Best way to Honor a Vet? Give Them a Job!
I know, I know. Veteran’s Day was last week. But, like my birthday, don’t we need at least a week to show how much we appreciate them? I mean, they did put their lives on the line for our freedom, so a few extra days to celebrate isn’t going to hurt anyone.
Every year on Veteran’s Day, I would call my dad and father-in-law to thank them for their service. I genuinely mean it, but I know it makes many Vets uncomfortable to hear that. Really how should they respond? “You’re welcome,” of course, but really how weird is that?
Then I heard about another idea on NPR. Give the Vet a job!
It’s not news that due to the pandemic, we have a real shortage of healthcare workers. What we also have, though, is a number of Veterans with medical experience. Sounds like a match to me! But for some reason, there is a lot of red tape keeping these well-trained and experienced Vets from working in the civilian medical field. Dan Goldenberg of the Call of Duty Endowment, which funds programs that help get Vets into civilian jobs, claims at least 30,000 Veterans with medical experience are not working in the field.
NPR’s reporter also found evidence that other high need areas like trucking and supply chain management have too much red tape for those Vets to get civilian jobs as well. Furthermore, as we have a dwindling teaching population, the Department of Defense just recently cancelled the Troops to Teachers program.
Why are we actively underutilizing these skilled people? We paid for the skills they have and yet we put in obstacles to prevent them from translating that very training to the civilian world. How to fix this? Write your state legislators and ask them to remove the red tape. Write to your federal representatives and ask them to reinstate Troops to Teachers. Find out what Oklahoma is doing to make it easier for Vets to get civilian jobs, and then find ways to share that info so that more Vets know we need them!
That’s how you can really thank a Vet.
November 18, 2021