Labor Day No Vacation for Jobless Vets
POSTED: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 4:46pm
UPDATED: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 5:21pm
EL PASO — They're out there looking, at job fairs and in job interviews. But many servicemen and women leaving the armed forces find it hard to crack the job market. Visit any VFW post and they'll talk about the obstacles that stand between a veteran and a job.
Ken Price, the Commander at VFW Post 8919 in El Paso, says "Back when I initially retired from the Army in 1992, you could get a good job with skill. Now a lot of companies look for that 2-4 year college degree to go with it...and that's one of the things that makes it a little bit tougher for some of the ones that didn't get the college degree when they were on active duty. "
There was some optimism last week when President Obama visited Fort Bliss and promised to offer tax credits to companies that hire veterans.
"It would help if it really happens", Price says. "I mean, you can put it in writing but until I actually see it occuring, there's no guarantee that its going to go down".
When Red Van Houten left the service he got work quickly. He now works as a lead mechanic at the Coca Cola plant. But again, he found work as a veteran at a time when more companies had requirements that more veterans could meet.
"There werent many people looking for tank mechanics out in the civilian world but... that's been most of my life is just learning as i go."
On this Labor Day it's worth remembering that people who've served us now want nothing more than to serve a company and to provide for their families. And no one is a stronger advocate for them, than the people whjo've been there.
Price remembers. "One thing I learned from the company I worked for, one thing they really liked is reliability. That's one of the things I know that many in the military that are coming out are using to doing...showing up, being there, producing, letting the employer know that I can do more, I just need to be given the opportunity".
Van Houten adds, "They've been through hell, a lot of them, and what they've accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan on those merits alone should be enough for any company to want to hire these kids"