| Wal-Mart Says Its Hiring 100,000 Returning Veterans In Next 5 Years
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Starting on Veteran’s Day, an American retailer says it will hire more than 100,000 returning veterans in the next five years.
Wal-Mart will offer jobs to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first year off from active duty.
The opportunities will be in stores, distribution centers and the home office.
The numbers are against veterans finding employment. Capt. Jeff Pratt was one of those returning veterans struggling to find a job.
“Finding full-time quality employment was a big thing for me,” Pratt said.
According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics, as of December 2012, the unemployment rate for civilians is 7.5 percent, while people who have served in the last decade have 10.8 percent unemployment.
That’s down from more than 12 percent unemployment for returning service members as of a year ago.
Pratt says Wal-Mart and other companies will benefit from what returning service members have to offer.
“Leadership value; there is honor, integrity in everything we do in the military,” he said.
Pratt was one of the lucky ones.
“Companies like UnitedHealth Group and others that are out there have engaged in a process that will gainfully employ returning service members,” he said.
His military job in logistics transferred nicely to UnitedHealth. Pratt said it was easy because of a military skills translator the company uses on its website.
That military skills translator is used by many other companies. The Minnesota National Guard worked numerous Minnesota-based companies such as Target, Best Buy and US Bank to help soldiers in get jobs.
And it has paid off.
When the Red Bulls returned last May, 20 percent faced unemployment. Today? Only 35 of those 2,700 soldiers do not have jobs.
Gold Star Fathers Share Story of Love, Service and Sacrifice
Posted: 2015-03-25 08:45 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - "A Gold Star family member is a person who has lost a loved one who was serving our nation in the armed forces regardless of the circumstances of the death," said Survivor Outreach Services provider Amy Garber.
Bill Smith, father of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, and Richard Cauley, father of Spc. George Cauley, two Gold Star dads, recently spoke about their sons and what it means to be a Gold Star father.
"Everyone's greatest fear is the thought they'll say something awkward [to a Gold Star family member]. We want to talk about our loved ones. The greatest sadness would be that no one would remember," said Bill Smith.
334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Celebrates Women's History
Posted: 2015-03-22 01:39 PM
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Soldiers of Headquarters, Headquarters Company of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion took time away from training to celebrate Women's History Month with a look at the history of women in the Minnesota National Guard from someone who lived it.
Invited to speak at the event was Geraldine Longfellow. In 2008, Longfellow retired from the Minnesota Army National Guard at the rank of lieutenant colonel. She has since been brevetted to the rank of colonel.
Camp Ripley Guardsman Recognized as "Big Brother of the Year"
Posted: 2015-03-18 03:40 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - For many Service members of the Minnesota National Guard, dedication to the community is as high of a priority as any other mission.
"We feel it is our duty, in our own communities, to ensure that our friends and neighbors are taken care of," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Ross.
Ross, who has been an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota for over three years, as well as a member of the Minnesota National Guard, was recently recognized by the agency as "Big Brother of the Year" for the State of Minnesota.
Young Soldiers, Big Plans
Posted: 2015-03-17 01:26 PM
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Soldiers join the National Guard for many different reasons. Some are seeking the adventure and experience, some are looking for career opportunities and school benefits, and some soldiers simply want to serve their country.
At some point in a soldier's enlistment, he or she will be asked, are you going to re-enlist? Enlistment contracts for the National Guard often are an eight-year obligation with four or six years of active drilling service. Some soldiers leave the Army, and others decide to take the opportunities they've been offered and make a career.
Sgt. Brittany Grams, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade medical noncommissioned officer, and Spc. Freddie Williams IV, HHC 34th CAB human resource specialist, are making careers, and the transition from enlisted soldier to officer.