National Hire a Veteran Day: Fast Facts and How To Observe


July 25 is National Hire a Veteran Day, a day to bring attention to a very overlooked portion of the job pool.

National Hire a Veteran Day: Man standing next to his military backpack, boots, and an American flag
National Hire a Veteran Day is a day to raise awareness about something we don’t ordinarily think about. Photo Credit: Benjamin Faust

Our veterans have served both on American soil and the furthest reaches of the planet Earth to ensure that we have the blessings of liberty that we enjoy. Many of them have paid a significant price in scars, be them physical or emotional.

But make no mistake, those who have fought for our nation have an experience few other job seekers do. They’ve been under pressure, whether it’s under fire in Mosul, Iraq, or working diligently on the homefront to ensure our national safety. They know what it’s like to be part of something bigger of themselves and sacrifice themselves for a larger goal. They know both patience and tenacity, hard work and discipline. Those are tools any employer should value.

Yet, veteran unemployment was unusually high during the Great Recession, with 29 percent of vets aged 18-24 without a job in 2011. Numbers have improved; the overall unemployment for vets was at 3.3 percent in June of 2018, down from 4.3 percent in 2016. However, underemployment continues to be a problem.

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Consider the case of Lance Calloway, who got out of the Marine Corps in 2015. “I was thinking it was going to be very easy to slip back into the civilian workforce, and there’d be plenty of jobs waiting for me and people would want to snatch me up,” he told the Military Times.

Instead, he spent a year and a half as a bartender at a local Outback Steakhouse. “I was used to being in positions in higher authority,” he said. “Even as a second lieutenant, I managed more commodities and people than the guy I called boss at that time.”

With cases like Calloway’s in mind — and they’re hardly unique — here are a few fast facts about National Hire a Veteran Day and how you can observe.

July 25, 2018, will be the second National Hire a Veteran Day

This is the second year that the National Day Calendar, generally the authority on these things, has observed National Hire a Veteran Day. Back in 2017, Hire Our Heroes — an organization that helps match veterans with positions — added the day to the calendar to raise awareness about veteran employment. As their motto says, “The best way to honor a veteran is to hire one.”

And, if you’re someone in a position to hire, or perhaps recommend a veteran for a position, July 25 is as good a time as any to consider what you’re looking at.

So, how to observe National Hire a Veteran Day? Well, there are several ways you can do it, aside from just simply giving you the advice to hire a veteran.

1. Observe National Hire a Veteran Day by participating in a virtual job fair

On July 25, Hire Our Heroes will be participating in a virtual job fair, where qualified veterans can be connected with companies who can use their abilities and experience in their workforce.

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“All companies interested in hiring veterans will have the opportunity to recruit cleared and non-cleared veterans as well as those trained in all fields. Our virtual career fair is a live environment for veterans and companies to meet, ask questions and explore opportunities for employment from around the country,” Hire Our Heroes’ website reads.

“Companies and Veterans can chat, review resumes and work histories, as well as everything else you normally would do at a traditional job fair, in high efficient format,” they also noted.

Companies featured in the fair cover information technology, engineering, cybersecurity, sales, marketing, management, finance, accounting, health care, skilled trades and other fields.

If you want to participate in this or future job fairs — or simply list on the Hire Our Heroes website, which features job listings from veteran-friendly companies 365 days a year — more information can be found here.

2. Observe National Hire a Veteran Day by considering younger, post-9/11 veterans and the skills they bring to the table

On the whole, veterans have a lower unemployment number than the general population. However, for those who were in the armed forces post-9/11, that number is considerably higher.

It spiked in 2011, when 12.1 percent of post-9/11 veterans were jobless, as opposed to 8.7 percent of all non-veterans and 8.3 percent of all veterans. While that gap has reduced, those who served in the military after the deadliest attack on American shores have lagged behind both veterans and non-veterans as a whole in the job arena.

And that’s not even counting the underemployment we talked about before.

“The biggest thing we see is this surge in ‘Hey, yeah, I have a job. I’m just not getting by. I’m working two jobs and I’m about to get evicted from my apartment,'” Dan Goldenberg, the director of the Call of Duty Endowment, told the Military Times back in 2016. The non-profit group donates to charities that provide job services for veterans as well as provide job counseling to vets directly. They said that the majority of people coming in were post-9/11 vets.

Now, we’ve heard all about the stereotypes surrounding younger workers and how some employers are fed up with them. Keep in mind, however, that these aren’t your ordinary millennials. These are individuals who woke up at the crack of dawn to make reveille, men and women who know discipline, privation and work ethic — as do all of our veterans. Remember, these were the people who signed up to serve our nation after 9/11 when they knew that war was imminent. They deserve our respect and consideration.

3. Observe National Hire a Veteran Day by directing veterans to resources that help them find jobs

Hire Our Heroes may be one of the most visible resources for getting our veterans jobs, but they’re hardly the only one.

FedsHireVets, G.I. JobsMilitaryHire, the National Veterans Foundation and VetJobs are all valuable resources for former military men and women looking for work. If you have a hero in your family or your circle of friends who needs a job or a better career, these are all places they can turn to in order to find employment.

Remember, a veteran’s job hunt is only as good as the tools they have to work with.

4. Observe National Hire a Veteran Day by learning about challenges veterans might face in the workplace

Veterans are uniquely qualified individuals. That being said, coming from the environment that they’re in, many might face similarly unique challenges in civilian life.

For starters, military veterans are often coming out of a lifestyle of 24-hour readiness, where every part of their life is often regimented. Adjustment to the more laid-back style of work is already going to be a significant change for vets, and that’s something employers should be aware of.

Physical disabilities are also a major challenge for our combat veterans; as of 2017, roughly 1,650 veterans had suffered an amputation of at least one limb from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. This isn’t counting other injuries that might impede the physical ability of vets. While most employers have already made accommodations for disabled individuals in the workplace, this is still something to keep in mind. There are also concerns like PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders to take into account.

This doesn’t reduce the efficacy of vets in the workplace, mind you, any less than it would decrease the efficacy of any other individual suffering from these conditions. However, accommodations for our heroes who might be facing challenges should be an important step for any employer

5. Observe National Hire a Veteran Day by donating

Finally, we know that not all of you are in a position to hire a veteran this National Hire a Veteran Day. However, your donations can make a world of difference.

The two obvious candidates should be Hire Our Heroes and the Call of Duty Endowment. Hire Our Heroes started the day, after all, and the Call of Duty Endowment has the ambitious goal of getting 50,000 of our veterans back to work by 2019.

The Call of Duty Endowment’s partner list is also a fairly safe place to start. Among organizations they trust: Corporate America Supports You, Operation: Job Ready Veterans, The Salvation Army and U.S. Vets.

If you want to get involved at a deeper level, Hire Our Heroes has plenty of volunteer opportunities for you to consider.

There are so few days that we honor those who make our way of life possible. Most of us tend to stop on July 4 and Memorial Day. Yet, National Hire a Veteran Day is a tangible way to make a difference in a veteran’s life. It represents a unique way to raise awareness about something we don’t ordinarily think about. This July 25, remember those who have sacrificed for all of us.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture