Options for Unemployed Veterans

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American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq face a multitude of dangers: Improvised Explosive Devices, Insurgents, Taliban; things that would make most Americans wet themselves. What's worse, the dangers don't abate when the brave return from battle. When they get home they have to face unemployment. It may sound like a joke, but the transition from combat to civilian life is not always an easy one. An unemployment rate hanging near 10% doesn't make it any easier.

There are, of course, benefits to the military that go beyond serving your country. Service often entails technical training, creating skills that can be transferred effectively to the private sector. Indeed, many former soldiers find a good fit in law enforcement and the new GI Bill makes it easier than ever to get a college-level education. In addition, non-quantifiable like leadership, honor, duty, and loyalty are learned and encouraged. In many ways, former service members are ideal for the private workforce.

In many ways, the transition from military to civilian echoes that of many other jobs. You need to think about health insurance, retraining, and getting a handle on your personal finances. It's in dealing with the consequences unique to military service that finding a job becomes both vital and difficult. Approximately 30% of combat veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Depression. Finding treatment for these ailments is vital, as post-combat suicides are higher than they've been in over twenty-five years. This statistic should disturb any American, and make it more important than ever to get our soldiers fortunate enough to return home adjusted to their new lives as quickly as possible. Every branch of the military has its own specialized transition offices (which makes sense, because each branch faces unique dangers and learns unique skills).

Army: Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP)

Marine Corps: Personal Services Center (formerly Family Service Center)

Navy: Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC)

Air Force: Family Support Center (FSC)

Coast Guard: Work-Life Staff