Let’s be honest: Veterans have a lot to worry about upon returning home. From the haphazard medical care provided to them through the VA, to an increased chance of becoming homeless — not to mention all the psychological effects experienced post-war — it’s no wonder why so many veterans have a hard time transitioning back in to society. At a time when they should be reaping the benefits they’ve earned from serving their country, instead, many veterans experience quite the contrary. Added in to their already long list of daily rigors, veterans are now facing yet another setback here in America: Their inability to find a good job.
Veterans should be sympathized with, not ignored, when it comes to corporate America and hiring employees. Sure, they may get a generous 10% discount at their local burger joint — and I can only assume veterans are just as hungry as the rest of us — but where’s the real value in that? Discounting their meals is a great gesture, but it’s not necessarily the best way to say “thank you”. Instead, or even in addition to, companies, both small and large, should consider reaching out to them. Offer them a position if you’re hiring, or better yet, make room for them even if you’re not. Oftentimes, veterans — especially new veterans returning home for the first time — just need a reminder to assure them that the services they provided to keep our Country free and safe weren’t in vain. When we see an active duty military service member in uniform, we likely smile, wave, or verbalize our gratitude toward them for their services. But it shouldn’t stop there.
It is rough, but it’s not all bad for veterans, out there. For instance, doing a quick Google search for veteran-friendly franchises yields dozens of results and includes some great options for veterans to consider. For instance, Liberty Tax Service, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Huddle House, and The UPS Store, are just a few of the more well-known franchises that provide simplified eligibility requirements for veterans. This is crucial to the development of a veteran’s transition back in to society seeing as to the benefits of owning your own franchise oftentimes outweigh being hired as an entry-level employee. Truth is, though, a job is a job, and any income a veteran can earn could bring them one step closer to successfully beating the statistics.
But it’s not just franchises that are showing favor upon veterans. Amazon (a.k.a. amazon.com), one of the world’s largest retailers of books, media, electronics and everything in between, loves to hire veterans, and will even go above and beyond to do so. Their hiring process reflects a positive outlook on veterans- a notion that should be shared by other corporations both small and large. One way other companies can mirror this is for them to pre-qualify a veteran before other candidates. This doesn’t mean a company should hire a veteran if their willingness to learn and grow just isn’t there (after all, not all veterans are computer geeks, or line cooks). But if the candidate shows competency, and the position allows for on-site training, then why not consider them as a viable candidate? You’d be doing them a favor, and would be providing a door of opportunity.
The truth is, the lack of jobs available to veterans isn’t a problem that’s going to fix itself. It’s a fundamental issue with the structure of Big Corp; it’s something that needs to be examined and considered at the core of a company’s hiring process in order to affect change. Veterans deserve our sympathy. They’ve fought long and hard, and they’ve endured great pains, just so we can sit quietly in our homes and read a book or eat with our friends and family. While the unemployment ratio for the average American isn’t that great either, it’s certainly better than the national unemployment average for veterans. And that’s something that needs to change.
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