Legionnaire recognized for employing service-disabled veterans

U.S. Army veteran Mark Steiner of Orangevale, Calif., was recently awarded the 2013 John K. Lopez Award for Business Excellence by the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Owner of M.A. Steiner Construction, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, Steiner received the award for his "dedicated support of disabled veterans through hiring, training and counseling."

"Those who bear the wounds of service deserve every opportunity," said Steiner, a member of American Legion Post 119 in Placerville, Calif. "There is too much unemployment generally, and it is particularly painful if it affects a disabled vet. You could say we owe them respect and service. We also owe it to our country."

Between M.A. Steiner Construction and sister company Security On-Site Services, more than 75 veterans, including 20 service-disabled veterans, have been hired since 2011. The training and counseling provided to new hires is performed by veterans because "adapting to civilian life is not always easy," Steiner said. "Veterans bring discipline and a sense of teamwork to the job, but they must learn about the job, the mission, the measure of success and dealing with challenges. Our team (of veterans) excels at that and accomplishes the mission."

Steiner said he was "very proud" to have received the John K. Lopez Award for Business Excellence, but "we still have far too many unemployed veterans, including disabled veterans, so this is more of a break than a finish – time to go back to work. We can solve the veteran unemployment problem one veteran at a time."