One trip to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (still don’t know who Hartsfield is) will confirm that. People, generally men, commonly walk through dressed in battle greens on the way to a flight. They’re young – either leaving an installation, or coming in to one. If you want to get seated on an airplane, go get some military green.
On occasion I make sure to stop and thank the soldiers for their service to our country. That was a common habit until it became obvious that there were a lot of hands to shake, and it was possible to miss a flight doing it.
The concern that always invades my mind is “What would they have done without the military?” Why are they there? And the most important question of all: what will they do after their tour of duty is over?
In other words, can they come home and get a job?
Let’s get this out of the way: no veteran should be part of the unemployed ranks in America. The priority for those who served should be immediate placement in some kind of government job, some where in America. That should be the United States simple, clear, objective.
Right now, it’s not. For military people coming back home, at least from Iraq and Afghanistan, the jobless rate is 11.5 percent – one of every ten people who served.
That’s totally unacceptable.
I simply can’t believe there’s not a job somewhere at the federal, state, or local level for these Veterans. And is there a funding program for Vets who want to start their own businesses? There should be special programs like that, and not just jobs benefits packages.
This week the Senate passed a jobs benefits bill that’s a step in the right direction, giving a $9,600 tax credit to companies that employ disabled veterans. That’s great, but what about Veterans who want to start their own companies? What about Veterans who need to be connected with open government jobs?
The bottom line is this: we must take care of those who serve our country. It’s just the right things to do.