We should honor our veterans every day, but especially on the day set aside to salute them,  Monday, November 11.  It is their day to shine, those veterans who valiantly served in past wars, and ongoing wars today.  They are true patriots who love their country and sacrifice time with their families and are willing to serve for the common good.

Unemployment among veterans remains an obstacle.  According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the jobless rate of returning veterans stands at 7 per cent.  They face many challenges once they return home, some with disabilities, PTSD, and lack of work.

The good news is that many industries have pledged to “Hire 500,000 Heroes” and their spouses.  Since 2012, Convergys Systems has hired 5,000 veterans and their spouses, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.  This campaign challenges businesses to hire half a million veterans and their spouses by the end of 2014.  Convergys was awarded Civilian.Jobs.com 2013 Most Valuable Employer of the Military.

Other companies that have accepted the challenge are Advance Technology Systems, a manufacturing company, who has made hiring military veterans a high priority.  Starbucks wants to add 10,000 vets and spouses to its ranks. 

Veterans have the leadership and discipline to adjust to new jobs and locations.  Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides businesses that hire unemployed veterans a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran.  The Wounded Warriors Tax Credit is given to companies who hire veterans with service-connected disabilities a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran. 

Anytime you see a veteran, give him/her a big “Thank You”.  If you own a business, take the “Hire 500,000 Heroes” challenge, and do what you can.  If you hire one veteran, that’s one less hero that is unemployed.  I recently met an elderly man who was wearing a cap, showing he was a veteran of WWII, Korean War, and Viet Nam.  When he was told “Thank You for your service”, by another man who had served in Viet Nam, he simply stated, “It was a living.” 

These folks don’t want the glory they deserve.  They want to know they are appreciated by their countrymen.  They want to have a job when they return home, and those who no longer are able to work, want to receive their benefits.

Please do your part and “Hire a Vet!”  Texas America Safety Company and Blog4Safety salute our military men and women.