Struggling Young Veterans

  • I got some stocking news yesterday that my cousin, who was a loader in a M1A1 Abram, took his own life. He had messed his back up in the ‘Sand Box’ in 04 and had been on pain killers after several back operations.

    If any of you know some veterans take some time to spend with them.

  • wow……sorry man

  • sorry for your loss, I wish all wars could be settled with dice.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    A good friend of mine is struggling right now too.

    It’s really difficult for these guys, when they go from being trusted with Billion dollar equipment, to incapable of getting a job even at circle K.  All you can do is stick with em when you can, treat them with respect, and help them in their search for new oppurtunity.

    My condolences…

  • I am a Veteran who recently got out of the military.  I also have constant pain from my injuries…which the military decided that a severance was good enough with assurances that the Vet association would take care of me (yeah right, it takes months if not years for anything to even get accomplished or even go through…though they have had my medical records for a while now, don’t know what they can do about that though.

    I browse these boards as a guest, but seeing this topic made me decide to register to respond to it.

    It is tough for Vets right now.  I have no idea what I’m doing wrong.  I have a college degree with several years of management (military leadership, but you can’t get much higher in important decisions as life and death when people are trying to kill you and those under you) and I’m seeing jobs I apply for going to high school graduates who are barely out of school!

    I know I’m more qualified than that, and I have NO idea what people have against my qualifications.  Sometimes I wonder if they are really pro-vets or if in reality many companies write you off the second they see that you are a Vet or that you have a DD214 with the honorable discharge on it?

    So, I can sympathize with any Vets that are having difficulties out there these days.

  • The military has one way of doing things.  Most of the rest of the world has quite another way.  Best advice, network with other vets.

    Stuff to remember when getting job -

    1.  You need to make prospective employers think they want you.
    2.  Your employer doesn’t need to know everything about you.
    3.  Keep a positive mentality, and keep plugging away.
    4.  Network.  It might feel weird, but that’s how most people get their jobs.  Yeah yeah illegal nepotism favoritism blah blah whatever.

    So yeah.  Let’s say you’re a corporal.  Or even a sergeant.  I’m an employer.  You were a sergeant for eight years blah blah whatever.  I produce monkey bars.  What the hell does being a sergeant have to do with monkey bars?  Nothing.

    That is to say, see point 1).  Your resume can be whatever, experience blah blah.  But if you don’t put your experience on your resume in such a way that your employer thinks your experience applies to the job, it’s like it’s not even fing there.  Usually your employer will not have any understanding about how your past experience applies to the job you’re applying for, so you need to make clear to your employer how it DOES apply.  But you can’t spend fifteen minutes explaining your experiences and s.  Your employer is not going to want to listen to your life story, even a short version.  Again, see point 1).  You gotta make them think they want you.  You.  Make them.  Think.  They want you.  Do you think your boss wants to listen to your life story?  No.  Maybe you want your boss to listen to your life story, or at least some long and detailed explanation of how you would be good for the company, but that isn’t what your boss wants.  Remember.  It’s what your BOSS wants that is important.  BOSS BOSS BOSS.
    How about point 2).  Yeah, I’m not gonna say you gotta lie, and maybe your employer DOES have to know everything about you under certain legal circumstances.  But if you are in constant pain, g* sure saying so is like you’re putting a gigantic fing sign up saying "do not fing hire me".  Unless there’s some legal reason for you to disclose that information, you don’t even hint at it.  Why would anyone hire someone that might have to miss days of work?  Maybe you would have to be replaced; at the least you could disrupt the work schedule.  Or maybe you don’t really hurt at all, maybe you’re a malingerer.  Whatever, same mentality.  See 1).  Don’t even bother thinking about trying to prove discrimination or whatever.  Fact is, that’s almost impossible to prove, unless you run into someone that’s incredibly stupid that dumps evidence into your lap.

    Point 3).  If you are negative, you’re going to make your employers feel negative plus you will feel like crap.  Be as positive as you can, and keep plugging away.  Eventually you will get somewhere.  Walking 50 miles is a pain in the a**, but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, even if you’re dumb and slow and maybe even get a little lost on the way, you WILL eventually get there.

    Point 4).  It isn’t cool to say you got your job from your uncle’s friend or whatever.  You want to be such a Stallion that of course you got hired on your merits.  But let’s face it.  You might feel like a Stallion, you might look like a Stallion, but you’re just not Stallion enough in this time, in this place, or you would already have a job.  So suck it up.

    It might be illegal for people to have discriminatory hiring or whatever practices, but really, LOADS of people do it, even if they’re not going to admit to it in court.  Like, look at Chelsea Clinton.  She keeps saying it’s none of anyone’s business about her family (ex-president Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) , but how is she a correspondent for NBC?  It sure as hell isn’t because of her journalistic credentials.  Then there are the loads of people I personally know that do the same (but you can’t prove anything in court of course).

    If they can do it, you can do it too!  Smear yourself with questionable morality, it’s like jungle camo!

    One more time, remember it’s about what your boss wants.  You gotta sell yourself.  If you think you’re any better than a hooker, probably you’re setting your morals too high for now.  You gotta be one shameless sumb* is what I’m saying here.  It’s all about what your boss wants.  Not about what you want, what you think, whatever, that’s all a bunch of crap.  It’s about what your boss wants, what your boss thinks.  Your boss thinks Obama is the devil?  YOU think Obama is the devil.  Your boss thinks Obama farts rainbows?  YOU think Obama farts rainbows.  Boss boss boss.  Repeat that to yourself like fifty times a day.

  • Being a veteran myself, there is a certain kinship we feel with all veterans even though we do not know them. There is a lot of sacrifice that the civilian world just does not comprehend that we make. I am sad to hear about your loss AB and you have my deepest sympathies.

    Hal, good luck with the VA…they are a joke to me.

    Amen Gargantua…amen.

    And yes, I do get choked up at the National Anthem and pissed off at those who show no respect while it is playing and Gibbs slap my kids in the back of the head of the are goofing off during it!

  • I don’t like fighting, although it intrigues me (why would I come here, right?), and think we owe it to the military to use them responsibly.  I also think that the same healthcare members of Congress get should be afforded to veterans (or those currently enlisted).  But then again, I think kids really should too, and the elderly, and maybe those not fortunate to have ever been blessed with good health.  At that point, it should just be universal, even though I understand the debate.

    So the least I can do is buy you a beer if the opportunity arises.

  • BunniesPB…not really helping there.  You are assuming veterans are idiots, we aren’t.  When we tell someone we saved the company (or organization, however you want to put it) 300 million dollars and were over a billion dollar program…and they’re whole budget is a little over a couple million…as well as us having college degrees and managing skills of people in units ranging from 5 to 200…and we’re applying to jobs that fit that description of managing people and making money as well as handling budgets of several hundred thousand…

    The best they usually would say would be…let’s hire that high school kid who just got out???

    I’m finding it applies to Government jobs as well as civilian.  I’m realizing that there’s a reason why there’s 30% unemployment amongst young military whereas the population in the same age range that hasn’t been military is about half that (slightly less).  For some reason people seem to be pretty anti-military in their hiring practices.

    Most of the time they don’t even KNOW about my disabilities or pain.


    My condolences.  That is truly sad when things like that occur.  I know how it can be to have constant pain and be on pain killers.  It stinks.  Years ago I mentioned that if a certain procedure didn’t actually cure it, I’d go out and drink myself literally to death or something similar because living in that much pain day to day kills any happiness in life.  I didn’t do it, but I can relate to the hopelessness one can feel.  The VA supposedly has counselors that are there…but I don’t what they actually really can do.  I think they do nothing except to try to tell you to cheer up…

    Afterall…we only have a lifetime of pain to look forward to…

    I’m no where close to even thinking about taking my own life, but I can relate to how your cousin may have felt and the ensuing hopelessness that comes with it.

  • '12

    I wonder if stupid blind adherence to general hiring policies has much of an effect here.  I’ve done some hiring over the years and followed the advice of predecessors, once of the general ‘red flags’ is a break in employment of 6 months.  NEVER let this happen in a resume.  If you have to, get a buddy to cover for this period of time, create an imaginary position you filled for this period of time and he was your ‘boss’.

    It seems utterly stupid to discriminate against vets but of course just because I think its stupid and wouldn’t happen, doesn’t mean it doesn’t.  I guess the only way to know for sure is to do statistical analysis on vets, have them create resumes that omit their military service but include as much of the transferable skills as one can and determine if statistical anomalies occur.

  • My wife has a job at the VA medical Center.

    She sees a lot more veterans struggling since 2007.

    The housing crash started 2006.

    The VA facility had a hiring freeze since late 2008, and started laying off older workers 2011 to meet budget cuts.

    I recall a Sun Tzu maxim that broke / bankrupt kings cannot long sustain their army in the field.

  • Well, I didn’t expect that my first post on this site would be in a topic like this, but after much forum browsing, I came across this topic. I am a veteran, and I understand the troubles we face. I am currently seeking employment, and I am having trouble finding a job for various reasons. I am a full-time student during the normal school-year, and I pretty much live off the BAH (basic allowance for housing) granted to me by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. That only applies during the school year, so I have to work over the summer. I could work while school is in session, but I take 18-21 semester hours every semester. This means that, if I get a job, my studies are significantly impacted in a negative way. It’s hard to find a job when the employer knows that you will be leaving in a few months. While I understand the motivations behind telling half-truths or even outright lies to make one’s self seem like a better candidate, I can’t bring myself to compromise my integrity.

    My last post in the military had me fulfilling a billet designated for a Master Sergeant as a Corporal, later as a Sergeant. For those of you that don’t know how the enlisted rank structure works or its nuances, this put me in a position that, typically, I should never have even been considered for, even on a temporary basis. I was in charge of a $6 million urban warfare training facility, and I was the first military person on-deck directly with the project. My first day “at the office” occurred while construction contractors were still on-site, finishing the facility.

    My time in the service of this country gave me many skills that are applicable in the civilian world. I consider myself a pretty good candidate for any job, regardless of the field. I have little doubt that, once I complete my education, I will find a job. Speaking as a veteran, I have all the confidence in the world in my abilities. That confidence was instilled in me by the military.

    There are some aspects of the civilian world that I know are counter-intuitive to veterans. I struggled to find work after I was discharged, and I figured out some of the issues that were hindering my success. I consider myself a pretty good writer, but I quickly found out that my resume was marginally decent, at best. There is a definite technique to writing a resume, and I will gladly look over anyone’s resume for them to offer critical advice. This is especially true for veterans. There is often a severe need for translation when it comes to military experience. It may seem like you are using “civvy” language, but often times, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Most of all, I keep my chin up. I think the one thing I learned the most from my service is that, if you treat every situation like it is combat, you will be successful. When failure means death, success is the only option. That is one of the implied points of writings like The Art of War and The Book of Five Rings.

    Keep your chin up, stay motivated, and square yourself away. Seeking out support from other veterans, or even just friends, family, and others in general, is a good thing. It is not weakness to admit that you need help. We do not have to fight this battle alone.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    if you treat every situation like it is combat, you will be successful. When failure means death, success is the only option

    That’s pracitcally word for word what I pm’d Halshaw a few weeks ago! You’re damn right, and couldn’t be closer to the truth!

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