A shift in perspective, eliminating stigma around veterans in the workforce

Replacing stereotypes with facts: Less than 20% of veterans were diagnosed with mental illness last year, compared to 21% in the overall population
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Reducing and ultimately eliminating the stigma surrounding veterans working in the civilian sector is an educational process that necessitates a shift in employers’ perspectives.

While news organizations and the entertainment industry sometimes selectively showcase and propagate narratives of the wounded soldier, the reality is that less than 20% of post-9/11 military veterans have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or another mental health issue. That is less than the 21% of U.S. adults who experienced mental illness issues in 2020, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.

80% of veterans seeking jobs in the private sector have obtained technical expertise, leadership experience, and communication skills that would be desirable to most employers.

When veterans are not afraid to disclose their veteran status, they can then talk about the attributes that set them apart from the pool of other job-seeking candidates, such as being mission-driven and outcome-focused. In years past, the notion behind hiring veterans was that it was simply a nice thing to do – an act of charity to thank them for their service – but data analysis reveals that hiring veterans not only benefits a company’s bottom line but also contributes to industry growth.

Ultimately, service members do not want a handout or to be treated as such. They want an opportunity to find employment, to better themselves through skills development, and to continue to be of service. For those reasons, hiring veterans should be seen and approached as a solid business decision rather than an altruistic move.

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