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A Leg Up for Vets

By RICHARD A. CODY

New York Post
December 30, 2008

TODAY, Nassau County is introducing a new program for vets, called Warriors to Work. We're hoping it serves as a national model - paving the way for similar programs that show America's gratitude to the men and women who keep the country safe and free.

The program is a public-private partnership meant to provide solid employment opportunities for returning war veterans. Along with showing appreciation to those who answered our nation's "call to duty," Warriors to Work will also provide businesses and local agencies some of the best employees they can get.

Nassau County has 1.3 million residents; 3,100 are veterans who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and more than 60,000 have served in previous wars.

Today, veterans return home with broader skill sets than ever. In fact, many of the vets possess years of high-tech, vocational training. Some have earned college degrees while on active duty. Others are looking to continue their education upon returning home.

Yet, especially in this economy, some vets have trouble finding work. Indeed, there's a higher rate of unemployment among vets than their non-veteran counterparts.

The Warriors to Work program - designed by Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi - has received commitments from a coalition of labor unions and businesses across Long Island, including the Building & Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties, the Long Island Federation of Labor, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Adecco Staffing. These organizations and others will place hundreds of returning veterans in jobs through the course of 2009. And that's just the start. I encourage businesses and agencies across Long Island to show their support and hire veterans.

Warriors to Work is the type of program that our returning war veterans deserve - a program that will make finding a job easier for men and women who've dedicated the last few years of their lives to protecting our country. In return, employers will get highly dedicated, loyal and hard working Americans - who know the price of freedom.

I commend Suozzi for this effort - and for never forgetting our veterans.

Let's hope others around the country follow suit.

Gen. Richard A. Cody is a retired four-star general in the US Army. He served as the 31st vice chief of staff of the United States Army from June 24, 2004, to July 31, 2008, and retired from the army on Aug. 1, 2008.

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