The statistics are sobering.


According to Labor Department statistics, roughly 27 percent of veterans, ages 20-24, are currently unemployed. 

“What’s happening right now is nothing short of a national crisis,” said VFW National Legislative Director Ray Kelley. “That’s why we are putting VFW’s full weight of support behind the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011.”

This landmark bi-partisan bill would extend Chapter 31 (VocRehab) benefits for disabled veterans who have exhausted unemployment benefits, streamline the federal hiring process for separating service members and make Transition Assistance Program attendance mandatory.

In mid-June, Kelley joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other congressional and military/VSO leaders. He called on Pelosi and her colleagues in the House Minority to push for the passage of the Hiring Heroes Act, H.R. 1941, which was recently introduced in the House by Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) as a companion bill to S. 941, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

“Our young military men and women are highly trained, and highly skilled—but our government had to pay nearly one billion dollars last year in unemployment benefits to these very same skilled workers,” said Kelley. “It’s time we demonstrated our commitment to our nation’s heroes by passing [the Hiring Heroes Act], which will bolster support to our wounded warriors and streamline the hiring processes for our newest veterans. In a time when we’re talking about fiscal responsibility in government, we can demonstrate that responsibility by ensuring our veterans have viable careers when they leave military service.”

“For too long in this country we have invested billions of dollars in training our young men and women with new skills to protect our nation—only to ignore them once they left the military. For too long, at the end of their career we patted our veterans on the back for their service and then pushed them out into the job market alone. And where has that left us today?” said Sen. Murray.

“Our nation’s veterans are disciplined, team players who have proven they can deliver under pressure like no one else. It’s time for us to deliver for them,” she insisted.

Tell your representatives in Congress to support the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011.



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