May has traditionally been an active month for the Veterans’ community. Memorial Day has always been sacred to the Veterans and the activities will be plentiful. I encourage everyone to take time this Memorial Day to honor the fallen. It is a somber day in many ways, but we, as a nation, must assuredly take the time to honor the fallen and their families and also reflect on the personal sacrifices made by many to ensure that our great nation is safe and secure.
As we honor the Veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we also must continue our mission here at the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, which is serving Minnesota Veterans and their families. Part of that mission is helping Veterans secure meaningful employment. May has been designated as “Hire a Veteran month.” The importance of having a good job is part of a Veteran’s journey home. A job that one enjoys doing, receives a fair compensation, and enables one to support their family is essential. Often referred to as the ‘social questions’ or on an ‘elevator speech’ at receptions, we are continually asked our name, where we are from, and what we do. Its important Veterans hone in on the experience they have gained from their military service and translate that to civilian occupations. If you are a Veteran seeking a job I encourage you to let your fellow Veterans know your skills and talents and ask them to assist you in your endeavor to find that desired position. In turn I have found people who are employed oftentimes know who will be leaving one’s job before their employer does. As in pheasant hunting, it’s always good to have a bird dog. I ask that all Veterans be bird dogs for those Veterans seeking a good job and who would be a good addition to the team.
MinnesotaVeteran.org offers helpful resources and information to connect Veterans with work. The website also provides helpful information for employers that want to hire Veterans, and information about on-the-job training and apprenticeships, state Veterans preference laws, and tips for Veterans who own businesses. In addition, information about the state’s largest Veterans Career Fair which will be held July 9, 2014 is available on the DEED’s website at positivelymn.com.