From combat to corporate -- and the new stigma blocking some veterans

Courtesy of Chris Perkins

Chris Perkins is a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq until 2006. His battalion suffered heavy casualties.

At job fairs this summer from Denver to Colorado Springs, retired Army sergeant Thomas Maretich always bumps into the usual suspects and an all-too-familiar gaze of frustration — as if he’s staring into a mirror.

“I keep seeing the same people — mostly veterans — and I’m talking about captains, people with college degrees. They’ve been all over the world, have all kinds of experience. But it’s just the same guys over and over,” said Maretich, who in June earned a medical retirement from the Army.

“There are just a handful of jobs and thousands of veterans lined up for them. How are you supposed to get a job?” asked Maretich, a Colorado Springs resident with more than 20 years of Army experience. “Our veteran numbers are growing and jobs aren’t growing fast enough. It’s a real problem.”


Yet amid the listless hiring rates of a slack economy, men and women with combat experience are being purposely ignored by some employers who fear they may have the symptoms of  post-traumatic stress disorder, thus making them — in their view — risky candidates, said John E. Pickens III, executive director of VeteransPlus.

“While it’s good that employers and general public understand (PTSD) issues, there may be some employers who know just enough to be reluctant, and who say: I want to hire this guy but I don’t want this guy having his war experiences affect his work,” Pickens said. His nonprofit has offered financial counseling to more than 150,000 current and former service members. 

“Some of the folks we talk to say they feel a little bit conspicuous. Employers are even reluctant to talk to them about their military experiences,” added Pickens, a former combat medic. “While eventually transitioning (into corporate jobs), their co-workers become aware that this is a veteran, and the veteran feels scrutinized to the point where it's like: ‘Are you OK?’ "

Through his consultations with veterans over myriad money issues, Pickens said he has learned that some have opted not to seek treatment for PTSD symptoms at Veterans Affairs hospitals exactly because “they don’t want to be labeled or stigmatized” in their civilian jobs — or while trying to land one.

Related: Opera about Iraq war reaches out to veterans
Related: Vets battle PTSD stigma -- even if they don't have it

“It’s like nobody wants to hire anybody with PTSD,” Maretich said. “It’s ridiculous. The whole thing got a bad name.”

On his final mission in Iraq on Aug. 27, 2009 — during his fourth tour in a war zone — sergeant first class Maretich was stationed as the gunner atop an Army vehicle. A car approached, driven by “a kid,” he recalled. After Maretich determined the vehicle was an imminent threat, he shot and killed the driver, he said. The car, loaded with an estimated 500 pounds of explosives, nonetheless detonated, causing Maretich to suffer a traumatic brain injury, sleep problems, chronic back pain and a knee that required replacement.

Related: 'Got Your 6' campaign helps vets return to civilian life

He also was diagnosed with PTSD — now, be believes, an unmentioned roadblock to his hopes for a corporate job due to its attached stigma.

The irony, he added, is that his duties in Iraq — including in operational intelligence and serving as a combat advisor to Iraqi soldiers — make him an ideal contender for a stateside job.

“I don’t think there is better job training anywhere,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that if I can get an Iraqi soldier to do what we’re training him to do — in a different language and a different culture — I can handle any kind of training job in America where the people speak the same language.”

Some companies, including New York-based financial giant Citi, have recognized that service members who have weathered combat carry unique talents into the boardroom. Last year, Citi hired 700 veterans and this year the company plans to hire at least 1,000 more, said Citi spokesman David Roskin.

Courtesy of Chris Perkins

Former U.S. Marine Chris Perkins has successfully moved from the lethal streets of Iraq to the fierce ways of Wall Street.

Former U.S. Marine Chris Perkins has maneuvered from lethal hot spots in Iraq to a high-pressure job on Wall Street. He exited the Marine Corps in 2006 and immediately recognized, he said, the same talents that fuel success in Manhattan’s hard-charging financial district are not dissimilar from the skills that helped Perkins thrive while serving in Ar Ramadi, the capital of the Al Anbar Province.

Related: Mortgage woes afflict high rate of active troops, veterans

“My job over there was to make very timely and accurate, quantitative decisions with the understanding of risk and risk managements,” said Perkins, now managing director and global head of OTC derivatives intermediation and clearing for Citi. He recalled one frightening moment — delivering bicycles to an Iraqi school then being pinned down by insurgent gunfire five minutes later and about one block away.

Over time, 260 Marines were wounded within his battalion of 1,000 and 16 were killed in action.

Courtesy of Citi

Today, Perkins is an executive with Citi but also helping other veterans ease into the corporate workforce.

“When I was able to navigate into the financial services sector, I asked: ‘Hey, you guys are traders, right? Isn’t that what you’re doing? Aren’t you making quantitative decisions all day long while understanding the risks you are taking?’

"The successful traders said, ‘Yes, that’s exactly we’re doing.’ So I was able to transfer my skills into that job,” said Perkins, who later founded the Citi Military Veterans Network and played a leading role in working with fellow veterans within the financial services industry to co-found Veterans on Wall Street.

Veterans who apply for corporate gigs should carry not a stigma, Perkins said, but a stamp of approval: they’re wired to work long hours with minimal sleep, start early, complete assigned tasks — all with a certain intensity and focus that only can be sharpened by battle experience.

But maybe too many hiring managers and human resources honchos “have just seen too many ‘Rambo’ movies,” Maretich speculated. “Maybe they think we’re all going to come back and not be productive.

“Believe me, man, if I could go out there and swing a hammer, I would. I can’t anymore. The one thing I can do is work in a corporate environment,” he added. “And the thing is, I’ve been really training to do that for years.

“In the civilian world, it’s not life and death. You’re not working 12 hours a day 7 days a week. You’re not worried whether your next decision is going to get everybody killed when they go out there. The corporate world would actually be a lot easier.” 

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Discuss this post

I guess they don't got to take the good with the bad from the ex military,but in my day for the employers, it was all about how much drugs did you do while you were in the golden triangle.

    Reply#1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 11:46 AM EDT

    The old saying you learn in elementary school,"you can fool part of the people some of the time,but not all the people all of the time.Just doesn't ring true in the grownup world,does it?

      Reply#2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 11:56 AM EDT

      learn in elementary school,"

      go back and start over....but pay attention this time.................

      • 1 vote
      #2.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:09 PM EDT
      Reply

      This also applies to vets in graduate school. Academia can be a real snake pit if you run afoul of the wrong people. Vets have life experience and don't put up with the nasty twit garbage they can encounter in grad school. There is also corruption that extends into putting the career of some professor over human life and vets don't usually go for that.

      • 2 votes
      Reply#3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:11 PM EDT

      I disagree. There's plenty of personal politics and vendettas within the military as well, particularly for senior enlisted and higher ranks.

      • 2 votes
      #3.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:07 PM EDT
      Reply

      lol the only lifers I knew in the Army were m0r0ns -- why would any corporation hire them?

        Reply#4 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:21 PM EDT

        There's a difference between joining the Army because you can't get a job or need an education and joining the Army because you have a sense of honor and duty.

        • 6 votes
        #4.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:38 PM EDT

        Ed, these people are college graduates. Not the potato peelers you hung out with.......

        • 8 votes
        #4.2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:42 PM EDT

        @Ed,

        The "lifer" label also applies to me (20 years Air Force enlisted, 1 combat tour). Let's see, PhD in Business, own my own successful business, yeah, a total loser am I.

        • 8 votes
        #4.3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:56 PM EDT

        @ chuckzul,

        Yeah, you're such a knuckle-dragger!

        /sarc

        • 3 votes
        #4.4 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:50 PM EDT

        Ed has it occurred to you that the connecting factor might be knowing you and not their long term military service? My husband was Special Op and I promise you that job requires quite a bit of intellect as did my sons' various MOSs. Perhaps the smart ones avoided you for some unknown reason.

        • 3 votes
        #4.5 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 4:29 AM EDT

        Hey ED

        I was a "lifer" with 23 years army! And yes I have a college degree. I got out Sept 2003 with a ppl heart and it took some time to get a company to hire me. I was even told that my "Army "experience was not the experience they look for in a job candidate.

        Also My son-in-law just separated and can not find a job other than in a gun retail store at $7.75. Can you imagine having 20 years in the army, retiring as an E7 and starting at $7.75 what a great way to restart your life

        I found a great company to work for that is VET friendly, Pay isn't good or bad but they use my military expertise and are extremely vet friendly

        • 2 votes
        #4.6 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 9:16 AM EDT

        I see ole Ed got his azz booted from the military.. whats up Ed, sour grapes?

        • 1 vote
        #4.7 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 2:33 PM EDT

        Ed, I'm a 30 year lifer in the Air Force and had spent tours in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. I was also assigned in Germany, Italy, Korea and the Philippines. When I retired, I didn't even looked for a job. I got a job via networking looking for my technical and leadership experience. Sorry, I don't qualify as a MORON like you stated.......

          #4.8 - Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:10 PM EDT
          Reply

          I believe you can have PTSD in the corporate world as in some jobs it is like war everyday. The casualties are coworkers who get burned out or terminated. These soldiers should be thanked for their service, the reality is they will face the same stress just in a different way. As a sales producer my call name was Rambo and my boss was Covey leader, it was very appropriate at the time........

          • 5 votes
          Reply#5 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:32 PM EDT

          Who puts PTSD down on an application anyway? The most frustrating thing about being turned down for a job is that they don't tell you why. Who knows if it is because of veteran status or because of skill translation? Combat Arms just doesn't translate to anything administrative and lets be honest, do you really want to work in an office environment? Time to go back to the school house, where are the veteran friendly schools? I don't want to get treated badly by teachers with no experience outside their comfy empire.

          • 1 vote
          Reply#6 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:36 PM EDT

          Here's a hint, you don't have to put PTSD down on an application. No different than when I got in 1973. The assumption was with many employers you were automatically a "drug addicted, psychotic, baby-killer" because you had a recent DD 214. Fortunately they weren't the majority, but there were enough it made it tough to find a good job. With this economy I sympathize with our new vets. It's got to be a lot tougher than it was back in the day.

          • 3 votes
          #6.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:40 PM EDT

          LouK2k12:

          Vets aren't putting PTSD on applications. Some employers assume that all vets are suffering from it.

          This has been a typical interview:

          Interviewer: Oh I see that all of your experience is military...

          Candidate: Yes I just retired.

          Interviewer: Well we are looking for someone with a college degree also

          Candidate: I have two degrees in this field

          Interviewer: Oh I see, but you don't have any experience

          Candidate: Sir/Maam, I have 20 years experience in this field

          Interviewer: But military doesn't really count....

          Despite the fact that you have done the exact job they are hiring for, to include working with the exact same civilian and Government vendors that they do, and the same programs/equipment they are working with. In fact the some of the equipment/programs that civilian companies use is obsolete in the military and phased out.

          • 1 vote
          #6.2 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 10:49 AM EDT
          Reply

          Because veterans needed one more obstacle to overcome.

          • 3 votes
          Reply#7 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:36 PM EDT

          Nah, the civilian workforce is full of people with disabilities, eccentricities and personal issues. LOL you would think that veterans could only enhance that culture.

          • 2 votes
          #7.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:58 PM EDT
          Reply

          As a Marine veteran with PTSD, this is not a "new" stigma. It's been around for a long, long time. It's a double edged sword for veterans with PTSD: tell a prospective employer of your illness and risk a prejudiced response but have the coverage of the Americans With Disabilities Act if hired or say nothing about PTSD in order to get the job but have no disability protection if you have a PTSD occurrence while on the job. I've lost jobs because of PTSD as I went with the second option so I could actually find work.

          It affects more than just employment, as well. Tell someone you have cancer or a cold and people are instantly sympathetic. Tell them you have PTSD and they are calling your son's school to warn them you're about to shoot up the place.

          • 5 votes
          Reply#8 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:02 PM EDT

          Semper Fi, Mo. Hang in there!

          • 3 votes
          #8.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:41 PM EDT

          PTSD is a mental condition and most people just aren't prepared to deal with someone who has that. With some people it's mild and with others, it's frightening. And unfortunately people with PTSD have killed other people. The prospect of being around someone who has that condition does make people a little uneasy. And of course our mental health programs have gone to hell so a lot of people who have that condition can't even get any assistance when they need it. I'm sorry you have that condition but you can't blame people for feeling uneasy either. My father was in Vietnam but fortunately he didn't see combat over there so my family is very lucky that he never developed that. His best friend however did and would jump up in the middle of the night with a rifle in his hand because he thought someone was coming to do something. He was having flashbacks. I'm actually surprised he never shot anyone. I can definitely see where that would be a problem if he had flashbacks of the nature at work. Hopefully something will work out for everyone.

          • 1 vote
          #8.2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:50 PM EDT

          Unfortunately, it is true. Came back to work after Nam, bunch of kids working at the plant who had been in Nam, all of them were @!$%#ed up. One Momma's boy, had a total breakdown and was pissing his pants at work. Another kid drank like crazy and beat the @!$%# out of his wife. Another kid, soul survivor of a Track hitting a Land Mine, had back muscle spasms that would cause him to flip on his back at any given moment. Finally got to me, too, flashbacks, hitting the deck, night sweats, memory loss: if you really have PTSD for real, pretty much a lifetime deal, and you even scare yourself...

          • 1 vote
          #8.3 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 12:36 AM EDT

          Jensen

          I wake up at night lost and scared dreaming strange sh1t but at work I am in control, the only time things get bad is if I drink to much or I'm asleep.

          Life is hard anyway you look at it, I know people that never saw combat but they had a car accident and they are more freaked out than alot of vets that saw combat. I'm not a "NAM VET" But I saw combat and I'm doing good.

          • 1 vote
          #8.4 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 9:30 AM EDT

          Jensen: there is help available for PTSD. It doesn't have to be a lifelong problem. Recent research shows that of those who complete treatment, 80% do well. You want to look for a therapist who does either exposure or cognitive therapy. These have been shown to be effective in treating PTSD. This isn't hand-holding or supportive therapy. We make you recall, sometimes relive, the trauma, and work through and alter your thinking. It works. I see it regularly in my practice. I guess this is the next message we have to get out to the public: PTSD is Treatable!

            #8.5 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 2:38 PM EDT
            Reply

            I was always told that being a Veteran meant you had a BETTER chance of being hired. In fact I was taught in school that jobs were suppose to be HELD for Vets when they returned from combat or at the very least they were guaranteed employment at a comparable position.

            See what happens when you believe the propagandized crap that is taught in school!!!!

            That being said----Given we are not fighting our war----given we are fighting for ??????????---anybody know what we are fighting for??? It isn't our rights they have been taken by the UN-Patriot Act, It can't be oil because hey frack baby frack----drill baby drill-----it isn't jobs in the U. S. because nearly every big corporation has out sourced to slave labor in Asian parts of the world.

            Bring the warriors home as the heroes they are and help them start businesses ----as oppose to throwing $$$$$$ into poorly managed businesses.

            Break up the huge monopolized AG farms into small farms or dual use (home & business) parcels and go back to giving each VET who has lost the modern equivalent of 40 acres and a mule.

            • 1 vote
            Reply#9 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:02 PM EDT

            Your whole comment sounds like the set up to one of those unfathomable Soviet 5-Year Plans....

              #9.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:40 PM EDT
              Reply

              The HR execs making these decisions likely never served a day. Ditto for the executives who are "afraid of PTSD." In truth, they recognize, if even at a subconscious level, that military training gives these ladies and gentlemen a huge advantage and calls to mind their own inadequacies. If these cowards had ever put on a uniform, if even for a year, they'd see the world differently. Cheers to Citi. I'll move my accounts there. I know they'll be safe in the hands of men and women who've guarded the country.

              • 3 votes
              Reply#10 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:14 PM EDT

              It is sad that these veterans are out there defending these corporation's ability to exist in this country and they are turned down upon return, and found inferior or risky because of their service experience might cause interference with performing the job. How backwards does corporate america have to get before our politicians say its wrong and actually do something about it. These Vets should be first in line when being considered for opportunities they helped defend.

              • 1 vote
              Reply#11 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:18 PM EDT

              You have to take into account that these corporations expect "peons" to risk their lives and kill other people to protect "American business interests." They could care less if these "peons" get maimed or killed and they sure as heck don't think they owe these folks anything if they actually make it back home alive. They sure don't think they owe you a job. You carried out what they wanted and once it's done, screw you. It's about time people wake up and realize this. My dad realized this in a hurry when he was in Nam.

              • 3 votes
              #11.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:53 PM EDT
              Reply

              As a retired Marine grunt, I thank Mr. Perkins for his service. However, the same retired Marine grunt in me considers that in the war in Viet Nam, 260 WIAs and 16 KIAs would be a moderate to sharp firefight between a Marine Battalion and an NVA Regiment or two with the NVA losing 850+KIA for the same action.

              I understand that it's a different war and a different kind of war. You must also understand that I consider the loss of a single one of my Marines as significant.

              Semper Fidelis

                Reply#12 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:22 PM EDT

                Did the guy who jumped out of the dark the other night to shoot up all those people in Colorado suffer from PTSD? No, he was a coddled academic whose greatest trauma had been failure to qualify for a specific program. Almost every vet out there has learned that failure is part of life and has gone far beyond letting it bother them at all. You didn't make it? Well, you man-up and try it again.

                Semper Fi!

                • 3 votes
                Reply#13 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 1:33 PM EDT

                If it bothers you that much that other people are in graduate school get off your butt and get yourself there.

                Holmes didn't fail to qualify for anything that we know of.He could have dropped out of his doctorate program voluntarily.What kind of ESP do you have to know that Holmes had never lived through a major trauma and that he does or doesn't have PTSD?

                Your post seems to imply that having PTSD might cause somebody to carefully plan a mass killing of innocent unsuspecting people over several months and then carry it out.If that's what you're implying,forget Newsvine- you deserve to be turned in to authorities for harassing and cyberbullying people with disabilities.

                  #13.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 10:22 PM EDT
                  Reply

                  So America I hope you have learned from this. Don't let some dimwit talk you into a war cause the ennemy should be a push over. These men and women may not ever get their lives right. Mean while Duyba and dick are living just fine. By the way Willard wants to kick Irans butt with our brave soldiers. After the war, good bye sucker.

                    Reply#14 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:12 PM EDT

                    Perhaps our brave soldiers should tell him to go to hell or better yet go over there himself and tangle with those people. Perhaps we should force all these jerks in D.C. to suit up and fight these wars themselves. I bet we wouldn't get involved in another war for the next century.

                      #14.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:58 PM EDT
                      Reply

                      Sounds like a great number of people honor military service in word only.

                      • 3 votes
                      Reply#15 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:17 PM EDT

                      What's new? In1970 many of us were told it was better to not to list our Viet Nam medals on our DD214's as employers did not want Combat vets.

                        Reply#16 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:10 PM EDT

                        I remember the stigma we carried as veterans only to well upon returning from Vietnam. It was a wonderful feeling upon arriving at the airport close to my home town and at the time of my arrival late in the evening there was hardly anyone in the airport. A gift as I viewed it at the time. But now veterans carry a different burden. The All Volunteer Army concept obviously does not serve the purpose for which it was intended; A limited number of all volunteer soldiers are being constantly recycled through the combat zones with no say in the matter. They are slaves to a military life that now demands more of a man mentally than he can sustain. With the draft the burden of warefare was spread across a much larger group of eligible young men. Every year more recruits were added to the ranks. The term of service was limited for all of them that served. Yes there were casualties but fewer casualties based upon the total number of veterans who served. Now the casualties are increasingly coming from the ranks of a much smaller volunteer force; men are required to return to combat time and time again. This is an inheritantly flawed requirement that abuses those who VOLUNTEER to serve. PTSD is an unavoidable risk as a result. The system of recruitment needs to be changed. A two year military service requirement for all young men of eligible age and who have completed their education should be mandatory. The defense of freedom has a price and that price for all young men is to serve in the military for a minimum of two years as the price for living in the land of the free during their lifetimes. As for PTSD under this new recruitment system the numbers of those mentally abused would in fact drop dramatically. One tour in combat would be the maximum requirement for each veteran. Less stressful experiences in one tout translates to far less mental trauma. Get it done Congress when you can spend some time from your re election activities. It doesn't look good for those of you who are incumbents.

                        • 3 votes
                        Reply#17 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 9:25 PM EDT

                        if you had your own company. would you hire someone only because they were a vet ? or would you hire the most qualified person regardless if they served or not? i served my country and no promises were ever made to me about future employment with any company in any field, for any reason. no disrespect to any veterans intended.

                          Reply#18 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 10:06 PM EDT

                          I don't own some big corporate mega company. It is just a small family farm but when I hire people to help out I always give preference to veterans and I do not think I am alone. Part of my reason is personal. I am the wife of a Vietnam era sniper and my sons did their time in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is only part of the picture. The rest is about work ethics. Veterans understand the need for attention to detail and focus on the job at hand better than some kid who thinks flipping burgers is hard labor. I am not always saying it is the case but usually the military has installed such a high standard that returning soldiers put others to shame.

                          In the interest of honesty though I have to admit to having been burned a time or two and you are right the quality of the man / woman matters as well. There are those who choose to self medicate just as in any other group and to be honest the combination of even suspected drug use with PTSD is frightening. (I say this as someone who fought my own battle with PTSD due to a crime that almost killed me so do not think me prejudiced.) In the end, service is an important factor if my feelings towards people but it cannot be the only factor.

                          I have to say though I was disturbed about what you wrote concerning no promises being made to you. I am sure you were right and honestly I think most vets get scre*ed by the system but the truth is promises should be made. Not unconditional promises but promises none the less. A huge sacrifice of time and effort is made by a soldier and that includes the recovery process. I've watched my sons try to re-acclimate themselves to life stateside after deployment to some of the worst combat zones out there and I know it is a battle of a different sort to try to leave all that behind you. Honestly, I think it is a battle that cannot be won but those emotional scars also show us that the person has the stregnth and will to overcome. I am not saying we owe veterans jobs just because they served but we do owe it to them to judge them by the correct standard. Ask yourself this when faced with two job candidates... If the skill can be taught then which man is more valuable as a person because the learning curve for any job is usually very small compared to the time wasted with undisciplined, unrealistic employees who have no real hardship to compare life's minor mishaps to when faced with a deadline etc.

                            #18.1 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 4:55 AM EDT

                            21 Railroader

                            I applied for a job as a heavy equipment operator, My MOS was 62E Combat Eng. That company told me that they did not want "Army trained operators and hired the "Best" other experienced operator for $25. per hour, and he had ZERO experience.

                            SO hows that for hireing the most qualified

                            @PJ

                            I salute you. And I agree. I was homeless in the army for years, I took everything I owned with me and worked it seams like 24 hours a day 7 days a week to include holidays. Can the average American workforce say that? I think not

                            • 1 vote
                            #18.2 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 9:45 AM EDT
                            Reply

                            We vets are now less than 1% of the population. In the work place we are a tiny minority of the work force. Due to my position I can, and do, educate about PTSD. I have it and had a situation in the office that caused a severe flashback. What my co-workers saw, and only a handful saw me, was a shaking, crying, unable to talk, weak person. Far different from what they expected to see after the years of watching BS propaganda on TV and in the movies. One co-worker who had a brother who was a vet with PTSD, saw me understood immediately and helped me get from the office to my car.

                            I do not hide that I have PTSD, I want the hiring managers and supervisors to be educated about it. I give them information to break the ignorance or lack of knowledge barriers so they will be less hesitant in hiring vets. I understand the younger vets not wanting to expose themselves to the possibility of not being hired or being offered jobs that are not good. I will break the ground for them, as they will break ground for those behind them.

                              Reply#19 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 11:20 PM EDT

                              has the VA offered any help? like some sort of counseling .

                                #19.1 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 12:19 AM EDT
                                Reply

                                so this is how we treat our veterans; good God, what is wrong with us?

                                  Reply#20 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 12:07 PM EDT

                                  I'm a vet and I have hired vets, it isn't a grand lifestyle (pay wise) but it puts a roof over their head and grub on the table.. I have been at it for over 15 years (warehouse work), for the most part you simply cant go wrong when hiring a Vet.. In my experiences (just my opinion) Vets don't bring their problems to work like those who never served, Vets work Circle's around most civilians and just don't complain.. easy going, sense of humor and never miss work, they can problem solve and they really don't ever get stressed out like many civilians I have hired.... Just my opinion, but ill hire a vet over anyone else just about every time. no disrespect over civilians either, Ive seen many of guy who never served bust his azz as well.

                                  • 2 votes
                                  Reply#21 - Thu Aug 2, 2012 2:43 PM EDT

                                  The American people only want to buy $1.99 magnetic yellow ribbons to stick on their cars. Minimal effort and they can say they support the troops. To actually go out and help the troops? Too funny. Sorry got to go! Jersey Shore is on.

                                    Reply#22 - Fri Aug 3, 2012 8:56 AM EDT

                                    Stupid civilians. I have PTS from my garbage and meter reading routes.

                                    All that happens, is, under stress, you flash back to an even more stressful situation because that experience has physically imprinted itself in your physical memory and the brain takes to easiest path to undealt with former stresses. I agree it takes time to learn to manage this propensity, but to use it against We the People's Veterans?

                                    Now, I'm a little p.o'ed at the VA right now, because, the Federal VA refuses to recognize our legal documents, a Mortgage note and Hud-1 both proclaiming we do have a VA loan...except that it is only a VA loan in our State so we can use the VA Streamline to refinance our mortgage (the only refinace product for which we are currently eligible since our lovely Gov suspended the VA Mortgage Program in our stater...but...since our gramma died and saved the house for us, my PTS is in remission, and, I live on to bug both VA's another day), but I'm certainly not going to not hire a Veteran. My family is filled with Veterans...and I married one.

                                    I digress, but, my point is, after a time, one learns to manage one's PTS, and, I believe the Veterans should feel free to get any help they need through the VA to learn to manage it, and, then get a job. I didn't get shot at on my PTS inducing jobs, I didn't have to shoot at anyone, either, so, my PTS is manageable by myself. For a Veteran who pledged to give their life for us...For a Veteran who we allowed our military to remain funded with over 50% of our tax dollars...to not get a job because some wide hipped, never done a lick of manual labor in their life, got a well paying job straight out of college stupid HR person to deny these people jobs?

                                    I'm thinking, a few HR personnel and a few managers need to be fired and brought up on treason charges and then sent over to see exactly what we are allowing our Veterans to experience....then they can come back, all PTS'ed and I'll be happy to deny them a job because of their ignorant fears.

                                      Reply#23 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 7:01 AM EDT

                                      Never mind. VERY old post. Problem is, still there though. Has been around since post Korea. Me, I flew Tomcats for the Navy back when that meant killing MIGs or being killed. I'm still here. So are the biases against combat vets. There is a LOT of puffery @!$%# about honoring our vets but it does NOT and probably never, ever will translate into truth and the actions that this would entail.

                                      How did I finally get hired back into the workforce? First thing was saying I had never served. Then I got a new college degree. Yes, I took a cowards way out but I had to feed my children. I regret, in some ways, having done that...BUT...all three of my children joined the Navy within days of September 11th and my youngest is now a Lt. Cmdr., just like I was. Navy got Hers back.

                                        Reply#24 - Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:53 PM EST
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