If you know someone who has or is serving his or her country in uniform take a moment to experience and express gratitude for their service.

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Comments 3

  1. I applaud all those who are currently serving, those who have served, those who have served and are disabled from serving and can no longer help to support their families, and families who are mourning the loss of loved ones who have been killed in action.

  2. Thank you Michael, this post is well done!!! you are indeed a patriot and a good citizen of this great country of ours; please America lets follow this lead and give honor where honor is due……..

  3. Michael, as a veteran I appreciate your gesture. But excerpts from the book Wages of War: When American Soldiers Came Home—from Valley Forge to Vietnam (1989) paints a vivid portrait of another kind.

    …What are the returned soldiers who volunteered to fight for their country and were mustered out honorably from the service to do for employment? Are our wives and children to starve? All are willing to work, I am sure, if they can find employment. If a soldier asks for a situation, the response, generally is, “we are full,” or “we engaged a clerk this morning.” New York Herald, letter from a disgruntled cavalryman: August 5, 1865

    … Then there are the “situation wanted” advertisements that, although less eloquent, starkly described the straits of those who had fought. Wanted—By A YOUNG MAN WHO SERVED IN the army for three years, at anything he can make an honest living. Call 356 7th Avenue.

    Has this portrait changed?

    The American Legion Magazine (February 2014) reports that one-in-two service members transitioning from the military in the past five years is now an unemployed veteran.

    While estimates vary organizations such as: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Congress and the 2014 National Veteran Employment Summit report the numbers of veterans looking for work today in new careers range from 599,000 to 722,000 (533,000 men; 81,000 women). Other reports show 200,000 post 9/11 veterans are unemployed and the jobless rate is over 21% for veterans ages 18-24.

    In addition to those veterans already looking for work, Obama’s 2015 budget plan calls for massive involuntary reductions in force. The Army for example is being reduced from its current 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 and 450,000. In total the DOD projects reductions in force over the next five years of 1.5 million service members.

    Veterans’ unemployment rates have averaged up to 9 percent higher than the national average over the last five-to-six years. The USA Today reported that finding work is toughest on those who served on the front lines: infantry.
    All this is important in more than a rhetorical sense. There are 90 million working-age Americans out of the labor force and 18 to 25 million Americans want a full-time job but not able to find one. Worse yet, roughly 75% of the jobs being created are only part-time and are mostly low-paying. Indeed, the competition for gainful employment is stiff.

    Yet in the face of these massive reductions in force and stiff labor force conditions our veterans confront another challenge; the portrait of being displaced by massive foreign labor. Since 1990 our government has issued over a million visas every year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 21,969,000 foreign-born workers were employed in 2010. From 2000-2010, all of the net employment gains went to immigrant (legal and illegal) workers. Indeed foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs while native-born workers lost 1.2 million. In the face of all that American businesses and business organizations like The Chamber of Commerce insist that is not enough, they want more and are lobbying hard to make that happen.

    Adding insult to the injury of being forced out of careers in the military, Obama grants executive amnesty seeking to enlist illegal aliens into the military. On top of that he has directed the government contracting office to quietly put out a 65-page solicitation for the printing of 4 million Permanent Resident Cards with the ability to more than double that on a moment’s notice to 9M cards and up to 34 million over the life of the contract.

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