Friday, July 9, 2010

Are veterans being discriminated over PTSD or just because they are veterans?

This would be easy to consider as a factor behind the high rate of unemployment with combat veterans, if there has not been a long history of it. When Vietnam veterans came home, work was hard to come by. Employers hired non-veterans over Vietnam veterans all the time and when they did hire a veteran, they were usually lousy jobs beneath what they would have been hired for without being deployed. PTSD was not even discussed until 1978 and not even acknowledged until the 80's by the VA.

Honestly when we consider the fact there are only 23 million veterans left in this nation and even less combat veterans, the simple fact is, they are an unprotected minority. Few employers even consider veteran's status when hiring. Maybe in the back of the mind of the HR interviewers they could be thinking about PTSD but considering how few in this country even know what PTSD is, that is highly unlikely.

Employers look for education and training but they do not consider how these men and women have been trained to do whatever it takes to get the job done, to think fast on their feet, to be mission focused and know what it is like to work as a team to get the job done. They don't consider they are used to working in unpleasant working conditions, long hours, lousy food and little sleep. While they are usually readily hired for law enforcement and fire departments, few other employers understand how much the veterans can bring to the company along with loyalty.

When it comes to hiring a veteran, employers just don't know what they're missing.

Vets Discriminated Against Over PTSD?
Some Say Employers May Assume Vets Have PTSD

BALTIMORE -- Some Marylanders have said there's invisible discrimination over post traumatic stress disorder that may be keeping veterans -- even those who don't have the illness -- from getting hired.

PTSD is an emotional illness that can follow combat duty or any life-threatening event.

Richard Day calls himself mentally wounded after having lived with PTSD for nearly 30 years.

"I've had a panic attack on a bus, and people are trying to talk to me and I can't relate to them because I feel I am trying to keep myself alive," Day said.
read more here
Vets Discriminated Against Over PTSD

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