Obligations and Requirements Regarding the Uniformed Services and Veterans

In May 28, 2011, Miami Herald article, "Returning Soldiers Need Our Help", Ret. US Army Col. Lettie Bien and Raul Mas Canosa write of our returning veterans, their needs and our obligation to help them. Below, see excerpts from that article.

Be sure to Attend GMSHRM's June 21, 2011, Workshop: Compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), presented by Raul Mas of ESGR - Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve, FL.   [Later that evening, GMSHRM President Cindy Lau-Evans will sign a Statement of Support, on behalf of the chapter.]

Ever since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, America’s armed forces have been fighting wars and hunting down terrorists around the world. Now, they are finally starting to come home — a process that may accelerate given the recent death of Osama bin Laden.  However, just because they are coming home does not mean that our obligation to them is over.  Over the past decade, Americans everywhere rallied around our brave young men and women in uniform. That solidarity must continue as they take off those uniforms and return to our communities.

The stress that a decade of war fighting has placed on service members and their families has been severe. Many of them faced several deployments and were separated for years from family members.  For some, the long absences resulted in divorce or strained relationships.  In addition, veterans are finding that the great responsibilities and burdens they faced while deployed are often overlooked or not fully appreciated by civilian employers.  In our faltering economy, they are finding it difficult to find good jobs, let alone launch entirely new careers.

Many veterans are returning home wounded.  Thousands of them have the obvious physical wounds but countless more have the hidden mental wounds brought on by traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Body armor may have saved their lives, but combat stress, explosive concussions, the deaths of fellow soldiers and the horror of war have left lasting and real wounds on their psyche.  Sadly, some of our troops will never be coming home.  Thousands of parents will continue to endure the heartache that they will not see their sons or daughters ever again.  For those service members who were raising their own families, a new generation of children will grow up with only a distant memory of what life was like when Mom or Dad was alive.

As we look at these returning veterans — and their families — it is important for us to support them.  Every citizen can do their part.  Continue to volunteer or donate to organizations that support military veterans and their loved ones.  A list of some of the top-rated groups can be found at www.charitywatch.org.  Alternatively, you can reach out to your local VA Hospital; VA-sponsored Vet Center www.vetcenter.va.gov; or Fisher House, www.fisherhouse.org.  [Also www.operationhomefront.net/florida/].  If you are an employer or involved with social services, make sure that veterans know where to find you by signing up with the nonprofit Warrior Gateway at www.warriorgateway.org.

Finally, every individual, but especially educators, counselors and employers, should familiarize themselves with the effects of TBI and PTSD by visiting the VA’s National Center for PTSD at www.ptsd.va.gov, a wonderful resource for understanding and managing the symptoms associated with these injuries.

Read the complete article http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/28/2239013/returning-soldiers-need-our-help.html

To register for the GMSHRM June 21, 2011 USERRA Compliance Workshop, click here.
To register for the GMSHRM June 21, 2011 Drug Free Workplace Policies Update Workshop, click here.
To register for the GMSHRM June 21, 2011 Dinner Meeting with top-ranked national performance speaker Ryan Estis, click here.

Please note that registration for each GMSHRM workshop and dinner meeting is separate to each other.  In other words, you must register for each event that you wish to attend.