Our troops deserve all the credit they receive and more for selflessly fighting for our country. So why are so many Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers coming home to unemployment? Although young veterans are trained and have the ability to learn quickly and operate on a team, they are unable to find jobs. This is a sticky situation for veterans and us. If highly trained veterans are unable to get jobs, than this means bad news for the state of our economy.
Luckily, unemployment among veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan war fell from 15.2 percent to 9.1 percent over the last year. The overall rate for veterans fell from 9.9 percent to 7.5 percent over the same time. Despite this welcomed drop in unemployment rates, an estimated 1 out of every 5 guardsmen in the National Guard or Reserves is unemployed. It gets even worse for the 18 to 24 year old age group, which has the highest unemployment rate among veterans.
President Barak Obama is not taking this serious situation lightly. To cut veteran unemployment, Obama is purposing a new conservation program that will get veterans off the couch, and on work sites where they will rebuild levees, roads and trails on public lands. He will also give more grant money to programs that allow communities to hire policemen and firefighters. The administration will propose spending $1 billion over five years that will be used to put about 20,000 veterans to work. With all of these proposals, our troops and economy seem to be moving in the right direction.