Posted on Apr 16, 2015
MSG Floyd Williams
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The suicide rate service members and troops is more than alarming, and many cases, the suicide is not a result of a single act. That means there are warning signs that lead up to the feeling of hopelessness they must feel to lead them down such a dark path. There is no single reason for a veteran to take their own life, but I do feel there is a direct link between unemployment to the depression that can and does lead to suicide sometimes.

Every day, 22 veterans take their own life according to a 2012 VA Suicide Data Report, and it is good to see that the government, and several veteran service organizations are stepping up to address the problem. In February, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act was passed by Congress to help reduce military veteran suicides.

Having a job gives you a feeling of self-worth, self-confidence, and a reason to get up in the morning. You are part of a team again, and contributing to you and your family's well being. The private sector can and should step up to do their part by recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans. We need more companies who are willing to look past a resume, and hire the person instead, and as we know, this goes against the grain of many HR departments. A resume does not tell you my character, my willingness to put team first, and if I have served in the military, the resume may not come across your desk in the format you are accustomed to seeing. If you ask any company if they would like to hire more veterans, you will always here a resounding, ABSOLUTELY, but how many are doing their part to actually seek veterans out? This week, the Military Times put out their Best for Vets list, and it was packed with 75 industry leading companies who definitely do their part to hire veterans. What I would like to encourage companies to do is, take the time to get to know the veteran before deciding they are not a fit based on their resume alone, bring them in for an interview, and then determine if they are a good fit for your open position. What they often lack on paper, is more than made up for with talent, education, character, loyalty, and ability to work as part of a team under very stressful conditions.

If you are a veteran in crisis, or need someone to talk to, you can contact the Veterans Crisis Line at [login to see] FREE or by visiting http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/Default.aspx
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