Here are a few noteworthy Veterans Day articles that have popped up online:
1. There are a lot of deals for past and present service people at chain restaurants, including Buffalo Wild Wings . . . Carrabba’s . . . Chili’s . . . Dunkin’ . . . Outback . . . Peet’s Coffee . . . Starbucks . . . and even White Castle.
2. A recent survey of U.S. military veterans asked about the biggest NON-HEALTH-RELATED challenges in transitioning to civilian life, and finding a job was the clear #1.Other common responses were: Parting ways with military friends . . . finding a new purpose . . . and adjusting to the absence of familiar routine and structure.
3. A lot of service people are worried about jobs, skills, and education upon leaving the military . . . so this is good news:
The “Wall Street Journal“ says companies have been lining up to hire the roughly 200,000 people who leave the military each year. The last jobs report showed the unemployment rate for former service members is 2.9%. That’s a full point LOWER than the overall U.S. rate.
Companies that recruit from the armed forces say the appeal of vets is rooted in hard work, humility, and attention to detail.
4. According to Pew Research, there are more than 18 million living veterans in the U.S., which is about 6% of the country’s adult population.
That means the share of the U.S. population with military experience has declined. In 1980, about 18% of U.S. adults were veterans.
5. In one poll, 55% of Americans said they thought everyone who serves in the military is called a “soldier.” That’s not accurate.
Military members want to be described correctly: Soldiers serve in the Army . . . while the Marine Corps has Marines . . . the Navy has Sailors . . . the Air Force has Airmen (regardless of gender) . . . the Coast Guard has Coast Guardsmen (regardless of gender) . . . and the Space Force has Guardians.
In a recent survey, nearly 70% of younger veterans and military personnel say they feel “uncomfortable or awkward” when someone says, “Thank you for your service” to them.
It’s mostly a generational thing. Only 24% of military and veterans 65 and older say they feel uncomfortable with it . . . possibly because they’re more used to it.
USAA is using that stat to challenge people to go beyond small talk like that . . . and create “real, positive impacts in the veteran community.”
They suggest a few ways you can do this . . .
1. Reach out. Make the first move to connect with a veteran. Make a call, send a text, grab a coffee . . . letting someone know you care is taking action.
2. Ask engaging questions. Open up a two-way conversation. Rather than basically just telling them “thank you for your service,” you can ask open-ended questions about their life and interests.(This is mostly for friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and co-workers. Some veterans may also find it uncomfortable and awkward if they are in the grocery store check-out line, and you start probing, “So, how’s your life? Are you married? Have you got into the pickleball craze yet?”) (???)
3. Actively listen. Be fully present by removing distractions and making eye contact. Giving someone your undivided attention is a sign of respect.
4. Join an initiative. Support and / or spread awareness for veterans causes . . . like “Face the Fight,” which is taking on suicide in the military community.
(USAA suggests WeFaceTheFight.org for more info. They provide social media messages to help you spread the word, along with links where you can give, and resources to support veterans in need of help.)