Veterans Unemployment Continues

“I have been to no less than twenty five

interviews”

 

by Ken Smith

 

“I fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now I can’t find a job.”

 

~ Bob G., OIF-OEF Veteran, Father, Husband, Son and new Friend’

I was called recently by someone I know, who asked me to talk to a veteran that he knew who was in trouble.  Since I do that all the time, I asked “What are we going to talk about?”  and my friend said, “Jobs” and the lack of.  The phone call went something like this:

Hello, may I speak to Bob?

Sure hold on a moment said a woman,  (I could hear young children laughing in the background).

Hi, this is Bob, may I help you?

Hi Bob, this is Ken Smith, and I am a journalist, and Bill P asked me to call you.  Do you have a minute?

Bob said sure, let me tell my wife that she is now tasked with getting the kids out of the tub and I will walk outside so we can chat.

Over the next hour and half Bob told me his story.  He was in the military for over 10 years, joining right after 9-11 and he was determined to do his part for his country.  He married his high school sweetheart right after graduation from Army OCS and he now had two kids, a boy five and a girl three.

His wife works part time as a teachers aid, and Bob told me that he has been looking for steady work since April of this year, with no luck.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find work?  he said.  

“I have been to no less than twenty five interviews”, and they all say the same thing,  either I am “over qualified” or “not qualified” and I am not trying to turn my nose away from any work offers, and I dress right for each interview and actually study as much as I can about each company the night before I show up, and I tell them I will take any job, any job at all.  I can write, I know a little about the internet, I am a good dad, I love my kids and my wife and I am just trying to get a “toe hold” back into society and for reasons that are not being explained to me or to other veterans, I just can’t seem to get any traction.

Do you think you could help?

Now, as some of you already know, I have my own software company and write this column in my spare time but I was intrigued by the fact that he was an officer and couldn’t find any work, so I told him I would call him back in a few days.

A few phone calls to the DOL VETS rep in this guy’s area, and all of a sudden, there is hope for Bob.  He has a “temp” job, paying $16.50 per hour for now, good work through the holidays and he has a strong chance of landing a job with the county government (after additional help from the DOL vets rep).  What was intriguing to me was that this officer was ignorant of that kind of help out there.

I would think, and maybe it’s just me, that anyone who is on “Unemployment”, that registers in any state, and says they are a veteran it should be automatic that they get help from the office of “DOL-Vets”

I happen to know some of the people at DOL-Vets, actually the central HQ in Washington DC folks, and I know, they are good people, dedicated to veterans and focused, and I wonder to myself, are they missing something?

I think that every vet who has served his country, regardless of rank, deserves special help and consideration and wonder to myself?

“How many Bob’s are out there tonight?” 

 

 

 



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Posted by on October 27, 2011, With Reads Filed under Veterans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to "Veterans Unemployment Continues"

  1. Michael Brinkley  October 31, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Ken,

    I am one of the DoL Vet Reps you speak of and I agree 100% that there needs to be more “marketing’ about the services we offer. There are over 2000 of us across the country and unfortunately there are many more Bob’s out there.

    I would encourage you and anyone else who reads this that knows of a vet that is in need of employment assistance to go to http://www.servicelocator.org for assistance.

    Thanks.

  2. Ian Gray  October 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Ask your congressman how many AIPAC members served in Iraq? How many came back to an economy ruined by Wall Street, the main funding source of AIPAC?
    As long as AIPAC is funded by criminal enterprises on Wall Street, America will detoriate financially and morally.

  3. Ken Smith  October 28, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Peter:
    Your voice is heard here on Veterans Today, and may I be one of the few who say “Welcome home”.

    Ken

  4. Ken Smith  October 28, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Jackson:
    Your comment states “I don’t mean to be offensive”, but in fact, to me, you are. As I read what you wrote, I felt you couldn’t differentiate between the “Warrior” and the “war”. This vet Bob, who loves his country, like I am sure you love yours, was motivated by an attack that was witnessed by millions and that killed thousands. You say that blind flag waving patriotism and buying a stupid ribbon to show support for troops somehow equates to America coming off the rails needing an intervention. I would say, you want Americans fighting for Peace? I agree, but who gives you the freedoms and rights to say those things? The Bob’s of our military, like it or not.

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