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March 29th, 2012
04:43 PM ET

'Vets Wanted?' documentary touches on veteran unemployment

Editor's note: Overseas, they fight for freedom. In America, they fight for jobs. “Voters In America: Vets Wanted?” is the first part of a CNN In America documentary series on American voters. Narrated by J.R. Martinez. Re-airing May 19th at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

By David Matthews, CNN

(CNN) – The Georgia National Guard's 877th Engineering Company spent most of 2011 building bridges and clearing roads in Afghanistan. But when these soldiers returned home before Christmas, they came back to uncertainty: about half of the 877th Company was unemployed. Unlike active duty soldiers who come home to a base and a military paycheck, National Guard soldiers are expected to come back to their pre-deployment jobs. But for many National Guard soldiers, these jobs don't exist.

From Georgia and Florida, to Ohio and Alabama, National Guard units are coming back with many of their soldiers facing unemployment.  The former chief for Employment and Education Outreach for the Guard believes it is a problem the military is just now coming to grips with.  National Guard soldiers report difficulty in finding work in a tough economic climate and believe that their service puts them at a disadvantage.

Our CNN In America documentary follows the soldiers of the 877th on their journey back to their civilian lives.  After the soldiers' reunions with their families, we chronicle their search for jobs and their reconnection with loved ones.  We will be there with them as they attend job fairs and interviews, and examine the challenges facing our veterans coming home.

Specialist Thomas Gober just came back from volunteering to deploy for the third time  in five years, because he couldn’t find a civilian job to support his wife and two young kids. Some National Guard soldiers are finding themselves in vicious cycles of voluntary deployments because they can’t find work. Sergeant Christopher Wiley has lost a previous job because of what he feels was his employer punishing him for being gone with the National Guard. Now back at home, this grandfather with management experience is delivering pizzas to pay the bills.

By telling the stories of the 877th, we will look at the issues confronting many veterans and their families.  As we move further into the 2012 election cycle, unemployment is a top issue for both voters and politicians.  Narrated by veteran J.R. Martinez and airing in May, "Vets Wanted?" will examine the issue of veteran unemployment by focusing on the challenges facing soldiers of the National Guard when they come home.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Disabilities • Discrimination • Documentaries • Economy • Veterans
soundoff (110 Responses)
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    October 21, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Searching for America

    My guts are twisted in knots after reading many of these comments. I retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years (4 enlisted and 16 Officer). Two short tours in Iraq, definately not a hero like many of the great men and women who posted for this article. I worked with the USMC reserves for 3 years and understand the crap they often eat from both the military demanding more of their time and their employers assuming they are trying to pull a scam by deploying. Most Marines/Sailors were couragous professionals who would volunteer because it was the honorable thing to do and they didn't want their buddies to deploy without them. I feel helpless because ther isn't a damn thing I can do for these fine people other than to keep them in my thoughts. There are so many people unemployed that employers can hire, fire at will and pay scant wages. Some folks do deploy with pre-existing personal problems of their own making and a deployment only serves to forestall the inevitable. For these few folks, they made poor decisions and now must face them.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RC

    I remember when I got out in 05 as a SGT, I worked for Nordstrom in the security department, a management position opened up in customer service and I was told that I was not suitable because I was in the military. I guess all I was good for was security.

    August 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KPM

    Much like what was on another news show, Marine Corps Officer leaves service and goes to HR for a job interview, after talling about military service HR asks "Have you ever had a real job?"

    May 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. KPM

    Search for the House Committee on Veteran's Affairs testimony on Lowering the Rate of Unemployment for the National Guard. Or search for the testimony of Mr. Theodore (Ted) L. Daywalt, CEO and President VetJobs.

    He knows what is going on.

    May 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Welcome to reality! Every veteran back to the Revolutionary War has had trouble finding a job after killing people for a living! Even if you served in Peace Time, you are considered a sociopath! Learning you have been duped is very depressing! Remember telling your family about all the "opportunity" and "training" you were getting! This why we need a draft, with no "diversions."

      November 4, 2012 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Name*SGT DREW

    Is there anyone hiring overseas in Kuwait & Iraq for Security Work? I worked personal & convoy security as well as prisoner transfer & safe house work.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • SGT T

      Fleur, Mantech, KBR, EODT, RAYTHEON, Northrup Grummen, Lockeed Martin...
      Their sites have pretty good search agents that you can set for Afghanistan, Kosovo, Kuwait, ....

      Google LOGCAP also to see what companies I missed.

      May 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. KC

    OMG, I'm watching Vets Wanted right now and I'm shocked to learn that the US does not provide better post-deployment support for its veterans. I must thanks God that I am Canadian. I am a Reservist and I deployed in 2009/2010. When I returned I was on leave for 2 weeks and then I returned to my F/T job; same position, same pay, and same benefits. I could not imagine having to endure the hardship that these service members have gone through. I certainly consider myself to be fortunate to be Canadian.

    Troops, keep your heads up and hang in there; God will open a window soon.

    ~ Be Blessed ~

    May 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Retired Vet

    Are you compettive for the job you want?
    The only Fed job fair I attended I got the job I wanted. The hiring process stopped for the seven positions I qualifed for until I picked which one I wanted. Nothing special; BS degree, 5 point Vet.

    What kind of job do you expect to get? Prior to that the only jobs I didn't get, I was beat out by another Vet or I was reaching for a job that I knew I wasn't quite qualified for.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cate

      My husband was DOING the job for work therapy. He was 100% disabled & the VA was willing to pay him $8 an hour. But when the time came to pay him the real money, they hired a non-vet. He ended up working with the non-vet, training him for the job because the non-vet didn't know how to do it. This happened 3 times. Talk about discouraging! He had a BA & over a year of experience in the position. It's fine to talk the talk, but the VA needs to walk the walk.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Retired Vet

        wow, that does sound bad.

        May 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gabino Casanova

      Why do Veteran Disability Claims take years? http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-788623

      May 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Forreal

      @Retired Vet, yours is a very rare case. I'm a veteran with 5 points. I completed my masters in accounting and information systems a week ago, and I passed the last section of my CPA exam in January. I've been trying to get a job through USAJOBS all this while with no luck.

      May 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alex

    Look, they want you to fight for them for whatever reasons? Do you even remember what you were fighting for, really? And now they pull you off and throw you in the dumpster. You're not needed anymore.

    At least they treated those coming from WW II differently back then.

    May 7, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Archie

    Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of federal contractors hiring H-1b guest workers. These jobs should be going to vets, time to end the H-1b outsourcing visa.

    May 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hiring Vets

    It is so hurtful when I see veterans complain that VA doesn't hire veterans. I haven't seen a hiring certificate for a non-veteran in so long, I can't remember. In my department we have only hired vets. However, I can see their frustration. Having only 1 vacancy and close to or over 300 veteran applicants, I can see the other 299 or so thinking the opposite. And each vacancy has resulted in at least this many veteran applicants. What I also see is that these vets don't know they can get a debriefing from the selecting official. And as the courts have ruled, this debriefing can't just be cursory, it needs to be meaningful. VA also has a Mentoring program and as a Mentor, I extend my availability to off the job and assist veterans who seek help. Seek out the Coach/Mentor Coordinator at your VA facility. They may be able to pair you with someone who can help.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • cw

      By the way, after having taken 4 efforts to post a response that was acceptable to the altered reality presented by Hire Vets:

      Soldiers that may have experienced similar might simply post "DITTO" as a reply to this post.
      I find it hard to believe that only 93 soldiers or families have responded to this story where at least one of those responses is an effort at damage control.

      Typically, where Silence is not just allowed but encouraged by an organized effort to destroy those who dare speak, speaking is the only way that will ever change and I have never experienced anything that needs changed so badly.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Former Marine GySgt

    All,

    There are tons of federal jobs out there for veterans. The Office of Personnel Management is a huge problem in this process. Referencing Cate's post about her husband and the VA. Her hudband was probably more than qualified to continue to do the job, however before resumes go to the hiring agent they go through OPM. These people have no idea what the job is or the skills requried. They only go off of key words or phrases provided to them by the hiring agent. If you do not meet their (OPM) key word requirements they find you inelligible due to lack of experience. For example. I currently work for the federal government. I applied for two jobs at the exact same time, one for a higher grade and one for a lower grade. My resume's where reviewed by two different OPM branch offices. The one for the higher grade found me qualified, the one for the lower grade found me inelligble due to lack of experience. My wife had a similar experience applying for a Family Readiness Officer. She did the job for three years before it became a government position. We had changed units and her job did not allow her to do it anymore. She recently applied for a job as a FRO position that only called for one year of experience. She was found inelligible due to lack of experience and when she called do fight it they basically told her they had know way to know that these skills were the same because her resume didn't explain it well enough. Her resume was written and reviewed by SEPS/TAPS personnel on the base. Bottomline there are federal jobs that veterans are given preference for but only if there resume is written to each OPM office's resume type that they like. Good luck figuring it out, but keep up the good fight! If any veteran ever needs help with their resume please feel free to contact me. I have an example and a few tips to help you along the way. Semper Fi

    May 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Cate

    My husband's a disabled vet. He worked nearly two years in the VA's work therapy program & they paid him $8 an hour. When a job opened up in the field he was working, and he applied for it, the VA hired a non-veteran. Even the VA doesn't hire the vets. I remember the saying from the Vietnam Era "don't forget, hire the vet". When even the Federal, State & local governments are finding ways around hiring the veterans, what chance do they have of getting a job? Here's your hat – what's your hurry...

    May 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • SGT T

      You stated that you husband is 100% service connected. Your family receives over $3000 a month tax free with healthcare for him and you with a $10 copay on all pharmacuticals. What standard of living are you accustomed to? If I was 100% service connected, and receiving your level of compensation, I would not be biteing the hand that feeds you. Quite to contrary, I believe your Husbands VA seems to be takeing very good care of you.

      May 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cate

        Sir, you just don't get it. My husband was a soldier in Reserves/Guard for more than 18 years. He is used to working and having a meaningful job. He was doing work therapy, trying to get back on his feet & be a contributing member of society. Our goal is not to take a handout; it is for him to have a job to support his family instead of getting money from Uncle Sam. And where we live, $3,037 is not a lot of money when you have a mortgage to pay in the Northeast. What a lot of people don't get is that it isn't always about the money. It's about having self-respect and a place to go everyday where you feel like a real person. All he wanted was to work...

        May 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • SGT T

        Your 100% is not a handout, its compensation for how bad the service jacked him up and your family. If he has 100% and has been passed up by the VA 3 times to civilians, thats a big red flag that he might very well be non employable and additional compensation is available upon VA conclusion of this status.

        I am also one of those $8 an hour VA interns and I am very grateful for my internship. The VA is for your benefits, not your employment. Not only are you dragging the VA's name through the mud, your not even in the right lane. All while the VA is compensating your family and providing you free healthcare for life.

        May 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jon

    Why is it just the Guard and reserves? This is a major problem for all branches and especialy worse on soldiers coming of of active duty. You might ask how do you know? Well I was active and got out in the summer of 2010 that how. I spent about 14 hours a day searching for and applying for jobs for nearly 2 years straight. Finally after relocating to 3 different parts of the country and moving back to my hometown and a 4 month job search here.

    I finally started to get interviews as well as the normal rejection letters. Then finally a break i started working again thank God 3 weeks ago and i am thankful everyday. But i will say when i interviewed i had pretty much tried everything up to that point so i just layed it all out there keep in mind this was a 6 person panel interview. Laid down facts of the unemployment rate for vets, and when asked what would you ideal lifestyle be i simply said just to be able to work, pay my bills and provide for my kids.

    Now you may have questions about did this guy only submit for high paying jobs? or things he would be ok with doing? That answer is NO i submitted for anything and everything part-time to full-time didn't matter if it would cover my gas costs, rent, food i was applying. Even was going to school full-time while doing all this all the while being dragged in and out of court for child support and having the prosocutor tell me that, I need to grow up and get a job! I didn't need school i had skills from the military! And mind you i have no degree nor had i ever been to school before.

    Since then due to financial issues my life has been stripped from me and torn apart! I have lost a wife due to financial issues from borrowing money, my credit that i worked so hard on is now gone, and i'm being pursued for a lawsuit against me for not being able to pay one of my credit cards. Not to mention the stress and frustration that goes along with all that.

    So in conclusion this is a major issue not only that guard and reservists face but all veterans alike. And it needs more exposure by the mainstream news media. And believe me any move forward would be much appretiated by the veterans of this great country.

    May 2, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Monica

      I am also an active duty combat vet who got out in the summer of 2010. I finally got a job 6 weeks ago! I applied to numerous jobs including government/VA and nothing. I also went to a job fair for vets here in Los Angeles. I applied to so many jobs at one company/large movie studio and they kept hiring within. Why go to a fair, say you want to hire vets and then hire internally?? I was more than qualified too!! Anyway, I was pretty depressed/discouraged for a while, but thankfully I got a job that I didn't even apply to!

      May 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thanks Monica

        Ah, I'm coming back to LA and that gives me hope. I'm about less than a month from separating and of the hundreds of places I've applied to I've gotten zilch response back.

        May 14, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  18. DREW

    i've been out of work for almost 2 years now. My old job wont hire me back because I deployed 3 times in 5 years with the PA.Guard. My unit doesnt care about anything but when its drill time. The military job fairs mostly were for people who had degrees. The other jobs i couldnt feed my family on. Now the military has to cut 144,000 just from the Army alone. I really think it would have been better to have died in combat instead of coming back not to be able to support my family.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Monica

      Please don't say it would have been better to die...There are plenty of other resources out there! I know it's hard, from personal experience, but keep on trying!

      May 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • SGT T

      If you deployed 3 times you are eligable for the chapter 33 post 9-11 gi bill. Not only is this for an education it is also for transition. Go get your degree. You need to prove a 4 year accomplishment in a civilian setting. If the housing stipend is too low move to a higher BAH. When you become a full time student you can also gain additional income through work/study internships. I was even awarded scholarships, that since my education was already paid for, was straight cash in my pocket.

      And yes, it is extremely difficult to obtain any job that provides enough income without an accredited Bachelor's degree.

      May 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Gregory Faith

    One question: Why in the world would you send weekend warriors to another country? They are the "National Guard" They are supposed to be HERE when we need them after a disaster HERE. They are for us to use as we will for the protection of US! Now you take them away, bring them back and forget about them. Shame on the Military! Don't ever do that again. National Guardsmen and women should be never sent anyplace outside the United States. Send them to the boarder and fend off the Mexicans and the others coming into the US.

    April 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • esoteric1

      Was in the Guard for 6 years....the guards primary mission is not domestic duty

      April 30, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • DREW

      The term "WEEKEND WARRIOR" is dead. The bottom line of our contracts says Dept of the Army. The Guard plays 2 roles State level and Federal. We are called on by our states for multiple reasons half the time is because there is not enough first responders or trainned personal in those areas. Let alone lets be honest people always expect to bailed out because they pay taxes. We train just like regular army in all degrees. While deployed to Iraq 3 times regular army could not beleive how well we worked together and missions were done on time. We deployed only 3 months shorter then regular for depoloyments. Also the best for last over 65% of all Army Troops in Iraq after 2003 were National Guard and Reserves because Regular Army didnt have the numbers for needed rotations. The candle burns on both sides for us because we answer to our State and our local jobs. Remember less then .001 percent of the nation wears the uniform we adore. If it was that easy to be a WEEKEND WARRIOR everyone would serve at least once in there life.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
      • SGT T

        The official slogan is the 1 percent not .001 percent. 5 million serving with a population of 350mil as of 2010. 1.38% and even our slogan is rounded down considerably.

        May 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jataka

    Go to a foreign land for a flag and kill people, come back and have a job given to you over a college graduate; how nice.

    April 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      If that is the position you take, then you bear some of the responsibility for having these soldiers deployed in the first place by supporting or failing to argue against a government that makes these decisions. Did you even read the article? They specifically mention veterans with management experience being denied jobs. Does this college kid have management experience? Where, McDonalds?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stacy

      I have only one thing to say to this....If you do not support me and my fellow soldiers please feel free to stand in front of us. We are here to defend our nation and to provide aide to those who cannot do it alone. I fully believe that the skills you learn in the military give you the experience needed for the civilian world and its a shame that we are getting turned away for jobs we are qualified for just because we have been deployed.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • notgoingtotellyoumyname

      I completely agree with your statement. Here's an idea people: DON'T VOLUNTEER! It's a stupid idea.

      May 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  21. staff

    As a soldier in the US Army Reserve, I had to go on Active Duty & my employer told me that I would have my job coming back off active duty, he said email him, I did & I havent heard from him. Its a hinderance going on job interviews & telling potential employers that I am in the service because they are like "ohhhhhh, so that means you will be gone for a period of time", and I never hear back from them. Sometimes I wonder if I should even tell them that I am in the service. I got lucky to find a job with a company that the CEO comes from a military family & I was hired on Veterans day. You would think that America & employers are compassionate to soldiers! Wrong! Its a hinderance & this is very disappointing knowing you are fighting for your country but your country wont fight for you.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • LT

      Many of these "my employer wouldn't hire me back, or I havent heard from him" stories are straight BS. Every deploying Soldier is briefed on USERRA. It is a federal law that prevents returning Vets not getting their job back. You can either get free assistace through the DOL and DOJ getting the law enforced, or you can hire a lawyer which usually produces quicker results. If you all choose to let your employer violate federal law and then whine about it shame on you! You are adding to the problem. Not only do they HAVE to hire you back they have to hire you at the rate of pay you would have attained if you had been there the whole time in the same level of position you left....

      September 8, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  22. Mike

    Handouts, no I think not. A little help yes. It pains me to see some of these comments about vets as lazy and "get a job ya bums." the military vet has a sense of pride about being disciplined and committed and they feel that they can give those traits to an employer but are rebuffed by business owners who believe the stigma of being a vet. Or they are jealous because they don't have the cojones to spend 5 minutes where we sat for a year.

    I got 40% disability today from the VA for my injuries after waiting 5 years to file because i was humble and didnt want a "hand out." I run my own business and will hire vets because I dont discriminate against vets, blacks, whites, Latinos, afghani's or anyone. And if someone needs help, I don't shun them.

    April 26, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • L

      There are those in National Guard and Reserves that didn't have jobs before they left and should not have any advantages over everyone else who has jobs. "Real" employers are required by law to hold their jobs or equivalent if called up to active duty (fact). The Federal Government gives preferential treatment to Veterans and I don't always believe that is fair either – but they do. Military has special skills that can find jobs pretty easily in a lot fo Federal positions. To the person who is a disabled Vet ... you have the top preferential treatment in the Federal Government.

      April 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sean

        Sorry, but you do not know what you are talking about.

        April 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • MTB

        @ L, you are completely uninformed about soldiers who fight for the freedom that allows you to make such moronic statements. I'm not even sure why I'm sitting here wasting time responding to such an idiotic statement. SMH

        April 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ohshutup

        you're an idiot

        May 3, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Peter.

        L you have the freedom to say what you want but remember that freedom isn't free.It cost lives and blood, limbs and all kinds of sorrow.

        September 25, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
      • stevenanthony20

        "FAIR" What's not fair, you not serving but reaping all of the benefits. Basically, a relatively free worldto in which to safely conduct business. This is what the 1st world military to fights for, CAPITALISM.

        I don't always agree with its decisions, but I served and am to have done so. What will you lay your life down for?

        January 3, 2013 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  23. lance

    with the bad obama economic unemployment enviroment the military may be the best option except for obama's afgan war that will get you killed.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MTB

      @ Lance, Get your story right; President Obama didn't start this war he's finishing it. Afghanistan was where we initially started and it's where it will end. The reality is the seeds of war were sown during Clinton's administration; therefore, neither Bush nor Obama are completely responsible for this mess.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Will Wispe

    David, the perception that troops and veterans possess single-digit IQs, have never done an honest second's worth of work, and are only looking for freebies and handouts is a true and accurate reflection of what today's Generation X America thinks. Thoughts that they have deliberately chosen to hold. Truly sorry, sorry times we live in.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  25. David

    I am sickened by many of these comments portraying service members lazy and looking for handouts. If you are a service member and being discriminated against by your employer, speak to a JAG as soon as possible and find out if you have a USERRA claim. You are the real 1% and you deserve respect and our support. I am a JAG reservist and we are here to help.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Kim

    To whoever said IVF is covered my most insurance, what planet are you from? In most states IVF is not covered under most insurance plans. Very few employers cover this. My sister works for the state government and her insurance is great but it did not cover any infertility treatments, and only a small % of the meds needed for IVF. Luckily my sister appears to now be pregnant after her 3rd IUI but IVF was the next step if this did not take. She is almost 40.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Kim

    Personally I don't understand why more people don't WANT to hire vets. They can get out of bed before most of us and work their a55es off, so it just doesn't make sense.

    I have to laugh at the yahoo who said the military are looking for handouts. The vets I know worked hard through the military to get education and experience. They just want a job... that's not a handout.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      I don't agree that people don't want to hire vets. But there are a lot of people needing jobs – not just them.

      April 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Intolerant? Yeah, right!

    I will NEVER hire a veteran. I've seen how they act in the service. Military are always begging for handouts. Get a job, ya bums!

    April 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get a Job Ya Bums?

      It really is people like you that make Americans sound like a nation of ignorance. You literally have no idea what soldiers go through, especially during deployments, but you are willing to judge them because of the acts of a few who don't have any more self control than you have of your verbal diarrhea. You are a disgrace to this nation and every soldier should consider themselves lucky to never have to work for a bigot like yourself. Hopefully what ever business you are in charge of hiring for isn't run as poorly as your opinion is stated in your post. As for Military personnel always asking for handouts, how does that make them any different from every other American who thinks they deserve things they didn't work for?

      April 24, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucy

      Did you really just write that?? They are the reason you still have the right to say your ignorant opinion on this site! They fight for our freedom and are willing to die for some one they dont know and yet you call them bums! Unless you know what it feels like to be at war I suggest you leave off on the name calling. You talk about them always asking for hand outs but when it comes to dangerous situations like attacks WE'RE the ones asking them to fight for us. So next time you go to sleep remember that the reason you dont have to fear a bomb landing on your home is because soldiers are out there staying for 24 hours at a time making sure attacks never get to you!

      April 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      While there are a few bad apples with the military as in any profession, the majority are highly educated, motivated and ready to defend fools like you. I have no doubt that you have not served in the military, because they would most likely deny you entering due to your low IQ.

      Those phony patriots within this county is really disgusting, (re: washed-up, draft-dodger, Ted Neugent) Those that only use the cloak of patriotism for their greed should really not live here either! I totally get a very small company worried that key employees could deploy at anytime, but those same employees should not be penalized by their decision to protect the county.

      It is tough for us all at this point, but I beg to differ with anyone that thinks that our armed services are bums or our veterans are asking for a hand out. Politics aside, there has been two wars begun by the previous administration, with one remaining with this administration. The Guard and Reserve forces are an essential key element to our active forces, whom none should be denied a job because of their military affiliation. Military members and veterans are more disciplined, better managers then most coming straight out of college with no work base. We deserve better!

      April 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandra

      Intolerant: you're the only person around who is truly intolerant. You claim that you know how veterans act in the service, but I sincerely doubt you have ever served yourself. The rate of Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Marines who commit crimes is actually far lower than the rate among civilians, and by the time they leave the service, the vast majority of veterans have higher education levels and life experience than any civilian you could hope to hire. I must say, I wish you would post what company you work for, so that the millions of potential employees with prior military experience know who to avoid. I am in the military and have loved every second of it. It is an absolute privilege to serve America. It does not strike me that there would be much privilege in working for you.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Vet

      you will never be in a position to hire anyone.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • SGT T

        LOL! You beat me to the statement.

        May 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thanks but no thanks

      Are you a McDonald's Hiring Manager? We coming out of the service are looking for jobs that ply to our technical, managerial, and time-sensitive project management skills – you are correct not to hire us.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  29. krehator

    What???!?!? Loyalty and patriotism as a cost?!?!?!? No way! Let's head to China and India and get some cheap labor, but then sell our stuff back to our...... ehem... fellow citizens, at a huge markup. As we make more money, we will just create more foreign jobs, not American jobs like we always BS the public about.

    Soldiers sacrifice. People take and give back. Business just takes.

    April 24, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Archie

      I agree, these traitors shipping jobs overseas and hiring H-1bs are a big problem.

      May 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  30. SlaveWorld

    Your Military Industrial Complex doesn't care about your job problem, it only cares about making a profit. War is big business and America has plenty of broke, disposable heroes.

    April 24, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  31. Josie Alabama

    What are they doing shocking his black balls?

    April 24, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  32. NudeTruth

    What's with that GAPING BLACK HOLE in the video still?

    April 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  33. NudeTruth

    I'd hire that Vet to the right of that GAPPING BLACK HOLE in the video still. lol

    April 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Art

    Unfortunately, most of your jobs have been moved to foreign cheap labor countries like China, India and Pakistan. That way the CEOs make millions of dollars in extra bonuses each year and can keep it off shore to avoid paying taxes. Treason pays really well for those that are not in the military. No need to complain, that is what your country has become. Oh, don't expect rich Mitt to try to keep jobs in the USA. It takes Unions to do that and oh how we hate unions. Blame the unions and keep looking for a job and vote Republican and keep looking for a job. The FED will keep printing fiat dollars until the dollar is worthless so it wont matter if you have a job or not.
    Have a good day.

    April 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Art

    I work closely with a member of the Navy Reserve who was just fired from a job because they had orders to deploy to Afghanistan. I wish CNN would pick up on stories like this and put these companies to shame who take Veteran's Day off. Especially when it is a company that makes money off military and defense contracts like the company involved. How ironic is that? Not only is it hard for these veterans, who have children and mortgages like everyone else, but when their country calls them in time of need, they can be fired in the face of the USERRA law, and companies get away with it. The only thing to combat these practices is exposure.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      Then that employer was wrong and your friend didn't understand the law. I worked closely with someone in the National Guard. He would go overseas for years at a time and come back to his job.

      April 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • cw

        Experience talking: If his friend is smart, he will not trust VETS or DOL to lift a finger. They will go far out of their way to destroy his life for expecting them to do anything.

        June 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Joaquin

    Last year the unemployment rate in Washington state was at about %9. At the same time the unemployment rate for the US Marine Corps Reserves and Guard was at about %30. This is not because we were not looking, or we are lazy. Its that employers will not hire us. Employers feels it places a burden on them if we have to leave, even for a weekend.

    I have been in the USMC Reserves for 6 years in June. I have deployed once. I have learned that while filling out a job application, not to mention that I am in the reserves and most of the time, I will not even give my Vet Status. I will only mention it to the interviewer. Since I have been doing this I feel like I have been getting a much larger positive response.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  37. jon

    Since the economy is in the toilet, there are not enough jobs to go around. So if a company is making it a point to hire a veteran, another citizen is out of luck. Better to encourage vets to stay in the military where they at least draw a paycheck until we can find some leadership in Washington to restore our economy.

    April 21, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Kass

      Jon,

      While I see your point, this article focuses primarily on National Guard and Reserve military personnel. For many of us, it is simply not an option to go active for one reason or another. I, myself, could not because I was going to school full time and had to help take care of family. I was out of work for 2 years after my deployment before I could find anything. It is unfortunate that anyone has to be unemployed and if it were up to me, I would ensure that anyone who needed work had some (unfortunately that is not very realistic, especially in this terrible economy). However, it is even more disheartening to know that when a serviceman or woman comes home after fighting for our country, he or she is being denied employment often on the grounds that he or she does serve our country. Granted, a company is not allowed to say that because it is illegal, but it is the honest truth. Our veterans deserve better for what they have sacrificed in the name of the USA and freedom.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Most of us would like to stay in the military! Believe it or not, the military is cutting jobs just like the civilian corporations! Look up the Enlisted Retention Board. They are also denying re-enlistment to many service members to cut numbers in a post Iraq/Afghanistan conflict military. Budget cuts to the government are hurting enlisted personel, not the DoD contactors who pay you senators and congressmen as "consultants".

      April 24, 2012 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
      • cw

        It is what happens when Congress forgets that it takes between 5 to 7 years to grow a soldier and decides just like the rest of corporate America, that soldiers are as disposable as employees at any Fortune 500 company that VETS and DOL reward by quelling complaints of discrimination.

        June 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • krehator

      Actually there are many jobs but people are not willing to take them. They would rather blame the govt.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  38. Ben Brown Jr.

    This story is just one facet of the real trouble the economy has: disposable products, disposable workers. It isn't just relegated to veterans, we are all in this truly crappy economy together. Ask the millions of well-trained college grads who are in serious debt and cannot find work anywhere but at Starbucks. Vets are just the latest casualty of the new economy. So, when you see me tomorrow night behind the counter, your refill is on me.

    April 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  39. SGT

    Employers ARE discriminating if you are in the Guard. They do not want to hire you because you might be called up and then they will have obligation to re-employ you once you come back. I had to go to JAG because my current job was discriminatign against me for my military service. They were doing everything possible to push me out..........

    April 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • krehator

      I experienced the same thing when I was in the guard, before returning to active duty. The laws that are meant to protect us are full of loopholes and employers are experts at using them.

      Their patriotism is only around when they can profit from it from advertising.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  40. Chad

    Veterans should come first...and how are they going to come back without jobs? Employers have to make it available for them until they come back...for a certain period of years. Most employers don't have the ethics to hire vets first though...

    April 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  41. TopicMonster

    Veterans probably cant find any jobs because the media has always protrayed war veterans to be mentaly unstable psychopaths from all the combat they have seen. Employers see them as ticking time bombs/liabilties. Not that thats actually true, but employers probably see it that way.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  42. Lambie

    Does anyone know if there are statewide or even federal initiatives to help re-employ military personnel? Like incentives for emloyers, etc.?

    April 18, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • SHawk

      The VA just recently launched a vets hiring initiative. There are also govt wide initiatives with other agencies per EO. VA link: http://vaforvets.va.gov/Pages/default.aspx

      April 24, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • L

      YES in the Federal for sure. Vets get bumped to the head of the hiring process, if you are disabled you go to the #1 position.

      April 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • cw

        Yea L, you got it figured out, you get bumped right to the top of the list . . . or you get an e-mail from the person in OPM that tells you the Masters Transcript you can show they recieved (OPM, it does show us what you received – you got it made though, OSC does nothing to you for discriminating) . . . Anyhow, OPM can claim they didn't ever get that Masters Transcript with it's 4.0 GPA. OPM can also send you an e-mail and tell you that job you were 105% of qualified to fill, they didn't feel like forwarding you for selection for because . . . they don't have to put a because. You got forwarded right to the top of the list in the round can beside their desk.

        June 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • LT

        That depends on the hiring authority used.

        September 8, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • SGT T

      If a long term unemployed veteran (6 months) is hired, the employer will recieve a $5,000 tax write off. If the vet is still employed with the same employer for 6 months, the employer will receive another $5,000 tax write off. Give or take a couple of hundred, search for Obama executive order that was issued in Jan '12.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  43. TheBusdriver

    It's even more difficult finding a job as a disabled vet. I've been trying for 3 years.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
    • 68whiskey

      got you beat. I am a disabled Vet and I've been unemployed 5 years. All these programs and media that say they hire vets, not true. Most employers are looking for 0-3's and above. So what happens to us that had a real job in the Military, apparently nothing. 5 years and waiting.

      April 21, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Os work

        That's kind of harsh. I know in Vietnam you were probably out in the field every days for months on end. I was in the same boat in Iraq as an O-2 (the military is but a fraction of what it was in the Vietnam era, everybody doubles up with jobs and work).

        May 14, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
      • cw

        Os, the discriminating factor is military service with a heavy discriminaiton placed on current and continued service in the Guard and Reserve. Example is seen in the generous 1.2% of total employees hired by Department of Agriculture that were disabled veterans, Jan through June 2011. (4th largest Government Employer). O's and E's are alike in this one.

        June 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  44. antonio

    Many businesses would say how much they support the veterans just so they can get their names out there to demonstrate how much they care about the vets. Many are just using the "I support the vets" as their PR stunt. Now that the vets are returning home from the war, and are asking these employers to offer them jobs, many just close the doors on the vets' faces. What a shame! All talk and no action.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • freakydeaky

      It's the same with the federal government, especially, the VA.

      May 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jim Weeder

    Well being a Viet Nam era vet I get the double wammie! Now without saying it I am too old! those idiots dont know what they are loseing out on! and what really gets me is the lazy slobs I work with at Wal-Mart that have not served a day in their life gripe when they have to do a little work!

    April 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Peryenthia

    It is shameful with the lack of support that we have/are giving Veterans. Part of the issue is the communication style of service men and women. Most don't use the same politically correct lingo as civilians. They tend to be much more direct and upfront which may sometimes transfer over as rude and insensitive. Another issue is there is not a good description of transferable job skillls into corporate culture. WE HAVE GOT TO FIX THESE ISSUES!!!! Veterans have fought for the right to be upfront, and certainly posses job skills that most of us only dream about.

    I am working on some very exciting initiatives for Veterans....... help is on the way. Thanks for all you do.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  47. ALARMED

    Speaking as a AD Vet it took me almost a year after I seperated to find a job. I lost my home and other belongings becasue I could not find a job. I filled out about ten applications a day. Most employers didnt even give me a response. Whiile other sent me the generated reply that I was not what they were looking for. I didnt actually get a job until I removed almost all of my Military qualificaitons from my resume. It was really sad a disheartening to be rejected after serving my country.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Randal

      I'm a recent college graduate. I spent about 10 years in the military between AD and the Reserves. I've took my military experience off my resume and started to get call backs and interviews. I've interviewed at places that say they have received awards from the government for hiring and taking care of vets but a lot of us never get the call for the final interview process. It's been a stressful battle trying to support my family. So even with a degree I feel I've wasted I'll be heading back over the raod as a truck driver. A lot of money wasted on an education.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  48. RichieP

    I don't want to sound crass, but unemployment is over 8%. I don't see how you can say people are discriminating against vets, when there simply are not enough jobs to be had.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      It's simple RichieP. You look at the percentage of unemployed veteran's to non-veterans.

      April 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  49. YMCV

    To be honest, I did get rejected employment because I am the in the reserve. They wont admit it because its against the law. But that was the main reason. The rejection hit me hard, because it made me think that the american people only want people who can make them money. If there is a chance that people may not be there to make them money, there would rather put the resume last on the list of qualified people. I started thinking, most people have no clue of what a soldier goes thru in a war zone to "protect america". The decent thing to do is offer him/her a job as a thank you. Even if it means that you may have to hire someone else and retrain a different person in a year or so.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Contracted

    National Guard and Reserve Service Members have numerous opportunities to receive help finding a civilian job and keeping it pre and post deployment. If you need assistance please contact your state ESGR program. Also check out the MOS website, the VA, the Department of Workforce Services and your local Guard Support Center.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • cw

      Also realize: ESGR is "Non-Judicial" meaning ESGR relies on the employer having a desire to actually do the right thing.

      Simply put, were the employer willing to do the right thing, the soldier would never have been put in that position to begin with. This throws us back to expecting those in VETS and DOL who are empowered with the duty to make us just as the employer was required by law to never have harmed us, "as if not one hair on their head was harmed."

      How does an organization with no authority to act correct anything where the organization with both responsibility and authority is allowed to take no accountability?

      June 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • LT

        If they do not comply with ESGR, the DOJ gets involved. If thats not quick enough many lawyers will work on conteng. terms. If the employer is wilfully violating the law they can be hit with liquidated damages in an equal amount to any back pay and they still have rehire you at the end of all that.

        September 8, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  51. Art

    The jobs have been moved to China. Sorry.

    April 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Richp

    There are many of us out here who will bump a vet to the top of the short list when we get their resumes. Other than USAjobs we really need a vet dedicated job search site that employers can advertise on first.

    April 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Its hard to find such employers. I gave up just on trying to get hired off my military experience. Only jobs I could land were horrible temp jobs breaking my back doing drone work so I'm not using my GI Bill benefits which fortunately pays enough to cover my expenses and give me a little extra plus hopefully will make me more desirable when I have some college as well.

      April 12, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |