The Veterans Plight

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In 1997, I was out of the military. In the Army, you are taught specific skills and standards. I was taught to operate weapons and equipment; in order to effectively kill other human beings. Active service members learned all of these skills using what is know as institutional training and behavior. In order to prepare veterans to return to society there given a short training program before they leave the military and resume “life”. I found this program very disappointing because it insinuated that the years spent in war zones was not life or living. Yet I recall almost all of those memories everyday.

The program is operated by counselors, who are all veterans. We are taught about job search skills, employment, resume writing, health assistance, housing assistance, and educational opportunities. The military’s transition program isn’t very effective because it’s so brief most veterans complete the training just weeks before they are released from the military. The majority of veterans are distracted, depressed and not very concerned about working.

Those veterans who are searching for employment, are usually unprepared in many ways. Military work is a very strict and highly disciplined environment with low salaries and strict authority. Being used to this type of work environment, most veterans lack certain required job skills. It’s common for veterans to have impractical expectations of how their military skills will be used in the job market. Most veterans are highly motivated hard workers. But due to the standards of civilian corporate structure, most veterans have to start in low-wage entry-level positions.

Veterans have very strong characteristics of, reliability, dutifulness, strictness, perseverance, and respecting authority. Though regarded as good life skills they can also be barriers to employment and make it difficult to adjust to civilian workplaces. Especially in work environments where most employees are young, carefree and irresponsible. They perceive the veterans’ behaviors to be strange and old fashioned. At the same time, most veterans reject civilians’ lateness, laziness and lack of respect for authority and see their behavior as ungrateful and disrespectful. I have often told employees that I have worked with. “These freedoms you enjoy are due to people like me”. When I talk to other veterans about this, most feel rejected by civilian employees and employers. Surveys have shown that over a third of post-Desert Shield veterans said they believe possible employers believe that veterans are threatening or “crazy”.

Finally, most veterans are in need of education. Like myself, most veterans entered military service at 18 years old. Most only have a High School Diploma or GED. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 61% of case managers report that most veterans are in need of educational assistance, and employment assistance. Lack of these two factors is the main cause of veteran incarceration, drug and alcohol abuse, and homelessness. Although as a veteran who has an opportunity to gain an education, I find it physical and mental exhausting at my age to learn subjects like English and Math. But like all good soldiers the objective is known, the tactics are planned and the execution of the mission is the only goal.


  1. https://www.va.gov https://www.benefits.va.gov https://www.samhsa.gov

Cite this paper

The Veterans Plight. (2021, Feb 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-veterans-plight/

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