Veterans face many challenges when they return home and start looking for work, everything from discrimination to a lack of training and skills for civilian jobs. But in the end, it’s up to vets themselves to leave the military behind and adapt to the nonmilitary work world.
That’s the message Rear Admiral T. McCreary (Ret.) who is president of Military.com sent during our live Web chat Wednesday. He took online questions from vets and their loved ones while attending the Hiring Our Heroes jobs fair event -- an initiative by NBC News and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- on the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier in New York.
Here’s a sampling of the Q&A:
“Why can't veterans find jobs?”
“Vets can find jobs. It's just hard work and requires a lot of learning and patience. There are jobs out there, it’s just finding them, translating skills and learning how to job hunt.”
And he defended efforts to focus on veteran’s unemployment flight, against readers who questioned why returning military deserved more help than those who never served.
“Why do veterans deserve any more job placement assistance than folks who have not served?”
“I don't think it’s an issue of deserving more but leveling the playing field. Most vets join right out of school and have never had to job hunt. They've lived in a unique culture and speak a different language. As a result, they don't know enough to be competitive. I think all these programs are designed to bring veterans up to speed and help them compete in the broader job market.
"That said, many feel serving ones country should offer them a little leg up when job hunting as they are behind their piers in assimilating into the corporate world. Whether that is military service of some other type of national service, most think our vets do deserve some additional help to ensure they can ‘rejoin’ society in a more normal transition.”
For more of this enlightening discussion and targeted tips for vets struggling to find job, check out a replay of the Web chat here: