This is a little bit of a late nigh rant.
My FB, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts have been flooded with postings with articles on helping veterans transition into the civilian workplace. As a veteran who did exactly that, I feel compelled to point out a few things that these articles don't address.
First, not all veterans are created equal. Employers dream of hiring the vet who looks like a movie star, graduated top of their class from West Point or Annapolis, and received an honorable discharge. What tends to show up though is the vet with the less than honorable or dishonorable discharge. These vets had challenges when they were in the military so its not wonder they are having challenges in the civilian world. None of the articles I've seen address how these veterans are supposed to find work.
The other veterans are those that may have been honorably discharged but medical conditions or decency issues that make it difficult to find employment. When I worked at a community college, I saw many Vietnam era veterans that had had mental health issues or substance abuse issues resulting in arrest records. Employers simply would not hire these vets even though many served with distinction in the military.
So please, stop asking me to fill out surveys or share my tips for successfully transitioning out of the service and into the civilian workforce. I was lucky. I served my time as an officer, earned a masters degree and retired with an honorable discharge. It was relatively easy for me to find work but that's not the case for the majority of veterans. Many leave the service early due to injuries sustained in combat. That alone disqualifies them from many civilian jobs. The depression of leaving the service and not finding work often leads to drug or alcohol abuse resulting in criminal records. If you really want to do something, learn figure out how to get these vets employed.
While I'm in a rant kind of mood, let me switch topics and address our President. Since last summer, race relations in the US has deteriorated badly in no short way due to the media coverage of several police shootings. It has tainted every conversation now in "black/white" lingo which means anyone criticizing the President gets labelled as a racist.
Like Mr. Obama, I am bi-racial so let spare me any criticisms of being a racist. Mr. Obama greatest failing is not that he is the first "black man" who is President of the United States (and thus all of the white people are just waiting for him to fail). No, Mr. Obama's problem is that he is a wimp. He is the real life version of a middle-aged Steve Urkel.
Don't believe it? Look at any other leader of a country right now and ask yourself a question, who would win a bar fight between them and Obama? This purely unscientific and highly subjective opinion though is one that is shared by more people than the media would like to think.
Being a skinny, soft-spoken, light-skinned black with a propensity for a clipped, almost robotic way of speaking has left the rest of the world doing cartwheels. Obama famously drew a "red-line" that Syria wasn't supposed to cross and when they did, Obama blinked. Same thing in the Ukraine and now the same thing with the ISIS.
Mr. Obama and his handlers can't seem to get people to like him because he comes across first and foremost as a wimp. I think the comedy team "Key and Peele" does a great bit about this very thing. Obama does not convey anger, he doesn't even convey indignation. Regardless of the subject at hand, he comes across the same…a wimp.
The White House only took a few hours to change the color of the flood lights to celebrate the decision by the Supreme Court to approve gay marriage across the land. It took the same White House over five days to decide to lower the flags to half-mast after four Marines and Navy officer were killed by a terrorist. Wimp. Perhaps this also why Mr. Obama does not choose to label ISIS as a radical Islamic group (for that matter, neither did Hillary Clinton).
This is why "The Donald" continues to make gains in the polls amongst the average American. They want their swagger back and that's something Mr. Obama does not bring to the table. Whoever hopes to be the next President needs to NOT be the next wimp.