With the United States withdrawing 41,000 troops from Iraq in December, their eventual release from service brings its own challenges. Top of them is finding a job, if they don’t have one to come home to. With the nation celebrating Veterans Day today, the Senate showed some rare bipartisanship Thursday to support the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. The House should pass the bill next week when it returns from recess. Although Democrats and Republicans are still bickering over President Obama’s jobs bill, at least senators agreed to pass this small sliver of it.
The legislation gives employers tax credits for hiring out-of-work veterans, expands training and education opportunities, and requires all outgoing service members to be trained in résumé writing and get career counseling.
The unemployment rate for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is 12 percent nationally and growing, unfortunately, compared with the overall national rate of 9 percent. In the Finger Lakes region, about 3,000 veterans aren’t working.