November 11 marked the end of “The War to End all Wars,” also known as World War I. To commemorate the sacrifices of the many soldiers who gave their lives for their country, the day has long been celebrated as Veterans Day (formerly known as Armistice Day).
And while World War I certainly did not cease all global conflicts, it served as an important milestone to launch the formal recognition of the men and women who have put everything on the line for their country over the past century and beyond.
The Country’s Support of Our Veterans
Dating back to 1636, the United States has maintained the most comprehensive system of assistance for Veterans of any nation in the world. During the 1600s, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war, a law was passed that declared disabled soldiers should be supported by the colony.
In 1776, the Continental Congress established pensions for disabled soldiers of the Revolutionary War. And in the 19th century, the federal government authorized the first domiciliary and medical facility for Veterans, while also expanding the nation’s Veterans assistance program to include benefits and pensions not only for Veterans but for their widows and dependents.
The Establishment & Mission of VETS
Moving into the 20th century, one of the most significant programs created for veterans was (and is today) the Veteran Employment and Training Services (VETS). Formed in 1981 by the U.S. Department of Labor, VETS is a vital initiative that seeks to enable veterans to reach their full potential in the workplace.
The mission of VETS, whose values are defined as Integrity, Commitment, Respect, and Excellence, includes four “Ps”:
- Prepare America’s veterans, service members, and their spouses, for meaningful careers
- Provide them with employment resources and expertise
- Protect their employment rights
- Promote their employment opportunities
The Critical Importance of VETS Today
Continued support of our veterans in the workforce cannot be understated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 there were 18.8 million veterans in the U.S. overall. More than 284,000 of those veterans were unemployed, and alarmingly, veterans accounted for 11% of the homeless population nationwide.
Ensuring these individuals have the ongoing opportunity to return home and reach their full potential in the workplace is a moral obligation of our country.
In fact, many employers successfully recruit veterans before they leave active duty through a program created by VETS – the VETS Apprenticeship Pilot.
This program connects employers with talented workers and offers paths to gain critical job skills, as New Apprenticeship Placement Counselors provide counseling and apprenticeship placement services, working with transitioning service members, and their spouses, interested in exploring apprenticeship as a post-separation career pathway.
Veteran’s Day serves as an important yearly reminder of the sacrifices made by our veterans of the past, present, and those to come.
Even more so, it is a celebration of the Americans who are making an enormous sacrifice – sacrificing time spent away from home, their families, and unfortunately potentially sacrificing their lives to protect our civil liberties across the globe.
Let this day serve as a reminder to support the wellbeing of our veterans, ensuring they are fully enabled to pursue a life of happiness and fulfillment following their service. At Accurate, we fully support our Veterans and their contributions in the workforce and thank those who have given everything for our country.