Associated Press photo

Obama signs jobs bill for veterans

President Obama signed the VOWS to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 into law on Nov. 21, which will help many of America’s unemployed veterans get back into the civilian work force.

Provisions of the new law, including tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, are backed by The American Legion, which has been urging Congress and the White House to take action in helping the country’s jobless veterans.

“Last September, we asked Congress to create incentives to promote the hiring of veterans, and they have done exactly that,” American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong said. “Tax credits for businesses, along with other specific programs, will go far in placing more and more of our veterans into the private sector.

“We were also impressed by the provision that makes transitional assistance mandatory for every man and woman who chooses to leave the military. This will make them even more prepared as job-seeking civilians.”

During his Sept. 21 testimony on Capitol Hill, Wong said “The American Legion hopes you will collaborate and bring your parties together to get a jobs bill for America’s veterans passed.”

Wong also testified about the critical need for civilian employers to recognize the value of military professions. “Civilian licensing agencies must recognize military training, education and experience when a veteran transitions to the civilian work force.

“It is our obligation as a nation to ensure that every single member of the military who chooses to leave … can effectively transfer his or her education, training and experience into a civilian career field.”


  1. I am writing to inquire whether or not veterans in the State of Louisiana, working in Post Secondary Education levels given any consideration for retirement preference, particularly those that work in professional fields such as education etc. I have worked in the Louisiana Public School System for 15 years. When I initially started working as an instructor at Webster Parish School Board I was asked to submit a copy of my DD 214 from the military. I complied and was given 4 yrs. preference toward retirement for time served in the military. In August 2010, I was assigned to the Louisiana College Technical College System (LCTCS), as an instructor. However, I lost the 4 years which would have made me eligible for retirement 4 years earlier. I was told that the Louisiana Technical College System didn't participate in such programs and I would have to accept the lost. I the incentive of awarding veterans retirement preference was a great encouragement/ motivation and reflected a token of appreciation for the time veterans were serving our country to preserve the Rights, Freedom, and Justice reserved to all Americans. If I had retained those 4 years I would be eligible for regular retirement now. Because I lost that time I seemly must work until I almost 70 years old. Even as a Disabled Veteran, I am a person that really desire to continue to work and I am somewhat uncertain how long I will be able to continue to physically work. I am looking for some consideration and answers not only for myself but for all veterans that have served and are now working in professional fields. What can be done to help. I am a U.S.A.F. veteran.
  2. Thank goodness whomever is President of the United States signed this bill. In this case, thank you to all in congress and to President Obama for supporting this effort. Thank you also to our American Legion. A Son-in-law and son, both benefited from this bill. In fact one son just returned from his 3rd tour of duty in IRAQ in January. He also served a tour in Bosnia. This military son is in the National Guard. Another son's company, Michelin, is in the top 10 of companies hiring veterans. Michelin has appointed human resource personnel who are sensitive to the needs of veterans and make every effort to translate military education and skills to a civilian. My husband and I are both Vietnam era veterans and appreciate all the assistance possible for our service men and women.
  3. M.Oberline...nothing on your profile, what's up with that, not even an American Legion member? Your comment amounts equals to your involvement in our, nothing. Thank you Pathfinder57.
  4. Michael Oberline I might even have to scale back from a multi million dollar mansion to one million dollar mansion. If these Veterans really wanted to do something good for "MY COUNTRY" they would have died over there. YOUR COUNTRY! I doubt you have served your country in any way. You are a DISGRACE to this great country and you should be ashamed of what you wrote here. If you wanted to bash the government there are lots of money being wasted out there at our expense.
  5. Typical Republican stand. My taxes should be cut so I can afford to creat jobs and hire people. It is not fair that I should actually have to hire someone to get the tax break. That would be like taking food out of my family's mouths. I might even have to scale back from a multi million dollar mansion to one million dollar mansion. If these Veterans really wanted to do something good for "MY COUNTRY" they would have died over there in Obama's war that my hero, George W., started, instead of coming back torn apart and disfigured, creatin a drain on the economy and whining about wanting a job.
  6. Our leader must be busy with photo ops. I really can't think of any other reason for his not signing the Bill to give Vets a 3.6% COLA increase which was sent to him Nov 11th by the House. I guess it just goes to show that lipservice is the extent of his really caring. This bill had an effective date of Dec 1, 2011, but nothing is set in stone until he puts his signature on it which in my mind is him ham-stringing the bill until he thinks he can look like the hero he isn't at Christmas or New Years.
  7. First of all, this bill accomplishes nothing. Obama wants to give an employer a credit of a few thousand dollars to hire a veteran. So essentially, the employer must spend 30,40, 50k per year to get a credit of a few thousand. If the employer needed workers, he would have hired them already. Investing tens of thousands of dollars to hire a worker you don't need doesn't make good business sense. Moreover, how can an employer be expected to accept military training/certification they cannot evaluate. Military skills training, particularly initial or junior level training is not on par with civilian training of the same level. Whether you are an electrician or a dental technician, your military schooling is inferior to what would require certification in the civilian world. In essence, an employer is taking a larger risk hiring a military specialist than they are a civilian with real world certifications. As an organization the Legion, should have done its home work instead of taking "the any freebie is a good thing" approach. However, in its characteristically simplistic view, it took the Obama bait and supported the bill.
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