The struggle of our veterans, in particular when coming home from violent conflicts, is no longer a secret. In the past 30 years leaders, veterans organizations, and medical professionals have made great strides in helping our heroes.
The abject failure of our country to recognize and lend a hand to those who have protected us, even with their lives, is a black mark in our American history.
Fortunately, many of these issues have been addressed, specifically in areas like PTSD support and help or improved medical care options and facilities.
What has still been an evident and problematic issue, however, is the struggle our vets have readjusting back into civilian society. If there was any good to come out of our last recession, it was the realization that this problem demanded our attention.
Most glaringly, was the fact that our servicemen and women, while being taught things like discipline and how to follow orders, often didn’t have many transferrable skills. A young man or woman entering the military shortly after graduating high school, as so many often do, come out of the military with primarily only the skills they learned while enlisted.
Not to point out the obvious but – being able to use a grenade launcher, 50-Cal or being able to fire a shoulder-held Stinger missile (my particular job title), doesn’t translate so well in the real world. At least not the civilian one.
There is also a lack of job searching skills, interview skills, and other civilian-life 101 principles that simply aren’t existent in the military.
So, while many veteran’s issues were being figured out, more and more veterans were finding themselves jobless, homeless or both. President Trump has made it no secret that he, the Commander and Chief, loves his troops.
Many Presidents, like all of them, speak of their appreciation and respect for our military, and then some show it. One recent story talked about just how the President has put his money where his mouth is and lived up to his promise to help our veterans.
According to our story, “President Trump has taken a personal hand in the issue, having signed an executive order in August that forgave 50,000 veteran student loans.”
That act may have flown under the radar for many folks but for 50,000 veterans, it did not. This personal effort though, in all fairness, was probably overshadowed by the bipartisan act in 2017 to expand and improve the GI Bill.
While this legislation again displayed the President’s ability to reach across and work with those on the other side of the aisle, more importantly, it changed and improved the lives of veterans.
As the aforementioned story reported, “American servicemen are enjoying a period of drastically decreased unemployment… last year, both male and female veterans showed a significantly lower jobless rate than their non-veteran counterparts: 3.5 percent against 3.7 percent for men, and 3 percent versus 4 percent for women.”
That story went on to reveal other encouraging numbers like, “as of 2017, male veterans drew a median of about $51,000 in annual income, versus $40,000 for their civilian counterparts. For women, the salary difference stood at $41,000 over $30,000.”
What that means is that not only are our veterans now finding employment, they are also finding gainful employment. This is the type of leadership our military deserves and the type of respect from a nation and its leader that is more than lip service.
When leaders lead, when Presidents lead, people follow. Behind the President’s leadership, as our story added “companies like Home Depot and Bank of America for making veterans a cornerstone of employee recruitment.”
This is people, these are businesses and organizations stepping up and falling in line with the type of guidance President Trump has provided.
Our military people, enlisted and veterans alike, have earned the respect and gratitude of a Nation. Some have earned and deserved even more. Protecting those who protect us is the very least we can do and that starts at home. That begins with jobs, housing, and readjusting – by taking care of those who take care of us.