique military experience rarely fits into your little boxes online, which completely kicks the entire application out of your system. If you care, you might want to rework that a bit.
Finally, for those not in a position to hire, you might know someone who is. So don’t be afraid to hook vets you know up. I’ve assisted two exceptional young men with finding jobs, and all I had to do was pass along a phone number. It’s really a great feeling.