Unemployment For Young African American Vets Topped 40 percent in 2011
In an effort to underscore military service on Memorial Day weekend, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) has launched a national TV campaign calling attention to the fact that unemployment for veterans remains incredibly high. CAPS cites Obama’s immigration policy that admits one million new workers into the U.S. as a contributing factor for the current 30-40 percent unemployment. After years of dedication, newly retired service members are now forced to compete with the new immigrant arrivals for jobs.
The new CAPS television ad will run throughout the Memorial Day weekend pressing the significance of military service members returning home to a struggling economy.
“Our young Americans fought to enforce U.S. policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s time President Obama fought for them by reducing mass immigration and saving jobs for these young veterans,” explained Marilyn DeYoung, Chairman of the Board of Californians for Population Stabilization.
California is home to more veterans than any other state in the country and with the Middle East Wars and the armed forces drawdown; the state’s unemployment numbers will only increase. Currently, the Golden State’s unemployment rate is 11 percent, well above the national average of 8.2 percent. During the next five years the number of veterans returning home looking for work is projected to increase exponentially, and CAPS anticipates that more than one million veterans will flood the stagnant economy.
CAPS also explains that California continues to experience an abundance of illegal immigrants who are attracted to the Golden State’s liberal social welfare programs. “They’re taking American jobs in places like California, already devastated by the Great Recession,” DeYoung said.
While all Americans are feeling the impact of unemployment, it is returning veterans ages 18-24 that are being disproportionately affected. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011, young male veterans had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent; nearly double the rate of their non-veteran counterparts. The number is even worse for young African American male military veterans who face a 40 percent unemployment rate.
“Our young men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for all of us so that we may remain free. The least we can do is make sure they’re at the front of the job line when they return home,” DeYoung said.
Meanwhile, the country’s sluggish economy is hindering President Obama’s reelection and he has turned to the military for votes. Traditionally, the military has been a GOP stronghold, but the President has made the military a priority during this election cycle. In his weekly radio address, the President said military members and their families need quality jobs, education and health care so they can “enjoy the freedom that they risked everything to protect.”
That statement sounds good, but Gretchen Pfaff of CAPS reminds the President that “this issue is not one that ebbs and flows with the political calendar. Our young vets are coming home to a bleak future, and that’s an issue that should be on the forefront of every politician’s agenda, no matter what the season.”
Yet the recent media coverage from the Obama camp focuses on the President’s success with the Osama bin laden raid, not on the everyday perils the military tackle in the Middle East. Those soldiers get a throw away line from the White House.
“As president, I have no higher honor than serving as their commander in chief,” Obama said.
“But with that honor comes a solemn responsibility – one that gets driven home every time I sign a condolence letter, or meet a family member whose life has been turned upside down.”
Again, the President’s rhetoric hits all the points, but like much of his presidency, Obama’s actions fall short of the promises and the rank-and-file military are left holding the bag. Here’s a suggestion for those who think otherwise, they should spend time at one of the nation’s military hospitals and talk with wounded warriors and their families. They paint a very different picture of life at “home.” Many are bogged down with paperwork and “dispassionate boards” which determine what benefits “they think” are appropriate for injured warriors.
So on this solemn Memorial Day weekend, those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those still fighting, deserve appreciation from all Americans for their continued dedication to a red, white and blue country.
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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
For more information about CAPS visit www.CAPSweb.org.