Service Member to Unemployed Vets: 'Look to God'

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Chaz Logan, 24, is a nuclear machinist mate currently serving in the U.S. Navy. The Texas native, who is used to traveling around the world on aircraft carriers, will soon embark on a new journey -- life as a civilian.

Having a job lined up when he returns to civilian life will make that transition much easier. But it's a challenging task these days, considering the high unemployment rate among veterans.

The percentage of unemployed veterans remains much higher than the overall national unemployment rate. With current and future troop drawdowns, the unemployment rate for veterans could go even higher.

Trusting God for a Job

Currently, the U.S. Department of Labor reports nearly 12.1 percent of veterans who served since September 11, 2001, are unemployed.

In Logan's age group, the statistics are even worse.

A recent report found more than 20 percent of 18 to 24-year-old vets do not have a job, which is well over the national unemployment rate that continues to hover around 9 percent.

"I'm going to pray to God about it, put it in God's hands. I do as much as I can," Logan told CBN News.

"Whatever God's plan is for me and my family, He'll put us where He needs us and where He wants us, so I just do as much as I can on my part," he said.

Logan has enlisted the help of Bradley-Morris, Inc.,a company whose mission is to deliver military-experienced talent to America's top companies, free of charge to veterans.

Tim Best, a U.S. Army veteran, is the senior vice president of client services.

"We match military job seekers to jobs out in the private sector," Best told CBN News.

'Lost in Translation'

Best said military men and women bring a lot to the table. He and his colleagues work to educate companies on the skill sets that a veteran has, helping them to interpret military experience on a resume.

At the same time, companies like Bradley-Morris advise veterans on how to "demilitarize" portions of their resumes.

In this way, employers better understand how the skills of a vet benefit a business -- skills like advanced technical knowledge and leadership in extremely adverse conditions.

"They're used to dealing with all kinds of personalities. They understand that accomplishing the mission is critical," Best expalined.

"And so they're able to blend into those environments and sometimes bring a little more order into an environment where really what was missing was just some leadership," Best explained.

Why No Jobs for Vets?

So if veterans make great employees, why are there so many out of a job?

Best said there's a disconnect in veterans knowing how to tap into the many free resources.

He said he believes there needs to be an easily accessible central hub on the Internet for vets to learn about what's available, a request his company made while testifying before Congress.

"We haven't seen any movement on that," he said. "Even if there was a place where there are some links, there's nothing that says, 'Hey, this service is a good fit for me.'"

Kevin Schmiegel, a former Marine, now works to help fellow vets find jobs through his position at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Schmiegel said the efforts to hire veterans have not been well coordinated. He said the chamber's Hiring Our Heroes program is changing that, with the government and private sector working side by side, holding a series of job fairs across the country.

"We bring to the table not just big businesses, but three million small businesses across America through the local chambers of commerce at these hiring fairs," he said.

Don't Give Up 

As Logan's time in the military nears an end, he's hopeful a civilian job will come his way soon. In the meantime, he encourages veterans not to give up.

"Look to God for strength, keep your head up high, and just know that your military training is something that is highly valued with a lot of companies in the country and even outside the country," he said.

--Originally broadcast November 11, 2011.

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Mark Martin

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.