How Can We Help Ex-Military Transition To Civilian Life?

If there’s anything that people can agree on in this increasingly fractured nation, it’s the need to support veterans when they return from combat. What that support looks like is a different story — as each veteran has diverse needs and our own wide-ranging feelings about the US military industrial complex cloud the discussion. Still, there’s a certain baseline that will help veterans chart a path forward and on that baseline is employment. It’s our duty to make sure that veterans — who have essentially dropped out of the workforce to serve the nation — are afforded opportunities when they return.

“They are trained on leadership from the very first day,” says Sara McNamara, the program manager for the Camp Pendleton division of Hiring our Heroes, a nationwide veteran employment initiative. “It becomes second nature, they don’t realize they have it.”

The program, part of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, seeks to draw out these qualities and match veterans up with employers. They also run mentorship and training programs at military bases.

“I feel strongly about assisting fellow Marines transitioning into civilian life,” says Logan Halliwell, program manager for Simplilearn — a employment training provider that works with Hiring Our Heroes. “Because I feel the time and energy our country has invested is recovered when we positively integrate them into the fabric of our society.”

That’s a tough point to argue against, regardless of your stance on how our nation uses its military.