Friday, September 12, 2014

Tough Topics: Military Unemployment

     This is going to be a bit of a different post than the other Tough Topics I've written about before. A couple of weeks ago, not long after the first of the series went live, I got an email from a Mister Bob Clary about writing a post for him. He told me that his company is an online learning program, but they're doing a special discount for the military because so many vets end up unemployed after their service.

     Of course, I was suspicious because of how many scams there are out there. I checked around and only saw positive feedback before even considering the offer, because you, my readers, are my friends and I would never want to suggest anything bad to my friends.

     Since I'm not enrolled in Webucator, I obviously cannot give a review of it or it's services. I am, however, enrolled in a different online school. My views of online learning are extremely high and positive, because it's at your own pace, without the stress of the classroom and everything that goes on there. Especially for somebody coming out of the military, I think it would be a good idea to do online learning, simply because you're trying to get out of the stressful situations, not go back into them.

     As for Webucator specifically, I'll have you read some of the reviews for yourself. I also ask that if you plan on spending the money, you check into things and make sure that you know where your money is going. That is your responsibility.

     Now, to get to the tough part of the conversation.

     The unemployment rate is higher for veterans than it is for non-veterans. A lot of people who join the military are fresh out of high school when they join. Then they leave, for whatever reason, but they had not spent the past several years working in a normal job field where they would learn the skills needed.

     They were working with guns, hoping not to get their heads blown off, while people their age were working on computer and customer skills to work in an office. They were waking up at 4 in the morning to do PT, spending time out in the field, and probably being shipped all over the world while their age group was in college to become doctors, lawyers, or teachers.

     I'm not going to bore you all with the exact unemployment rates (partially because I can't find a source recent enough to be accurate) but I've seen some that say the country over all was at 6.7 while military was 6.2, some that say it dropped after 9/11 and then rose drastically over the following years, some that say it was as high as 10-15%. But every single thing is telling me that military unemployment surpasses the country's unemployment as a whole.

     I get it- You don't want to hire somebody who doesn't have the qualifications to do it. Don't hire somebody with only a high school diploma to become a surgeon. That's totally understandable. But when they're struggling to get an entry level job where they can be trained? It's stupid. With access to more education, it's a good theory that they will be able to have enough qualifications to be able to at least get their foot in the door.

     Webucator is offering a coupon code [VETERANS2014] on their website to help make education more affordable for the vets. The deal is that you must use it by the end of the year, but after that, you'll have an entire year to complete the course at your own pace.

     In my life time, I would like to see the unemployment and the homeless rate drop down to 0. Everyone deserves a good job that they enjoy, a nice home to live in, and a good meal on the table every single day. Trust me, I've had times where I've had none of those things.

     I also don't want to hear anyone say, "Well, they should just get a job" or start with the government stuff or food stamps or using all the tax money. Don't even go there. It is not always that simple, in any sense of the arguments. I know people who have had a low paying, shit job, but still not qualify for government assistance when they had children. I know people who used it because they were lazy fucks who just didn't want to work. That is another topic for another day.

     Today, let's just try and remember that people who fought for our country, who lost limbs and friends and who need therapy to recover, are going to starve to death because they can't find a job when they come back home. For all my non-vets, go out and volunteer at a soup kitchen this month. Take some time to talk to the people there. Find out their story. I'll consider it a birthday present but you'll be the one thanking me.




Disclaimer: I am not a professional or an expert of any kind. What I post here is from the research that I've done mixed with my own personal experiences. If you feel that you need help of any kind, I urge you to seek it with local professionals who know what they're doing.

Rule: This is a judge free zone. I welcome you to express your opinions kindly. If you leave a hateful comment, I will ask that you remember that we discuss sensitive topics and don't want to upset anyone with these posts. If you continue to leave rude or hateful comments, I will screenshot them and use them in my next anti-bullying post, before deleting them from my blog.

Guest Post: If you want to write a guest post, you will be kept anonymous if you so request. Just contact me at pertinax_puella@hotmail.com to discuss it!



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18 comments:

  1. I think it's sad that our military personnel can't find jobs when they return home. Isn't there some kind of program where they can get lower-cost college education? I also thought there was specialty training on the bases - things that could be applied to the real world once they got out. I'd hate to see those brave men and women struggling after they served our country.

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    1. They have training on basis but not everyone is able to use it. It depends on what your job is in the military if you get certain training. I think there are some programs to help pay for college but even with that, it's thousands of dollars and you make hardly anything in the military unless you're a very high rank.

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  2. Why, I guess I never really thought about it. That's pretty awful, actually. There seems to be the idea that if you go into the military, that they will prepare you for life outside it once you are done, but that doesn't seem to be the case! There has to be a better way than to just leave them hanging in the wind once they are done.

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    1. Basically. I knew it was bad but I didn't realize how high the numbers were until Bob contacted me. It's insane.

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  3. Very good post, Rachel. Many vets have tough lives. Not long after my dad retired from the military, a navigator he had known for many years also retired. My dad was chief of supply and didn't have any trouble finding a good job, but my mom said she didn't know what the navigator and other like him were going to do after leaving the military because they'd never been anything other than navigators.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. And that's exactly it. There are plenty of vets who had no problem because they were in areas to get the training, but so many don't have that chance. Then when they retire, they don't have any options available.

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  4. I wonder if a lot of the unemployment has to do with PTSD. These soldiers are often returning without treatment for having endured a traumatizing experience (to put it mildly). Are they even able to look for work when they're dealing with such untreated mental issues?
    Regardless, for them to be brought back and cast aside is shameful. This online education program is a great thing. Hopefully soldiers out there take advantage of this discount.

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    1. My children have two cousins (on their father's side of the family) who returned from Iraq with PTSD. They're both alcoholics, struggling to find and keep jobs.

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    2. I think the stigma alone makes it harder for them to find jobs. That's one of the reasons why I think the online schooling could be a good idea for some, because it doesn't require being around a lot of people before they are ready.

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  5. If the government has their way, a massive layoff of military personnel is about to happen in my city. We're heavily military here, so it will impact the entire economy. We are surrounded by three close by bases, with a bunch more farther away, but still in the state. One good thing we have is that local businesses are often happy to hire veterans--many of the owners have probably served military time. This is a place a lot of military retires to.

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    1. That's so horrible. I hope that it doesn't happen. So many people would be without jobs.

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  6. Hi, there...my first visit to your blog. Janie sent me! I volunteer as an advisor for the local Needs Council and hear many stories of desperation. And I do a home visit for a vet, who is crippled from Agent Orange. We need more people to step up to put in time instead of money to help out those who are suffering from job and health issues. Thanks for your post. And Happy Birthday!

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    1. That is a good point. Having more volunteers who are willing to donate time would be beneficial to most causes.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes and for stopping by!

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  7. Happy, happy birthday, Rachel!! Janie sent me, 'cause she is GOOD PEOPLE, and I trust her judgement...that makes you great, too! Go celebrate.

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    1. I trust her judgement also so I believe you must be pretty cool yourself! I have to work today, but I will celebrate all around it! And I'm getting ice cream tonight because yum. =)

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  8. Janie sent me too! ...Which is weird, because I'm always here. Also, I thought I commented on this a long time ago. Maybe blogger ate my comment. Either way, happy birthday!

    Old comment in a nutshell: the wife and I used to volunteer at a Hotdogs for the Homeless program. There were a very surprising (and sad) amount of vets there, and they were always so thankful.

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    1. You are always here. Are you living in the closet of this blog? Along with all the skeletons and horrible first posts?

      I never got that comment. I bet they loved your sense of humor and being able to talk to somebody who took the time to care.

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