Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It is Veterans Day when we look carefully at the state of affairs that our bravest of men and women are doing lately. Thankfully the sick cycle of reoccurring tours of duty from the Bush days are over for the weary warriors. For a while there our soldiers felt more at home with an Afghan family than with anyone here. Four years of tours of duty can do that to you mentally. It is not like the days after World War II where your girl waited for you to return and you stayed married for life. Relationships change quickly these days even if you didn’t go off to war.

There was the GI Bill that gave returning soldiers then a job, housing breaks, mortgages for Veterans and money. These days we can only hope that Veterans can not go homeless and can somehow find a career or job. 14 years of continuous war changes a soldier’s life. We have to celebrate new lives for these people and offer them some of our corporate success that barreled on while these fighters were loosing their minds and limbs fighting for our freedom and reminding anyone from the Middle East to never ever try to putt another 911 disaster on our soil.  Obama has taken the stock market to highs never seen before in American history. Show these Veterans the money already.  Thank goodness not a single event recently stopped our prosperity.

At least there is one CEO who agrees with me that Veterans should be honored with jobs. Starbucks  CEO Howard Schultz said Americans need to honor Veterans and hire them. Sadly he is in charge of a company who hires most people to simply pour coffee. Imagine the patience a seasoned tough Veteran needs to have to put up with the spoiled brats who buy a 7 buck coffee at Starbucks. I didn’t go to war and I don’t have the patience to deal with a Starbucks customer.
Schultz, a force behind an all-star Concert For Valor on the National Mall today marking Veterans Day, said service in Iraq and Afghanistan has become a hurdle rather than an asset for many veterans seeking civilian employment. It is one reason the jobless rate for post 911 veterans is higher than that among those who have not served in the military.  Years ago It was an honor to be a Veteran and a honor to have a Veteran working for you.

Mr. Schultz said, “ The irony there is that there is a stigma attached to many of them about either PTS [post-traumatic stress] or brain trauma or things of that nature when in fact I can personally demonstrate through the hiring of people at Starbucks who have been veterans that they have done extraordinary things.” Employers are skeptical and veterans often have little experience with such basic job-seeking skills as writing a job resume. Many veterans signed up for the military while in high school not realizing how many years they could serve.

To help, Starbucks has committed to hire 10,000 veterans over the next five years and employs a recruiter who is also a veteran and “understands the anxiety and who can bridge the gap”. Schultz said. In addition, the company has established a network of workers who are veterans to act as mentors. The company has hired more than 1,000 veterans already.  Schultz has co-authored a book called, For Love Of Country, What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Service published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Tonight’s Concert will feature Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Rihanna,  Eminem, and others.  The Concert will air for free on HBO at 7 P.M.

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