Friday, November 11, 2011

Honor veterans by giving them work

On this Veterans Day, I wish a warm welcome home to the soldiers of the Idaho Army National Guard 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team. These Idaho citizen-soldiers served the past nine months in Iraq and returned home this fall. Idaho is proud of our men and women who serve our country honorably at home and abroad and of all the veterans who have served our nation. Thank you for your great service to our nation.

It is important to support measures to help our service members transition back into their daily lives and successfully enter the civilian workforce. We must all work together to ensure that they reacclimate to their roles in their families and communities, and we must help them move forward toward accomplishing their personal and professional goals.

Employment is critical for veterans transitioning back to civilian life. Unfortunately, the latest job figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that too many veterans are unemployed, and the overall veteran unemployment rate continues to rise faster than the national unemployment rate. Nationally, about 1 million veterans are reported out of work, and the unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is an alarming 11.7 percent.

We all know the current economic environment is very difficult, and I am doing all I can in Congress to stimulate job creation and reduce costly regulatory burden on Idaho's job creators. On this Veterans Day, I ask Idahoans to work to employ our nations' veterans and their spouses. I urge Idaho employers to reach out to veterans who are struggling to find work. The people who have fought for and defended our nation deserve the opportunity to become your best employees. Furthermore, I call on Idahoans to support veterans' education, mentoring and job-training programs at Idaho's institutions of higher learning.

I believe that finding ways to help today's veterans in need is a way to honor all generations of veterans. We will never forget our previous generations of veterans, as we will never forget those who gave their lives in ultimate sacrifice. Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to preserve our way of life, and the American people are indebted to the men and women who have served our nation. I will continue working in Congress to ensure that veterans programs receive adequate funding so that all our nation's veterans receive the treatment and care they deserve. As always, I appreciate your input and active involvement in this most worthy endeavor.


Rep. Mike Simpson, a Republican, represents Idaho's 2nd Congressional District.

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