10 years later and veterans are struggling to find work

By: John Treanor
By: John Treanor
On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war we look at the effects through one veteran

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 file photo, a British soldier walks with his machine gun on the roof of a residential house in the village Qari Sahib, Nad Ali district, Helmend province, southern Afghanistan. Young men who have served in the British military are about three times more likely than civilians to have committed a violent offense, researchers reported Friday, March 15, 2013 in a study that explores the roots of such behavior. The research found that merely being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan made no difference in rates of violent crime later on. Instead, a key predictor was violent behavior before enlisting. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --- "I heard that veterans always get that opportunity." Ryan Edman told me on his lunch break. "They always get the job. Its easy to transition. It is not. It is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. hands down."

Edman is working his 7th job since February of 2009.

He was a specialist with the 141 Infantry, with plans of a military career, but a back injury changed that. Now 4 years later he still can't find a steady job.

Instead he bounces from temp job to temp job trying to support a family amid layoffs.

He isn't alone either. While the national unemployment rate is 7.7% the rate for veterans is closer to 14%.

Potential hires also fight being viewed as a statistic, one of the estimated 30% of soldiers who have been treated for PTSD.

"Are these casualties of war?" We asked Jonathan Williams of the Tennessee Veterans Business Association.

"I think they are." He tells us, "I think they absolutely are. These are issues a lot of guys are facing that are hidden in a lot of ways behind closed doors."

The TVBA works with veterans and local businesses, advocating hiring for our former soldiers.

There are other groups like theirs, but as Edman tells us more has to be done.

"Sustaining employment for veterans is extremely difficult. Especially in our area, especially for Iraq and Afghan vets that are coming out right now. Today and tomorrow."


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