Fear the Veteran
A think tank convened to gauge the financial well-being of "workplace warriors" says home-front job prospects remain "discouraging" for ex-service members, with many hiring managers seemingly scared off by the possibility that candidates have post-traumatic stress disorder. "Few employers are fully prepared to meet the needs of disabled veterans in the workplace, according to research from Cornell University and the Society for Human Resources Management," think tank members wrote. "... Nearly 20 percent of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan screened positive for PTSD." (That reported military-PTSD rate has decreased during the past five years, Cornell scientists have found, noting the drop is due largely to interventions by the U.S. military.)
A dark group-psychology seems to be at play, Carruthers said. Battle-related mental illness — diagnosed in some returning veterans but apparently associated with all of them — is tainting many or most job-hunting veterans. "The stigma of PTSD is at the top of the list," said Carruthers, president and CEO of the Disability Management Employer Coalition, a nonprofit. "These veterans are exactly the kinds of people you'd want to hire — they're used to working as a team; they're loyal; you give them an order and they follow through," Carruthers said. "So some of this is related to the types of injuries we're seeing — and, I would say, really, due to the fear of employers in terms of bringing back these people. If they were coming home with broken legs, it would be a different thing. There's a fear factor."
Great. So we send our young people into battle where they are wounded. Some wounds don't show up on x-rays. But we are scared that they may be emotionally crippled so we don't hire them. Numerous studies have verified the importance of a job to a person's self-image. Denying our returning veterans jobs degrades their self-image and adds to the emotional damage inflicted on them while they were in a foreign country serving the US. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Here's an idea. Find the returning vets in your community. Use the resources in my career ministry at http://opng8.org/career.html. Help these returning warriors market themselves as the potential asset to employers and their community they can be. I don't have any statistics to prove
it but I strongly suspect the lack of opportunity may be one reason why so many returning vets are committing suicide. I can think of no better way to serve our Father than helping to save the lives and futures of those who have already sacrificed so much for us.