Tommy Sowers,Former US Army Special Forces Officer
The annual average unemployment rate for post-9/11 vets decreased from 12.1% in 2011 to 9.9% in 2012.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
The dramatic decrease in veteran joblessness last year marked an incredible feat for national efforts to fight veteran unemployment, markedly the lowest since 2008. While a 2.2 percentage drop is gratifying news, a 9.9% unemployment rate still means that 205,000 U.S. service members who risked their lives to protect our country in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are without work. This is simply unacceptable. With the anticipated separation of one million service members from the military over the next three to five years, it is of especial imperative that our country finds a way to guarantee our returning soldiers support, stable homes and secure jobs.
This begins with an understanding of our veterans, their experiences and their needs. Many returning military soldiers suffer from the physical and psychological effects of warfare, affecting their employment prospects. Even in the absence of war traumas, many veterans find that their training does not readily translate into the civilian labor market, making the military to civilian transition ever more challenging if not impossible.
As a community, we have failed to properly equip our soldiers with the tools they need to return home and to learn how to respond to their arrival. That is why 3 Generations has a public awareness campaign that stands to rectify this nonfulfillment and eliminate this injustice. Through sharing the stories of veterans that demonstrate their extensive skill set and qualifications, the general public will be able to better understand this generation of veterans and value their capabilities. By sharing their tales of war and survival, the 99% of the American population that do not serve in the military will understand why it is so vital that we protect our soldiers when they return home as they protected us when they were deployed abroad.
This project is an interactive campaign that requires YOUR participation. Begin by learning more about the military-civilian divide with Tommy Sowers, former US Army Special Forces officer, who is “building a bridge” between soldiers and civilians so to maximize the assets of this generation of veterans.
Thank you for your support and interest in this issue. Together, we will forge a better future for our country’s courageous service members.
Hear Their Stories. Demand Change.
Dr. Sowers, Current Asst Secretary of VA