New Veterans Hit Hard by Economic Crisis
Posted by noetical on November 21, 2008
Following is something I recently seeded to my Newsvine Column:
News Type: Event — Seeded on Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:45 PM PST
Seeded by Noetical
Short-term measures do little to address the underlying economic difficulties that new veterans face, beginning with the job hunt. Veterans, particularly those in their 20s, have faced higher unemployment rates in recent years than those who never served in the military, though the gap has shrunk as the economy has worsened. (Veterans traditionally have lower unemployment rates than non-veterans.)
Recently discharged veterans, though, fared worst of all. A 2007 survey for the Veterans Affairs Department of 1,941 combat veterans who left the military mostly in 2005 showed nearly 18 percent were unemployed as of last year. The average national jobless rate in October was 6.5 percent.
Originally published to Noetical’s Newsvine Column.
Following is my comment on the article:
One part of the story that is particularly disturbing to me is:
Active duty troops who switch installations also find themselves struggling. Many of those forced to sell their homes this year are finding a scarcity of buyers, or even renters, particularly in states hit hard by the mortgage crisis. Military spouses must choose between taking a loss on their homes or riding out the housing slowdown and facing another separation from their loved one.
Although the government offers safeguards for some federal employees in similar circumstances, it will not help service members make up the difference if they are forced to sell a home at a loss.
What is worse, foreclosure or excessive debt can damage a service member’s career by leading to discharge, the loss of security clearances or, in extreme cases, jail.
A 2007 California task force reported that in the Navy, the number of security clearances revoked because of debt increased to 1,999 in 2005, from 124 in 2000.
“It’s the crash in the market,” said Joe Gladden, managing partner of Veteran Realty Service America’s Military, who sees families in extremis out of Northern Virginia. “It’s not that they have made stupid decisions.”
Mr. Gladden said e-mail messages and phone calls to his office had become so routine that he encouraged military families to share their stories anonymously on his company Web site, vrsam.com.
“I am about sick over this situation,” one woman wrote. “Our two young boys have to go without seeing Daddy until we can sell our house. Not only that, but we face the possibility of Daddy deploying to Iraq again. Shouldn’t we be able to spend as much time together until that happens?”
…so we make them sell their homes at a loss when they are moved by the Military, and then we kick them out of their jobs or even jail them for having financial difficulties that were created by their service. Oh yeah…and if they want to try to avoid selling their homes at a loss…they have to live away from their families for even longer than their tours of duty kept them away.
Doesn’t sound like supporting the troops to me. Kerry’s foreclosure relief bill sounds like a good start…but we owe more than a good start to our veterans, as well as to their families.
—Posted by Noetical, on Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:38 PM
To read all the Newsvine comments from this column, please follow this link:
*Veterans and the Economic Crisis Comments*