A veteran in Cincinnati recently wrote to me that, “it is good to know we are not forgotten.”
There are more than 930,000 veterans in Ohio who have made tremendous sacrifices for our country. Members of the Armed Forces leave their families, endure great stress, and put their lives on the line for us. And, they do not ask for much in return – just the benefits they have earned and deserve.
Yet, too many young veterans are leaving the service without job prospects. With the unemployment rate for young veterans at a staggering 27 percent, we have a responsibility to connect skilled veterans with good-paying jobs.
That is why legislation I recently introduced, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Officers Association of America, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
This first-of-its-kind jobs bill aims to reduce unemployment among veterans returning to civilian life by ensuring that every service member attends a transition assistance program, to help them find employment.
Our veterans just want a fair shot at getting a good job, a quality education, and an opportunity to live out the American dream.
Veterans’ service to our country doesn’t stop when they leave the military and our government’s commitment to them shouldn’t end when they return home as valuable members of our society.
We can honor their service by providing job skills training to help connect America’s veterans with stable, good-paying jobs. At Youngstown State University, I recently met with a student-veteran – Sergeant Paul Hageman – who discussed with me the need to improve and strengthen career pathways for returning service members.
Our service members and veterans deserve our nation’s full support. And at the very least, they deserve elected officials who are willing to put partisan battles aside to ensure that returning veterans have jobs to ease their transition into civilian life.
My constituent services office – which you can reach by calling 216-522-7272 – stands prepared to help Ohio veterans receive the support they need.
And as a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I’m also committed to expanding services and outreach for Ohio veterans, improving veterans’ access to health care, and ensuring veterans have the tools they need to transition to civilian life and find employment.
Let’s not just show our gratitude to our nation’s veterans on the 11th day of the 11th month. We need to honor our veterans’ every day. One great way to do so is to ensure they have access to good paying jobs, affordable housing, and the benefits they’ve earned.
We should show America’s veterans that they have not been forgotten.
Sherrod Brown is a United States Senator from Ohio.