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Archived: EDITORIAL: County Needs to Plan for Returning Vets

Today, Veterans’ Day, is a good day for all of us to begin to plan for the re-introduction of returning armed services personnel into society.

One of the biggest problems the county will face is how to find employment for veterans returning to civilian life after they finish their tours of duty in Iran and Afghanistan.

With the national unemployment rate above 9 percent, and even higher in some western states like California where it is over 12 percent, we have to wonder and be concerned about how the country will be able to provide employment over the next couple of years to the thousands of returning veterans.

One way would be to allow all military personnel in good standing and health to remain in military service until our employment rate loosens up some more.

Furloughing armed service personnel and downsizing our armed services can wait for a year or two instead of as soon as our foreign obligations in Afghanistan and Iran end.

By taking this course of action, we will avoid adding more people to our already burdened unemployment insurance rolls, and keep our returning men and women from having to deal with the stress of returning to an uncertain future here at home.

The unemployment insurance funds in many states are now in debt to the tune of billions of dollars to the federal government. Some states are considering raising the employer portion of the cost to offset their growing debt. Adding more people to the rolls may lead to employers laying off more workers to keep from adding to their unemployment insurance debt.

Our returning men and women have already made sacrifices for our nation, they don’t deserve to be thrown into the same desperate situation many unemployed Americans are already in. Nor do they need to return to the prospect of being homeless as have past generations of Vets, many who still live on the streets today.