Monday, June 22, 2009

Unemployed Veterans of Maine

We have been in this "War on Terror" for almost eight years now. A large number of our Maine youth have answered the patriotic call to duty, served one or two times in a war zone, and have now re-entered civilian life here in Maine. I wonder just how well we as Mainers are doing in helping them with that re-integration process. The text that follows was wrote by a Mainer who did just that. He joined the military, served, and then was discharged. What he received in return was a slow start in re-entering civilian life.
"I will never forget giving my farewell to fellow graduates of Yarmouth High School as I shipped out to Basic Combat Training in 2003. My decision to serve in the Armed Forces was an easy one. Two grandparents, two cousins and a family of veterans encouraged my decision to fight for the values of "our" country.

But now I am an unemployed veteran of war.

I saw the deserts of Iraq before my 20th birthday. I was both passionate and terrified as I stepped off the commercial airline into the country of Kuwait. This is what myself and so many others join to do: represent the powers of our people and serve our country."

Read the rest of this story in "Life As an Unemployed Veteran of the Iraq War from Maine", The Exception Magazine, April 6, 2009.

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