/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Returning vets need jobs, and jobs don't come easily

By Mark Fischenich The Free Press
August 25, 2011
 
MANKATO — Americans have been appreciative of veterans of recent wars — offering bumper stickers of support, care packages to troops in war zones, better benefits through their state and federal governments, and warm welcome-home events for returning soldiers

But, according to a group of nine veterans advocates in Mankato Thursday, one thing isn’t being offered often enough to many young veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: A job when they come home

Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Whitehead, a regional coordinator for the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, said it hasn’t been easy translating general public support for veterans into job opportunities

“The employers are not opening the door as easily as we’d hope,” Whitehead told Congressman Tim Walz during a meeting on the issue at the Wagon Wheel Cafe

Unemployment statistics tell a complicated story Overall, including veterans of previous wars, the unemployment rate for veterans is lower than for the general population A congressional study completed in May showed an 85 percent unemployment rate for the nonveteran population and a 77 percent jobless rate for all veterans

For recent veterans, the numbers change Post 9/11 veterans were facing a 109 percent unemployment rate

The really rough unemployment numbers come when looking at Iraq and Afghanistan veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 — nearly 20 percent, according to a June Senate report And Minnesota had the third highest jobless rate in the nation for that category of veterans — just under 23 percent

Whitehead said some of that number reflects recently discharged veterans collecting unemployment as they prepare to go to college or other post-secondary training Still, advocates say joblessness is a serious problem for too many young veterans and needs to be addressed in better ways in the weeks after they’re discharged

The seminars soldiers are required to attend in the final days before they’re discharged have job-seeking information — but they don’t get the job done, according to Whitehead A big reason why is that the employment tips are part of a deluge of information soldiers receive at a time when the only thought in their mind is getting out and seeing family for the first time in months

With tens of thousands of veterans scheduled to return from Iraq and Afghanistan by January, the unemployment problem is expected to grow

Walz is one of more than 100 congressional co-sponsors of legislation that would provide tax credits to employers who hire unemployed veterans It also requires the Department of Defense to provide veterans with documents explaining the credit that they can attach to resumes

Walz said that he’s confident many business owners are ready to hire veterans, although they may require a reminder of the need One local business is already doing it — North Mankato-based Angie’s Kettle Corn

A Mankato Democrat, Walz said he noticed a beautiful 1967 Jeep for sale near downtown and saw a young man near it The man was a recently discharged Marine who couldn’t find a job, was running out of cash and decided he had to sell the Jeep

“He said, ‘I’ll do anything I’ll be a janitor, whatever,’” Walz said “ I called (Angie’s co-owner) Dan Bastian He said, ‘Send him up’”

More employers need to recognize the skills that the Iraq and Afghanistan vets have to offer, said Walz, an Army National Guard veteran And he said government needs to help erase roadblocks, mentioning soldiers who have driven trucks for years in combat zones or saved lives serving as medics but aren’t considered qualified to operate trucks or work as EMTs when they come home

Vietnam veteran Tom McLaughlin of Mankato said it’s also wrong that veterans don’t get a preference in applying for jobs with the state of Minnesota McLaughlin said he’s pushing legislation to return the veterans preference system for state jobs that was eliminated decades ago

He has a senator lined up to sponsor it but needs a House member Someone at the table suggested Rep Terry Morrow, a St Peter Democrat Walz suggested a two-sponsor solution

“Get Terry Morrow and Tony Cornish to sponsor it together,” Walz said, referring to the Good Thunder Republican and former Army tank commander

That played into one of Walz’s consistent themes — that assisting veterans is one place where bipartisanship is still possible in an increasingly fractured political environment

“How encouraging would it be to see Democrats and Republicans standing together?” he said

Article source
http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x890679900/Returning-vets-need-jobs-and-jobs-dont-come-easily



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.



Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Article archive
 
top