Veterans are returning home from the sands of the Middle East to take on another daunting challenge: turning our economy around.
With a half-dozen veteran jobs bills having already been passed in Congress with minimal effect on unemployment numbers, some veterans are pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and creating their own value in today’s stagnant economy.
A recent Associated Press article tells us that a growing number of veterans are turning to entrepreneurship, despite the headwinds of a stagnant economy and an unfavorable policy environment. They’re applying the resourcefulness, can-do attitude, and ability to take risks cultivated during their uniformed service.
Citing the U.S. Small Business Administration, the article notes:
Veterans are well represented in the entrepreneurial ranks. Nearly one in 10 small businesses are veteran-owned, and retired service members are at least 45 percent more likely than those without active-duty military experience to be self-employed.
Veterans “can-do” attitude and attention to detail are also noted in this Wall Street Journal article detailing companies hiring efforts for veterans. Major corporations are recognizing the value (not the potential tax credit) that veterans offer to the point of making hiring veterans a key part of their talent strategy. With almost 10,000 baby boomers retiring a day and a shortage of technically skilled workers primarily in the manufacturing market, veterans are beginning to set themselves apart from the rest.
Veterans have been in the position to lead in our economy before. As economic fears gripped the nation following the end of WWII, veterans played a pivotal role in carrying our country into a period of unprecedented economic success and consumer demand.
Is it unfair to ask veterans to take up another burden and lead us out of our current economic situation? Absolutely. But I cannot think of a better, more-qualified group to lead us forward than the men and women who have served our nation in battle. If their efforts, drive, and initiative were matched with a more pro-growth economic approach from our lawmakers, we could get this country back on track.
Tal Coley is a policy analyst and a member of the Concerned Veterans for America team.