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Army launches campaign for wounded vet employment

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The Army's Warrior Transition Command has launched a three-pronged "Hire a Veteran" education campaign that seeks to promote the talents of veterans while easing concerns over war-related post-traumatic stress disease and physical injuries.

At a Nov. 19 press conference, the Army announced a new website that provides educational materials for employers that address three key challenges to veteran employment: concern about PTSD and traumatic brain injuries on job performance; the cost of reasonable accommodations for the disabled; and the lack of knowledge on how military skills translate to non-military jobs.

The Society for Human Resource Management, the WTC and Orion International, the country's largest military recruiting firm, have produced a 10-minute video that addresses these concerns and offers solutions.

"This campaign is about setting conditions, not just preparing our soldiers for a new career as a veteran, but also preparing employers about this unique population who has so much to offer," said WTC Commander Brig. Gen. David Bishop at the National Press Club.

Bishop said that accommodations for wounded warriors, as well as others with disabilities, are not burdensome or difficult for a business owner.

Former Army staff sergeant Paul  Roberts, who suffered serious burns and a traumatic brain injury in Chamkani, Afghanistan, in 2009, retired from the Army but sought assistance from the Army's Wounded Warrior Program to keep working with the government. The program helped him get an internship with the Drug Enforcement Agency and he now works for the FBI.

 "I'm too young to be retired," Roberts, 30, said at Monday's press conference. "People need a sense of purpose or they start to shut down."

Jeff Pon, SHRM chief human resources and strategy officer, said there is still work to be done. Roughly 46 percent of respondents to an SHRM survey said that PTSD and other mental health issues "issues are a challenge when hiring veterans" and that 61 percent say needed accommodations "required more effort on the employer." However, Pon noted that 83 percent of respondents said extra effort on their part was well worth it.

For more:
- watch the announcement event
- get information about hiring a veteran

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