Supporting Tennessee Veterans, Every Day of the Year

Nov 11, 2013

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  On this Veterans Day, all of us here at WMOT thank our vets for their service.

President Barack Obama participates in a Memorial Day wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 27, 2013.
Credit Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq often find the move back to civilian life difficult. There is help and it's year-round, not just on Veterans Day.

Yvette Martinez with the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs says one of the state’s most successful veteran employment programs is called "Paychecks for Patriots," an event held for the first time last year.

"We saw more than 2,000 veterans hired just within that one statewide event. That event is now spreading across the country. We've had our second one this year. We had more employers involved and the employers we're working with, they see the value of veterans."

Martinez says the state will launch a new web-based tool this month that will link vets with schools and training. Nationally, the unemployment rate for the youngest vets, between ages 18 and 24, has been dropping, but is still at about 20-percent.

"Every educational resource that's in the area, whether it's private, public or technical schools, will now be at all of our outreaches because that is another hurdle. (:08) Many of our veterans, especially our enlisted veterans, went into the military straight out of high school, so we're also becoming a one-stop-shop for educational resources."

There are 525-thousand veterans who currently call Tennessee home.