Today is Memorial Day. This Day has been set aside as a day of remembrance for those that have served this country in the military. Unfortunately, it’s become a day when many of us revel in cookouts and a vacation day from work with little, if any though given to those who sacrifice themselves in honor of this country.
I’ve posted here and here about criminal courts for veterans in Cook County. An opportunity to assist veterans who have fallen on hard times, and as a part of those difficulties, found themselves in the criminal system. Still, as I tell my clients, we will defend you in this case, but I’m interested in keeping you, and many of our veterans, from being charged in the first place.
This Memorial Day found me reading this piece in the Chicago Sun Times:
Army veteran Kevin Winkfield Jr. served as a combat medic helping save lives in Iraq, earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications after his discharge and has diverse skills that he believes would benefit many employers. But this Memorial Day, just like last year, the 29-year-old Chicago resident is unemployed.
He’s not alone. In the midst of a continuing weak job market, the unemployment rate for Gulf War era II veterans, those who’ve served since September 2001, averaged 11.5 percent last year. That compares to 9.4 percent for non-veterans, according to the Labor Department. Veterans ages 18 to 24 fared even worse — more than one in five were unemployed.
One thing you can do is assist a veteran in obtaining a job or the necessary skills to get a job. Trust me, the higher the level of education and training, the higher the income.
Guess what significantly decreases when folks have meaningful work for meaningful wages?