The heavy burden placed on America’s sons and daughters is well understood. Less so is the continuing consequence of that service when our heroes return home.
There are currently 435,000 unemployed veterans, of which close to 250,000 are between 18 and 54 years of age. There are 145,000 post 9/11 veterans unemployed. These statistics from the Veterans Benefits Administration, don’t take into consideration the vast number of veterans who are drastically underemployed.
We are currently losing twenty-two veterans every day to suicide, a loss of one Veteran one every hour and five minutes. Divorce, domestic violence, and substance abuse have become a national epidemic with no end in sight.
This is nothing new and sadly should have been expected. We lost over 150,000 Vietnam Veterans to suicide after combat operations had ended, three times more than we lost in the war itself.
Government cannot not solve these problems alone, it’s too big. Help and hope is found in the acquisition of self-empowering tools and training, through gainful employment and opportunities for self employment. Solutions have to come from private and public companies, philanthropic organizations and leaders of industry with new ideas and commitment.
EE’s primary mission is to provide opportunity that fits the skills and emotional makeup of many of the 250,000 unemployed vets between 25 and 44 years old or older