Category Archives: Statistics

69% of Veterans say finding a job is their greatest challenge

-Article from Yahoo Finance: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/veterans-cite-finding-job-greatest-150000646.html

”  With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, new research shows more than two thirds (69%) of Veterans reported “finding a job” as the greatest challenge in transitioning to civilian life. The Veterans’ Employment Challenges study of 1,845 Post-9/11 and Gulf War-era II Veterans also showed that 64 percent of Veterans experienced a difficult transition to civilian life. Conducted by Prudential Financial, Inc. [NYSE:PRU], with the support of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the survey highlights the unique challenges Veterans are facing when transitioning to civilian life and the greatest challenge for many, finding a job.

“With tens of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans returning from service, the good news is that the nation is more focused than ever on helping Veterans transition back into civilian careers,” said Raymond Weeks, vice president, Veterans Initiatives at Prudential Financial. “But with employment among Veterans significantly higher than the population overall, particularly those under 30, the need to help get Veterans on career paths has never been greater.”

The survey revealed close to half of Veterans did not feel ready to transition largely due to employment and health challenges, but also the need to take time to decompress after service and “figure out what’s next.” Along with the difficulty of finding a job in the current economy, 60 percent of Veterans reported that their most significant challenge is explaining how their military experience translates to skills of interest to a civilian employer. Veterans also pointed to the challenge of competing with candidates who have been in the workforce longer (46%) as well as a lack of education for specific roles (43%).

Veterans are loyal, disciplined and resilient leaders given the challenges they’ve faced at war and now at home,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Founder and Executive Director. “These qualities uniquely define the New Greatest Generation—and they are values that any employer would want in a new employee. As thousands transition home, what these men and women need most are opportunities to deploy their proven skills and leadership in the civilian workforce on the home front.”

While the readiness to transition to civilian life increases with age and education, Veterans facing physical or mental health challenges are twice as likely to say they were not ready to transition (53% vs. 28% respectively). Recognizing the need and value of education, close to half who said they didn’t feel ready to transition believe they need more education or technical training.

Despite the difficulty they report in their transition into civilian roles, 90 percent of Veterans looking for a job believe they have the skills needed to land their ideal job. They point to problem solving, leadership, ethics and time management and, although less frequently, specific skills such as information technology or health care that can be applied to civilian roles. Although the majority (71%) feel their military service is respected by employers, fewer believe their skills and training are appreciated (56%). Moreover, three in five are concerned about translating their skills to a business environment (58%) and one in two worry that non-Veteran managers do not understand military culture (48%).

“Among the challenges this research confirms for employers and Veterans is the need to bridge the perception gap between the skills Veterans offer and what employers are looking for,” added Weeks. “Veterans are looking for support in the form of educational and training programs that help them transition into civilian careers above and beyond what they currently receive. Companies that invest in these programs and that provide other support services that meet Veterans’ needs are most likely to attract and benefit from the skills, experience, values and leadership Veterans offer.”

The survey polled 2,453 Veterans and separating service members in an online survey from December 12, 2011 to January 23, 2012. Click here to download the survey or IAVA’s recommendations based on the survey.  “

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PTSD Awareness Day

Today is PTSD Awareness Day and we at Still Serving Veterans think that it is crucial to spread the knowledge about PTSD, it’s symptoms, and how to get help.

First off, what is PTSD? 

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also known as shell shock or combat stress. PTSD occurs after a traumatic event and as we all know war exposes our soldiers to trauma such as being shot at, seeing a friend being shot at, and witnessing death. Stress-related reactions usually occur after such experiences but if the stress does not go away and affects your life it is likely that you have PTSD. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), PTSD affects 11-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans, 10% of Gulf War Veterans, and a staggering 30% of Vietnam Veterans.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

You may want to consider that you may have PTSD if your stress after a traumatic experience last longer than month, cause distress in your life, and disrupts your personal life. As the VA notes, there are four types of PTSD symptoms:

  1. Reliving the event
    • nightmares
    • flashbacks: feeling like you are living the event again
    • sights, noises, or smells trigger a flashback
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event, even avoiding talking or thinking about it
    • avoiding crowds
    • avoiding movies on the subject
    • trying to keep very busy to keep from having to talk or think about the event.
  3. Feeling numb and the inability to express feelings
    • lacking positive feelings toward others and staying away from relationships
    • disinterest in activities you used to enjoy
    • difficulty facing your emotions
  4. Feeling jittery or constantly alert
    • difficulty sleeping
    • trouble concentrating
    • easily startled

How do you treat PTSD?

If you feel that you or someone you know has PTSD you should seek a counselor. There are many resources that can help you and there is no need to succumb to this disease. Places like Still Serving Veterans can help and counsel you through this part of your life. There are also many different types of treatment that have proven successful. Below are a few links that could help you figure out what to do and where to go.

Still Serving Veterans:

http://www.stillservingveterans.org/home0.aspx

(or call to make an appointment 256-883-7035)

Information on treatments:

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/treatment-ptsd.asp

Places you can go:

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/where-to-get-help.asp

Read about people who deal with PTSD:

http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/3607/breaking-down-stigmas-on-ptsd-awareness-day/

http://maketheconnection.net/stories-of-connection?gclid=COiBovDm77ACFYZe7AodGVxOxQ

For more web resources:

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/web-resources/web-resources.asp

Acknowledging the possibility that you or someone you know has PTSD could save lives and this is another reason that we at SSV encourage learning and telling others about the disorder. After our Hell and Back Again screening we had a attendee come to the realization that two people they know have PTSD and one of them had committed suicide. Luckily they came to us to seek help for the other Veteran and he is now on his way to recovery – just another reason PTSD is a serious issue and should be brought to the forefront of everyone’s mind.

We are here to help.