As if fighting a war and serving your country wasn’t enough of a challenge, imagine returning home from the battlefield and not being able to land a job to support your family.
This is a sad reality for our troops, as many are finding themselves having a tough time reintegrating back into civilian life. Experts trace this to a number of factors, ranging from afflictions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to lacking a formal college education.
The numbers really tell this story. According to a survey released by the U.S. Department of Defense, the unemployment rate among junior enlisted troops is about 19 percent. That’s nearly double the national rate of 9.1 percent among civilians.
The study also shows the younger generation of guardsman and reservists, between the ages of 18 and 25, are being hit especially hard.
In an effort to lower those startling numbers and get our veterans back into the workforce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with more than 30 local jurisdictions to hold special job fairs around the country. The program is called “Hiring our Heroes,” and more than 20 of them have already taken American cities by storm.
In fact, the Chamber of Commerce tells Fox News that more than 2,000 veterans have already been matched with a job after attending the seminars. Military spouses are also encouraged and allowed to participate.
Thursday’s stop is in Phoenix, which is fitting when you consider Arizona’s unemployment rate is among one of the highest in the nation, along with foreclosures. Here in the Valley of the Sun, roughly 130 employers are meeting with more than 1,000 unemployed veterans. In addition to getting some valuable face time with companies that are actually hiring, vets can attend resume writing and job interview workshops.