U.S. veterans historically have had a friend in the U.S. Postal Service. The largest civilian employer of veterans, the Postal Service employs about 130,000 former service members. In today’s tough economy, where many people are still struggling to find work, we shouldn’t destroy this path to steady, well-paying employment just to pursue a reckless dismantling of the Postal Service.
Veterans make up about one quarter of the Postal Service’s ranks, but Congress is proposing service cuts that would result in job losses that threaten the livelihood of the men and women who served our country with honor. These job cuts would have an impact on Americans in every state, but veterans would be disproportionately harmed because USPS offers veterans preference for employment.
According to a recent article in Forbes,
In May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the national unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2%, but the unemployment rate for young veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan spiked to 12.7% — more than 4 percentage points higher than the national average. These stats aren’t outliers. Last year, the unemployment number for new vets in New York was 16.7%; in the nation as a whole, it was 12.1%. That’s over 234,000 new veterans looking for work after separating from the military. For veterans ages 18 to 24 years old, the outlook was even worse – nearly 30 percent unemployment.
Late last year, The New York Times also profiled the challenges facing veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
For the men and women returning from military service, USPS should continue to provide a secure career path. Let’s not take away the future of the very men and women who fought for ours. In an already tough market, Congress shouldn’t make it harder for our veterans to find steady jobs. Cutting services Americans depend on and putting America’s veterans out of work won’t fix the Postal Service. Instead of recklessly slashing jobs and services, Congress should pursue policies to help USPS evolve to meet the changing needs of the 21st century.
Are you a U.S. veteran who works for the U.S. Postal Service? Share Your Story and help spread the word that putting thousands of veterans out of work isn’t the answer to solving the Postal Service’s financial problems.