E-4 Specialist Donald Dutton suffered a knee injury serving in Afghanistan, ending his Army career. His reward for his service when he returned home? Working three jobs just to make ends meet.

Stories like Donald’s are all too common in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 370,000 unemployed veterans in 2017, or 3.7 percent of the total veteran population. The rate is higher for post-9/11 veterans: 4.5 percent. Though overall unemployment numbers have declined over the years, those who put their lives in danger for our country should never have to wonder where their next paycheck is coming from.

As founder of Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS), a nonprofit that provides skill-based, hands-on job training for underserved populations, I’ve had the pleasure of working with veterans from all over the country. One aspect of their stories is consistent: trouble translating military skills to civilian life. This shouldn’t be the case with a demographic proven to be valuable to employers; a 2017 study from Syracuse University found that veterans have one of the highest return on investments. Why? Veterans bring a unique skill set that stems from serving in strenuous and unforgiving environments. In the field, there’s no margin for error and veterans bring that mindset to the civilian workplace.

SOURCE – READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT: https://rebootcamp.militarytimes.com/news/employment/2018/07/24/commentary-lets-honor-veterans-with-jobs-not-just-salutes/