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“We Need Them to Keep Making America Stronger”

President Obama announced a range of new initiatives on Friday to help veterans find work and return to civilian life. Speaking to an audience of current and former service members, the President said:

“Today, nearly 3 million extraordinary service members like you have completed their service and made the transition back to civilian life. They’ve taken their leadership experience, their mastery of cutting-edge technologies, their ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and they’ve become leaders here at home. Just think about how many veterans have led their comrades on life-and-death missions by the time they were 25 years old. That’s the kind of responsibility and experience that any business in America should want to take advantage of.

“If you can save a life in Afghanistan, you can save a life in an ambulance in Wyoming. If you can oversee millions of dollars in assets in Iraq, you can help a business balance its books here at home. Our incredible servicemen and women need to know that America values them not simply for what they can do in uniform, but for what they can do when they come home. We need them to keep making America stronger.”

The measures the President proposed include:

  • A “reverse boot camp” to help veterans learn about everything from benefits to how they can use their skills in civilian jobs, along with a new program to make it easier for veterans to access career advice at their local career center.

  • A new Returning Heroes Tax Credit for firms that hire unemployed veterans.

  • A challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013.

Your can read the President’s remarks in full here and find out how some private-sector companies have responded to the challenge here.

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