Monday, November 15, 2010
SOY table at Reagan HS
We gave some literature to the career office at Reagan HS, and as we were walking through the hallway, we saw the display pictured above. We question the implication that military service leads to higher education and greater income. In fact, it usually doesn't.
The US Bureau of Labor reports that veterans have higher unemployment rates than non-veterans. For women veterans aged 18 - 24, the unemployment rate is double that of nonveteran women in the same age group (16.3% unemployment among vets vs. 8.4% among non-vets according to 2007 statistics). And homelessness is also higher for veterans compared with nonveterans. Approximately one third of homeless adults in the US are vets, when vets only comprise about 11% of the general population.
Veterans face post-traumatic stress injuries that can make family and work life more difficult on many levels. Beginning salaries for enlistees are low, considering the long hours that are required for most assignments. Fewer than half of veterans get a college degree with their GI Bill benefits, partly because family responsibilities and military duties often don't leave enough time for school.
A surer path toward higher education and higher paying jobs is to attend college sooner rather than later and not trade 8 years of your early adult life for a military contract.
photos: Top: Jason and Hart, Iraq Veterans Against the War, with our table. Bottom: A display in the hall outside the college and career room.