In 2001, the United States initiated a global war on terror that continues to this day. Seven years later, in 2008, the American economy experienced its worst recession since the 1930s and has not yet made a full recovery. These events, while appearing distinct, impact a key common audience: The country’s military veterans.

Consider this: While the overall unemployment rate in the U.S. was almost 7 percent in February of 2014, veteran unemployment for the Gulf War-era II demographic alone was over 9 percent. This means that more than 599,900 veterans were unemployed and looking for work.

Notable efforts have been made by the Federal Government to assuage joblessness in veteran populations, including First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces veteran issues initiative and President Obama’s offering of tax credits to those businesses that hire veterans.

Corporate America, too, has taken charge of assisting veterans. Prudential Financial, Inc. is one such company. Their effort to connect new veteran employees with tenured veteran employees through their VETnet Business Resource Group is a laudable example of how a company can create a veteran-friendly workplace environment. They also support continued veteran education through a partnership with VETalent and give to veteran services organizations.

Yet some businesses are wary of hiring veterans. Concern about the potential of redeployment for reserve members, fear of introducing mental health issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) into the workplace, and the potential costs of accommodating veterans are only a handful of issues employers cite as reasons for avoiding military hires. In addition, only a small percentage of employers are familiar with veteran resources.

This white paper will provide an overview of issues that veterans face in a civilian, post-military service world so as to educate employers on this important and valuable talent pool as well as highlight the importance of Employee Assistance Programs when working with veteran populations.

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