Editorial

Veterans deserve a leg-up when it comes to jobs

Monday, November 10, 2014

In hindsight, Americans felt guilty about the way Vietnam vets were treated upon their return from that unpopular war.

Perhaps we've overcompensated for that disgrace by assigning the "hero" label to almost anyone who wears a uniform.

In other ways, however, we still fall short in honoring those who have sacrificed the best years of their lives -- and risked those lives -- in the service of their fellow citizens.

Those who are injured or disabled on active duty certainly deserve to receive the best of care when they return to their homeland.

But even those who bear no physical scars deserve the chance to support themselves and their families with dignity once they return to civilian life.

Too often, they don't have that chance.

In 2013, of the 21.4 million military veterans in the U.S., about 722,000 were unemployed, many, but not all, because of service-related disabilities.

In June 2014, emergency jobless compensation benefits were cut off.

Using information ranging from the number of military skill-related jobs to the availability of VA health facilities, the Wallets number-crunchers found good news for Nebraska veterans, at least those who live in Lincoln or Omaha.

Lincoln ranked number 1 in overall ranking, fourth in economic wellness and seventh in environment, education and health. Omaha ranked sixth overall, 56th in economic wellness and fifth in environment, education and health.

The worst cities overall were Newark, New Jersey, 100; Chicago, 99, and Memphis, 98.

It's not surprising that Lincoln and Omaha would be good places for veterans to call home. Both have relatively low costs of living, and jobs and facilities stemming from long connections to the military -- Omaha as headquarters for the U.S. Strategic Command and Lincoln with a strong National Guard presence; both current or former major Air Force bases.

Life-long civilians, of course, deserve the chance to land good jobs or establish their own businesses as well. But even those who normally oppose government interference with market forces should support rules and programs that give veterans a leg up.

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  • As an individual or as the family it is true....all gave some and some gave all.

    -- Posted by dennis on Mon, Nov 10, 2014, at 6:39 PM
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    Did a web search of firms that hire veterans.

    A local employer that is listed under the top 35 companies that hire veterans, on the Military.com website is BNSF Railway. They are also listed by others as one of the top employers of veterans in the United States. Just thought it was interesting that a national company with local employees has received many accolades for hiring vets.

    -- Posted by fit2btied on Tue, Nov 11, 2014, at 7:54 PM
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