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August 20th, 2009
10:55 AM ET

The War at Home: Back from war and unemployed

In our special series "The War at Home," we're seeing just how difficult it can be to make the transition back home after months, in some cases years, on the battlefield.

One of the biggest problems facing young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan – finding a job. CNN's Chris Lawrence talked to some returning soldiers about the challenges.

Filed under: Military • The War at Home
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Dan

    We just give our lives,we dont line there pockets!!!!.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  2. Dan

    The news media is quick to send out thanks to all Veterans, but are slow to invstigate why We vets cant get good medical or equiptment we need to lead safe and normal life . and why we have to travel up to 3 or 4 hours in pain to see a doctor.

    September 30, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  3. pat

    We live ten minutes from a Army Post and my husband after serving twenty eight years has been turned down on many jobs on post. He did human resource for 18 years and is constantly told he does not quality for the job only to have the civilians get all the jobs on post. Whats wrong with that picture. Even his Commander took his resume to the person who hires and said you better look at this again. A civilian still got the job. If you go onto a website for hiring at Fort McCoy and you check the box Military Preference less jobs come up then if you click on no Military perferece. HMMMMM! Smells like fish to me.

    August 21, 2009 at 9:36 pm |
  4. nancy

    This is a shame for America. There should be NO returning soldier without a job when they come home. What they have sacrificed for our freedom, they should be welcomed by any company. Some left great jobs and should be able to step back into that job once they are home.

    August 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  5. susan

    Everything we are talking about happened in 1972 when viet nam was over. The difference was the country nor the countrymen were there to support the soldiers returning from one of the worse wars our country has ever seen. A small percentage of those soldiers were ale to get jobs mostly because they couldnt get past the trauma of what they had been through without the support of the government or the people of this country. To this day, the government still denies that certain warfare chemicals were in use that had a delayed, lasting effect on our soldiers. I hope we learn from those mistakes .

    August 21, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  6. John

    I know personally how hard it is to transition from the military. I served six and a half years with two deployments to Iraq. I was involuntarily discharged in 2007 for hardship because my wife left me upon return from Iraq because I was suffering from PTSD and did not even know it. I ended up with custody of my daughter because my wife could not support her on her own so I stepped forward and did what I had to do, I had to repay a reenlistment bonus that was almost $30,000. I was pushed out of the military within 30 days. I had to wait until I was discharged before I could use any of the military's separating programs for finding a job. The story the military gives you about having the skills to obtain a job upon separation is honestly ridiculous. The only jobs out there that qualify anyone from the military after separation is contract jobs. I applied to many jobs on many different websites for employment and the only people that called me was contractors for the military. The story the military tells you about going to college while you are in are obscure. Between every single deployment you have absolutely no time to attend any schools. 5am to 6pm every single day and raising a family is impossible. Not only that but rotations to JRTC, leadership schools, and back to back deployments makes it almost impossible to make it a reality. To all of those that are transitioning from the military. If you decide to life close to a military base. Pick up a contracting job if possible. Especially if you are a mechanic and left that help keep you on your feet until you can find something better. Good luck!

    August 21, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  7. Christine from Ocean City, MD

    Barbara Starr just did a piece on the backlog of claims at the Veterans' Affairs bureau. Apparently thousands of disability claims are received daily, and the staff is overwhelmed. Sounds like a good use of stimulus dollars to me-let's hire returning soldiers! Also, I was thinking about those jets that some Congressperson ordered recently; I think one jet was needed and Congress ordered three, or something. Those workers in that state could also help with the disaility claims and services.

    August 21, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  8. jay m

    The war is overseas and so are all the jobs.

    August 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  9. Sharon,Daniel Island

    Its really difficult, in South Carolina we have returning service men and women and men and women that did not serve and no one is able to find meaningful employment. My son are going to try and start a small out of the house service

    August 20, 2009 at 12:19 pm |