In Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut wrote: “Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.”
And then I saw the young man who appeared to be in his early 20s kneeling on the sidewalk, head down, holding his hand written sign:
“Iraq Veteran – Homeless – Desperate – Out of work”
Never mind that he and I were on Pennsylvania Avenue, the same street on which the White House stands a few blocks away. His posture, oddly stooped, communicated humiliation, moments before I read his sign.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economics News Release of March 20, 2014: “The unemployment rate for male Gulf War-era II veterans (8.8 percent) was higher than the rate for male nonveterans (7.5 percent) in 2013. The unemployment rates differed by age. Male Gulf War-era II veterans age 18 to 24 had a higher unemployment rate than male nonveterans of the same age group (24.3 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively). For those age 25 to 34, male veterans also had a higher rate than male nonveterans (9.2 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively). For men 35 and older, unemployment rates were little different for Gulf War-era II veterans and nonveterans.”
The statistics highlight the disproportionately desperate plight of the younger vets who went directly into the volunteer military service, who need a 3m lawsuit lawyers , retraining, a break!
I am told it is a complex problem, like the challenge of homeland security before a head of Homeland Security was named with the authority to cut through the red tape and solve the problems, although for cases as a personal injury, the use of a specialized lawyer is the best option for this.
We need a Head of Post-Military Security, someone who is dauntless in behalf of the young vet with PTSD who lacks a permanent job or a friendly connection to an employer who is willing to invest in a country that tags and tracks returning vets until they are safe and secure.
Can’t we figure this out as a nation, or state-by-state?!! Safe and secure is what these vets fought for us to be. Really!