Veterans cry for fair employment opportunities

Veterans returning from overseas are coming across very misguided assumptions made by potential employers. This makes them finding a job extremely difficult, thus making employers reluctant to hiring them. This can become a greater issue if the Veteran has a family to support. There are three major stereotypes that Veterans are up against without even knowing it when they are applying for a civilian job.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

About one in three employers see post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to be a weakness when hiring a Veteran. There has always been such a stigma attached to PTSD that many people assume Veterans automatically have when they depart from the military. Employers believe that if a Veteran suffers from PTSD that he or she will not be able to overcome a dispute while working and that seeking a solution is a huge issue. Therefore they would rather not hire them and have to deal with that “problem”. It is pretty sad that instead of taking initiative to help our Veterans, some employers see them as a “lost cause” because they may or may not suffer from PTSD. I believe that employing Veterans is the least we could do after knowing how much they have sacrificed for our Country.

Having no knowledge about our soldiers

Another huge issue is that employers often don’t know what to make of Veterans’ previous employment experience and training. It is difficult to find a job for a Veteran who was in infantry fighting on the front line. Some Veterans joined the military straight out of high school and never got a college degree so it is more difficult for them to know how to work Excel or to even write a good resume that will translate their skills into such a way that a civilian employer can understand. Thus, making it harder for the employer to hire a Veteran who they could deem has an unknown skill set, but in reality the Veteran could have organization skills that he or she developed by following order, or leading a team on a mission.

Uncertainty of hiring a Veteran

Lastly, many employers often worry about hiring a Veteran because they could end up short-staffed if the military decided to call up their former service members if the next World War were to break out. This is more of an issue when the soldier is in the National Guard or in the Reserves because they are not “active duty”. When a soldier is in the National Guard or Reserves they are able to live at home or school and undergo training once a month. They are subject to being deployed if a war ever broke out without any warning or say so. Whereas if a soldier is active duty, they wouldnt need a civilian job in the first place. This is a reason as to why employers are so hesitant to hire a soldier because they could potentially be at a loss if the soldier was ever called to battle.

While these three main issues when Veterans are seeking civilian employment can seem justified they are not at all justifiable. When our Veterans come home and try to reintegrate and look for jobs, we should bend over backwards to help them. Veterans give countless years of their lives serving and sacrificing for our freedoms, and helping them gain employment is the very least we could do. We need to advocate and realize that most Veterans are not damaged. They’re good, relentless, and hardworking people who can bring so many more assets to job because of their time serving in the military.

A step in the right direction

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act otherwise known as the USERRA is a federal law that gives members and former members of the U.S. armed forces (Active and Reserve) the right to go back to a civilian job held before being called up for Active duty. It also prohibits any job-related discrimination by your employer based on your military service or military service obligations. There are guidelines that need to be followed in order for this process to work, but it is a positive step towards a brighter future for our Veternans.