BHC honors veterans

By Coleman Thompson

Brookhaven College celebrated Veteran’s Day, a national holiday to thank the brave men and women who have served in our country’s military.

The brief ceremony was held in the S Building lobby Nov. 10, and veterans of all ages were invited to be recognized for their service. The national holiday is celebrated on Nov. 11.

On Nov. 10, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to approve one small part of President Obama’s proposed $447 billion jobs act. This portion of the act would grant tax credits to businesses that choose to hire jobless veterans.

This small part is being looked at by the senate, despite the failure of Obama’s jobs act, due to a startling statistic that states since August the unemployment rate of veterans has risen from 9.8 to 12.1 percent. The current rate is 3 percentage points higher than the civilian unemployment rate, which begs the question, why?

I proudly served in the U.S. Navy for five years and came out a veteran in 2010. After leaving the service I found it extremely difficult to find employment, going more than six months without so much as a follow-up interview. I know the current job market has made it difficult for almost everyone to find employment, but I find it difficult to understand how someone who served his country could have such a hard time finding a job.

During the ceremony, Col. Charles H. Klinge Jr., deputy commander of the Southwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, spoke about the benefits of hiring veterans, such as discipline and leadership.

Current research hasn’t yielded an answer as to why it is more difficult for veterans to gain employment, but I hope the recent spike in veteran unemployment can send a message to businesses that American heroes are struggling.

Considering the sacrifices given by some veterans we can’t afford to leave them by the wayside.