VFW: White House Initiative Good for Veterans

WASHINGTON — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is applauding the president's new executive order for helping more military veterans get federal and private employment.

"The president is serious about helping veterans get a job, and he is making sure the federal government is at the top of the hiring line," said VFW Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Richard L. Eubank, a Vietnam veteran from Eugene, Ore., who is in Washington to represent the organization at different national Veterans Day events.

According to the White House, approximately 480,000 veterans work for the government, about one-fourth of the total federal workforce. While the executive order places emphasis on hiring veterans for both public and private employment, it is specifically focused on hiring veterans for federal positions. It created a special Council on Veterans Employment to encourage federal agencies to recruit and train military veterans. The council will be co-chaired by the secretaries of Labor and Veterans Affairs.

"The Boomer Generation is beginning to retire in droves, and the best person to take their place is someone who already swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," said Eubank, who witnessed the signing in the Oval Office yesterday evening. He also attended a Defense Department briefing today about Operation Warfighter, which places wounded troops into internship programs with other federal agencies while they recuperate.

"This is a win-win for the nation because military veterans are intelligent, responsible and motivated, plus they have lived the concept of teamwork," he said. "They will be the leaders of this nation in the not so distant future — our scholars, politicians and captains of industry — and President Obama wants to ensure his administration and the federal government get first dibs on those who want to continue serving their nation. This is a good thing for veterans."

Read the president's executive order at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-veterans-employment-initiative.