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Veterans Unemployment Related Articles Week of September 7, 2012

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Veterans Unemployment Related Articles Week of September 7, 2012

Veterans still waiting college benefits decision
Dayton Daily News –September 7, 2012
Early estimates suggest thousands of military veterans who are currently attending colleges in Ohio will not receive the benefits they need to pay tuition, housing and book fees on time due to an error caused when some of their records were temporarily lost by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans in colleges in Ohio and West Virginia, including private, public and for-profit institutions, are still working to identify how many of their students will see their Post 9/11 GI Educational Benefits delayed. Many schools are also making special no-interest loans available to those veterans to cover housing and book expenses until they are paid.

Making the G.I Bill Work for Veterans
New York Times –September 6, 2012
Today’s veterans have faced incredible challenges, but have also received extraordinary opportunities – like the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. Each year, it helps tens of thousands of veterans attend college by helping pay for tuition and living expenses. Through this program, many veterans have been able to transition successfully from combat back to civilian life. Simultaneously, the 9/11 G.I. Bill has also benefited the for-profit education industry. Through aggressive recruiting practices, the appeal of an isolated online education, and enormous marketing budgets, for-profits have attracted many veterans’ hard earned G.I. Bill benefits. The majority of for-profit schools have opportunistically targeted transitioning veterans because these schools view the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill as a lucrative source of guaranteed student tuition. Many, including Holly Petraeus, assistant director for service member affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and wife of David H. Petraeus, the retired general and current C.I.A. director, have highlighted this problem.

Study Shows Veterans May Be at Risk for Aging at Accelerated Rate
ABC News –September 6, 2012
Men and women who serve their country come home every day only to suffer from mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.  And now there is increasing evidence that there are even more-negative consequences to their time in the military: early signs of conditions that are typically seen in older people. Preliminary research on veterans and active-duty members of the military shows that symptoms like hypertension, elevated cholesterol and glucose levels, and obesity, which are typically seen in older Americans, are plaguing members of the military at a much earlier age, according to Regina McGlinchey, co-director of the Transitional Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS).

In effort to woo veterans, every detail matters
USA Today –September 6, 2012
CHARLOTTE – Mike Breen, a former Army officer, offered some simple but critical advice Tuesday to Democrats looking to court the veteran vote: Make sure you’re calling them by the right name. “This is probably the most important slide in the presentation,” said Breen, vice president of Democratic-aligned Truman National Security Project. In a training session for delegates and activists dubbed Military 101, he charted the proper ways to identify members of the five armed services. “It seems stupid,” Breen said, “but if you call a Marine a soldier, you will offend him grievously and for life.” The Obama campaign has made a big push to win veterans, such as the effort to improve their health care benefits, Obama’s decision to end the Iraq War and the Navy SEALs’ killing of Osama bin Laden.

Democrats devote time to veterans
Washington Post –September 6, 2012
The first quarter of the 9 p.m. hour of the Democratic National Convention was devoted to honoring veterans — and touting President Obama’s commitment to Americans who have served overseas. Tom Hanks narrated a nearly eight-minute tribute to veterans — just as he did in 2008. This one also contained a little tribute to President Obama, for the death of Osama bin Laden and the end of the war in Iraq.

Battling back: Veterans are helping each other
Sun Sentinel –September 6, 2012
Some former soldiers appearing in Broward County’s new veterans court aren’t just getting fines, probation or counseling. They’re getting mentors. Veterans Helping Veterans — modeled after a successful program in Palm Beach County — pairs seasoned former military service men and women with veterans, of all ages and from all wars, who have ended up on the wrong side of the law. Though created in 2010 through Broward’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), the program didn’t start thriving until being connected to the county’s Veterans’ Treatment Court, which opened in May. Now, it’s receiving three to four court referrals weekly (although any veteran can apply for assistance) and has 18 mentors, who under RSVP guidelines must be age 55 or older. Impact Broward CEO and president John Gargotta, whose nonprofit agency manages the RSVP program, is recruiting more.

U.S. Chamber and the American Legion to Host Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair for Veterans and Military Spouses in Sumter
SC Now –September 5, 2012
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation and The American Legion will host “Hiring Our Heroes – Sumter,” a hiring fair for veterans and military spouses. Employers are expected to participate with jobs available for veterans and military spouses of all ranks and levels of experience Companies range from America’s biggest employers to small companies from across the state. Since its launch in March 2011, Hiring Our Heroes has held more than 260 hiring fairs nationwide, helping more than 10,400 veterans and military spouses find employment. Wednesday’s event is also part of Hiring 500,000 Heroes, a national campaign announced by the U.S. Chamber, National Chamber Foundation, and Capital One, to engage the business community in committing to hire 500,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.

Veterans Retraining Assistance Program For Unemployed Service Members Attracts Thousands
Huffington Post –September 4, 2012
NEW YORK — As Congress remains at a loggerheads over how to reform the nation’s signature jobs training program, a new opportunity being offered only to unemployed veterans seems to have confirmed one thing: there is a desperate hunger for job training during one of the worst periods of extended unemployment since the Great Depression. The initiative, called the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, has already enrolled some 39,000 former servicemembers. VA officials predict they will fill all of the 45,000 spots available before Sept. 30, when another fiscal year starts and 54,000 more slots open up. The program is meant to help middle-aged veterans who have exhausted their GI benefits. “The largest populations of veterans that are unemployed are between the ages of 35 and 60, so this is a great opportunity for a veteran out there who is unemployed to basically jump-start their career,” said Curtis Coy, the deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity at the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Taking Soldiers From Deployed 2 Employed
Huffington Post –September 4, 2012
It is with great pride and excitement that I announce the official launch of our new venture Veteran Recruiting Services After developing the Milicruit virtual career fair which was a service aimed at bringing employers, veterans, and military spouses together, we saw a big need in the active duty, but soon-to-transition space, and that is where we are now turning our attention.  Through a wide range of services, we will work one to one with active duty service members up to six months prior to them leaving the military, and match them with employers who match their military occupation specialty (MOS). The program is called Deployed2Employed, and comes with each service member getting a personal transition consultant who will help them in understanding the civilian job search process, civilianize their resume, match them with employers, prepare them for their interview, and also keep in touch at 30, 60 and 180 day post hire intervals. We have more than 80 industry leading employers who are already signed up to support this effort, and it is our hope to help at least 100 service members by year’s end.

Are veterans the saving grace for American’s economic woes?
The Examiner –September 3, 2012
Times are tough for everyone and some may argue they are even tougher for newly separated service members. Sen. Charles Schumer stopped by Focused Technologies on Monday, pushing to extend the “Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit.” Well, there is hope for America and those leaving the armed forces. A new trend can be seen today for our separating veterans as some unorthodox employment opportunities exist. And while Sen. Schumer has great intentions with his initiative, all of us veterans need to begin thinking outside the box when it comes to employment opportunities. An interesting trend is starting to unfold today within the American workforce. More and more veterans are starting to seek economic opportunities inside the entertainment industry, politics, and special interest non-profit organizations.

After war, vets fight for jobs at home
CBS News –September 3, 2012
(CBS News) In 2006, following two tours in Iraq working motor transport, former Marine Mike Liguori went through the Department of Labor’s Transition Assistance Program for military members and used the modern G.I. Bill to get a business administration degree at Menlo College in northern California, where he still lives. However, even with the TAP program behind him and his new four-year degree under his arm, Liguori said he was still unprepared. He found no meaningful work. In December of 2010, like too many of his fellow young veterans, he seriously contemplated suicide, only stopping himself as his hand reached for the knife he had chosen for the job. “I closed the drawer, and I stopped, and I went downstairs in my apartment and I cried. I just cried. It just changed my life forever,” Liguori said.

Labor Day holds special meaning for the nation’s veterans
The Baltimore Sun –September 3, 2012
For more than 100 years, the first Monday in September — Labor Day — has included parades, picnics and most importantly, a day off from work. Labor Day differs from every other holiday in that it does not honor a specific person, group, or event, but rather it recognizes the achievements and contributions of the American workforce for strengthening the prosperity and well-being of our nation. Now considered the harbinger of summer’s last days, Labor Day tends to be family-focused. For military families, however, Labor Day and similar holidays often provide a poignant reminder of the separation between them and their loved ones serving the nation in the armed forces, deployed abroad or on the home front. We want to thank those families for their sacrifice and the service of their loved ones. When those loved ones return from duty and are unable to find work after their military service, it becomes a problem of epic proportions, adding strain and drama to family-focused activities like Labor Day, which seems like a mockery.

Hire a vet: It’s good business, not politics or charity
The Post-Standard –September 2, 2012
The Labor Day holiday has evolved to represent the official end of summer. For some it means getting the kids ready to start school; for others, the the long-awaited start of football season. That said, the historical origins of the holiday are based on a celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers and their contributions to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.  In a presidential election year, politicians from both sides of the aisle will undoubtedly attempt to leverage the Labor Day holiday — and the very real employment challenges facing many Americans — as a platform to advance partisan messages and agendas. It’s also very likely that the labor situation facing America’s post-9/11 military veterans, which for the better part of the past 24 months has compared unfavorably to non-veterans, willbecome a topic of political finger-pointing between the candidates for the nation’s highest office, and for others vying for political advantage.

Vets struggle to find work
The Sun –September 2, 2012
Chris Wagner says he has a bachelor’s degree, proven leadership skills, a positive attitude, Army-strong work ethic, and expertise in communications and strategy from his three years in the Army. Yet the 33-year-old Long Beach resident has been told he’s “overqualified, too old, too nontraditional,” and that he’s fallen behind his civilian counterparts. “It was disheartening, to say the least,” Wagner said of his latest job denial. “But, I’m afraid it is typical.” For unemployed veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, rejection is a special ordeal, military officials say.

Apps Contest Aims to Help Homeless Vets
WNYC—September 2, 2012
Not many Department of Veterans Affairs projects can say they got their start from Bon Jovi. But that’s exactly how the program known as Project REACH (Real-Time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless) began. The idea behind the contest to create an app that provides up to date information for service providers helping the homeless came from Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen, a community restaurant in Monmouth County – when volunteers realized they didn’t have good access to information on shelters or other services in the area their patrons might also need. It’s also where the five finalists in the contest – including two area developers – are beta testing their apps before a winner is announced on November 9.

Error delays benefits for Ohio student veterans
The Vindy –September 2, 2012
Ohio’s governor, higher education chief and veterans’ services director are asking colleges and universities not to penalize student veterans whose financial benefits through the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill may be delayed after a records problem. Some eligibility certifications were temporarily lost while the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was transferring electronic records between offices, state officials said. The problem affected records for Ohio and West Virginia veterans whose enrollments were received between July 24 and Aug. 9, and it could delay payments used for housing and educational costs, they said.

“Stand Down” to offer help to homeless veterans
The Daily Times –September 2, 2012
FARMINGTON — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2182 is sponsoring the inaugural San Juan County Stand Down in October to serve area homeless veterans. The event aims to provide a wide range of services to meet immediate basic needs such as a hot meal, personal hygiene, food and medical attention. Other services will address long-term needs such as veterans’ medical benefits, housing and job opportunity assistance. Organizers also plan to distribute sleeping bags and warm winter clothes, and offer haircuts and shaves.

Veterans job fair draws fair turnout
Daily Statesman –September 2, 2012
SIKESTON, Mo. — Veterans and their spouses weighed their employment options while other job seekers were welcomed to join them later in the day during the fifth annual Veterans Job Fair Thursday at the VFW in Sikeston. Featuring 32 regional employers, the job fair was sponsored by Missouri Career Center-Sikeston, Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 317 and Show-Me Heroes. The event — as it has always been — was for veterans and spouses from 9:30 a.m. until noon Thursday, and for the first time, it also opened up to other job seekers later in the day from noon until 2 p.m.

Obama pledges aid to veterans
USA Today –September 1, 2012
Two years after ending the U.S. military presence in Iraq, President Obama renewed his pledge Saturday to help all veterans who have served the nation in war. “No one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. The president taped the remarks at Fort Bliss, Texas, which he visited Friday to commemorate the second anniversary of the end of major combat operations in Iraq. While that war remains “a source of controversy” politically, Obama said there is no doubt that “the members of our armed forces are patriots in every sense of the word.”

Veterans United Home Loans surpasses 1,000 employees
Columbia Daily Tribune –September 1, 2012
Homegrown Veterans United Home Loans announced this week that it had surpassed 1,000 employees companywide, with 719 of them working out of offices in Columbia. The company, formerly known as, has grown by leaps and bounds since its founding in 2002. It specializes in selling mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one of the many benefits available to veterans. The company’s volume has soared since the real estate crash tightened credit and made subsidized loan programs such as VA loans and Federal Housing Authority loans one of the few options for many borrowers.

Stop Feeling Sorry for American Veterans
The Atlantic –August 31, 2012
Judging from media accounts, I’m the rare American veteran who isn’t homeless, homicidal, or suicidal. To be sure, the toll of almost 11 years of constant war has been high. Divorce among military families is at record levels at a time when it’s declining among the civilian population. As best we can tell, veterans are half again as likely to be homeless as non-veterans. And more soldiers have killed themselves this year than have died on the battlefield. These trends are damning and shameful. Thankfully, society has taken notice. In the past few years, there’s been more investment in counseling services and other programs to help ameliorate the trauma of war and the pain of separation from family.

Obama emphasizes Veterans Support As War Recedes
Bloomberg –August 31, 2012
President Barack Obama used a stop at Fort Bliss, Texas, today to remind voters that he kept his vow to end the war in Iraq and wind down the conflict in Afghanistan, while promising veterans they won’t be forgotten. Even though the trip was listed as official business rather than a campaign event, Obama’s remarks directly addressed some of the criticisms by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, from national security to the economy.  “If you hear anyone trying to say that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, don’t you believe it,” Obama said. “Around the world, there is a new attitude toward America, new confidence in our leadership. When people are asked, which country do you admire most, one nation always comes out on top: the United States of America.”

Albany Law School offering free legal advice to veterans
Albany Times Union –August 31, 2012
Free legal advice for veterans is being offered through Albany Law School’s Veterans’ Rights Pro Bono Project on Saturday, Sept. 15. A clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Albany Law at 80 New Scotland Ave. Veterans can meet with attorneys to discuss personal legal concerns and receive individualized legal advice. Veterans can receive advice and assistance in a variety of legal areas, including drafting and executing wills, powers of attorney, and health care proxies; personal bankruptcy matters; VA benefits; tax law; matrimonial and family law; landlord/tenant and property law issues; Social Security concerns; and lost or incorrect military documents.