Battle-scarred benefits

Veterans deserve more employment opportunities

Battle-scarred benefits

Ethan Harvey, Opinion Editor

Respect the vet.

Our nation’s heroes should have priority in the workforce because they currently do not receive the benefits they deserve.

            Currently, vets receive certain benefits such as reduced health care and $50,000 worth of education. However, these efforts fail to help them get back on track after serving the country. The only way for that to happen is to provide them with job priority.

Veteran unemployment, while it is highly addressed, is still a major issue in this country. According to the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the unemployment rate of military veterans aged 18-24 reached 24 percent in 2016. That is 19 percent above the national unemployment rate.

This number is astronomically high. That’s why it is vital to reform the job application process in favor of veterans. For instance, when they apply for jobs and mention their military experience, they should automatically receive top consideration for that particular job, assuming they are otherwise qualified.

The reasoning is simple. These men and women have put their lives on the line for this country and because of that, they deserve the utmost respect and gratitude from common citizens. Furthermore, the horrors they have encountered are unmatched anywhere else. It is safe to say that soldiers experience some of the most appalling sights on the planet, so putting our veterans first in the workforce would be yet another way of thanking them for their bravery.

In addition, providing the vets with job priority will also help them ease back into normal, everyday living. When thinking about this issue, one must consider the mental state of vets. It is not uncommon for people who have just been at war to have stress related disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Employers may be hesitant to hire people who have just served for a significant amount of time for fear of the emotional baggage they carry.

If employers are skeptical about an applicant’s mental health, they could create a stress management test to see if the veteran applicant could be a productive member of the workforce.

Unfortunately, there are people who believe that serving in the military isn’t anything special and that giving veterans benefits is unnecessary. Anyone with such beliefs needs to consider the difficulty of not only making it through bootcamp, but landing a role in the military as well.

Granting veterans job priority would be a great way for us to give back to the true heroes of this country.