Last week veterans spoke at the George W. Bush Institute in an effort to raise awareness on veterans affairs, with special attention being placed on the transition of veterans back into the civilian world.
Former President George W. Bush spoke specifically about the challenges that veterans face, including social stigmas related to post-traumatic stress disorder, the divide that exists between the civilian and veteran world, and the challenges that exist for veterans currently seeking employment.
The former president’s speech marks a growing awareness in the civilian world of the difficulties that those who have been employed in the military face. However, awareness of specific issues is still relatively low.
Bush also announced that later this year, a full study on veterans who served in the military after the events of 9/11 will be released, and will further highlight many of the statistics surrounding veterans.
An early look at these statistics shows that while most veterans are pleased enough with their time in the military to recommend serving to others who are interested, a majority – more than 80% – also believe that the general public is unaware of the challenges that veterans and their families face.
All three factors mentioned by Bush could play a tremendous role in helping former veterans to obtain jobs or to further their careers through education. Some of the key factors that prevent companies from hiring veterans could be resolved by better educating civilians about veterans and veteran life.
Common issues that seem to arise – and often prevent companies from hiring veterans – are a lack of understanding about how military jobs and experience translate into the civilian world. Some employers worry that by hiring a veteran they could potentially lose an employee if the individual decides to go back into service – a misunderstanding that results from not realizing that most veterans who have left the military have cut ties for good.
But of course, one of the biggest issues involves PTSD. In addition to helping those who have PTSD, the George W. Bush Institute and other organizations across the country involved with veteran issues hope to raise awareness about the condition.
In his speech, Bush stressed the importance of helping veterans to seek treatment if necessary. But it also seems that more civilians – especially employers – must learn that PTSD does not necessarily affect an individual’s ability to perform in the workplace. Raising awareness of this and other issues that veterans face will be a big step forward in ensuring that those who have served are given the respect and care they need as they transition back into civilian life.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."