Veterans Face Higher Jobless Rate Back Home

CHICAGO (CBS) — You’ve heard people say, “Support the troops.” But what happens when the troops come home?

Many military men and women returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have education and job needs.

But many states, including Illinois, have budget issues that might limit help.

CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman spoke with a Marine about his reality.

Kyle Lopez was a Marine in Iraq. He faced danger and endured loss.

“It’s a lot more structured – everyone tells you what to do,” Lopez says of military service. “Out here, no one tells you what to do. It’s just so hard.”

Like so many other returning service men and women, Lopez has come home to a tough economy.

So now he’s dealing with the worry of how he’s going to support himself. He’s tried but can’t get a job.

He says the idea that America takes care of its veterans is “pretty much not true.”

The latest crop of Gulf War veterans has an 11.1 percent unemployment rate, which is higher than the national population rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Bill Wolf, a former state commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, says there are programs in place that make sure returning military are mentally and physically OK when they come home. But that doesn’t solve the employment problem, Wolf says.

“It’s not all sugarcoated,” Lopez says.

He says he’s thankful for his time in the service, but he just hopes lawmakers hear his story.

Gov. Quinn recently signed legislation making it easier for vets to gain access to some employment.

  • Centurion

    It’s gonna get worse. There will be over 200,000 H1B visa employees coming from India, Pakistan, and China to take jobs during 2012. Who needs to hire veterans..when they can bring over 200,000 foreign workers. Remember that Kyle Lopez…US MARINE….this is what your country and the companies really think of you. You are not smart enough to take those jobs which is why those companies like MOTOROLA (also known as Little Bombay), Cisco, Northrop and a host of other tech companies needs foreign workers..they are so much smarter. Please take heed…those H1B visas are APPROVED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT! The same government that sent you to die in Iraq and Afghanistan for the sake of BIG OIL PROFITS.

    Occupy Wall Street? How about..OCCUPY CONGRESS!

  • Veterans First

    This country treats veterans horribly. The Veterans Administration makes it impossible to get the benefits and services you need. The other Federal government agencies don’t like to hire veterans because we are perceived as “dangerous.” I have an undergraduate degree and a law degree. I worked for the Federal government for 23 years and have experienced discrimination first hand from Federal agencies like U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. I have an email where a supervisor stated emphatically, “Is this veteran blocking other candidates. What can we do if we don’t like how he interviews?” I have the email to prove this statement. Ironically, this supervisor was black and spouted on about affirmative action for minorities. Because veterans get a 5 and 10 point hiring preference, no matter how much education and experience you have after you have left the service, your credentials are discounted because of your hiring preference even though you still have to qualify for the job. I say institute the draft so that all Americans have to serve regardless and see how quickly a person like this fat black nasty woman shuts her mouth when her son has to go and take a bullet for this country. Americans should be grateful to those that volunteer to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms and luxuries that we all have.

    • Michelle Brown

      i have a book for veterans called this girl’s life:Being the child of a war veteran it’s about my life in the home of my war veteran dad i am here to help and support the veterans and there family you can find the book at or on the kindle at barnes noble amazon

      • Veterans First

        Michelle, thank you so much for extending your hand to veterans to help. Nearly all the Marines I served with were serving to better themselves or get out of a bad home life. Nobody at 18 really understands what the ramification to serving in the military.

    • Michelle Brown

      I have a book called this girl’s life:Being the child of a war veteran it’s about my life in the home of my war veteran dad when my dad left the war he was a different man he had totally changed but my dad was not like that until he came out of the war my book can be found on the kindle at amazon, barnes noble,

  • Leroy Goldberg

    Just like the fat black grease oil you fought to steal from the middle easterners, for the fat cigar smoking Caucasian, who now refuses to hire you, while importing cheaper help from CHINA. SMOKE THAT! From a slim gainfully employed African American Gentleman who was tipping around serving your girl while you were overseas.

    • Veterans First

      Actually Leroy, I served in a peacekeeping mission to remove Manual Noriega from power in Panama. You know, a dictator who was killing Panamanians. So go F yourself. I’m so glad that the Robert’s Supreme Court all but obliterated Affirmative Action in the University of Michigan cases. It is finally nice to see all people regardless of race on an equal playing field. How does it feel to earn what you have from actually working and by merit? It is something new for you I’m sure.

  • Leroy Goldberg

    Nope! I was accepted at SIU-Carbondale with a 3.0 GPA, and a 19 on the ACT! I escaped the draft— I was only 15 (1972) when my birthday was called. To close: you offended me with your comment, as the hiring agent offended you. If memory serves me right, Ollie North was selling coke to fund some parts of that movement. Remember the meeting with the senior Bush!

    • Veterans First

      Big deal a 3.0 is barely a “B” average. How about a 3.9, triple major and double minor and NO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BREAKS Leroy. I don’t care if I offend you one bit. I haven’t met a black person yet who doesn’t think they are entitled. Since I last check, none of you blacks are actually from Africa so we can just stop this whole “I’m a poor African Slave” garbage. Furthermore, since when is exercising my 1st amendment rights to respond to your insensitive nasty comment wrong or racist? GO F YOURSELF. Don’t forget Obama voted for the war in the Middle East while he was in the Senate.

      • Lisa Jarrett

        I’ve reported you for your racist comment and abusive language. Take that one to heart…

      • Veterans First

        Cry me a river!!! Since when is exercising your 1st amendment rights to respond to inappropriate and insensitive comments racist or abusive? Sounds like you are not educated nor know what you are talking about. Gee I’m so racist I voted for Obama right? I’m going to vote against in him in 2012 just to anger people like you. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! GO F YOURSELF TWIT!!!

  • Leroy Goldberg

    First I discount very seriously the lie you just wrote; triple major and a double minor.
    Seriously, you could not afford that— time wise or financially. Dismissed

    Bottom line, the new Americans, the East Indian and the Chinese immigrant will pass you on your way to the unemployment office in their new BMW’s burning imported oil…You fought for. To be gone with you, you will buy the product they produce. Go F yourself!

  • drew

    look at these two morons dukeing it out above lol

  • Leroy Goldberg

    Before I retire for the night; I want my 25 acres and you can keep the mules, instead, I’ll accept two you know what ????????????

  • Centurion

    Leroy’s comment is very true. The Chinese immigrant, the Asian Indian immigrant will drive right by you in their Benz, Beemer on their way to their job that they got thru the H1B Visa program. They even make more money that Leroy. When the time comes, they will be in a hiring managers chair…they won’t hire Leroy, or any Veteran, cause now they have overstayed their visa, applied for a green card, changed jobs, make more money, took Leroys possible management job, the vet got fired for being a bit older, the immigrant took that job..and the H1B visa cap has already been met YET AGAIN…another 100,000 new immigrants coming to take the jobs. Even affirmative action can’t stop that.

  • New Vets Struggle As Older Veterans’ Programs Take Up Most Of VA Budget « CBS Chicago

    […] The issue is leading to complaints among young veterans. Kyle Lopez was a Marine in Iraq, and now he can’t find a job. […]

  • Veterans First

    Cry me a river!!! Since when is exercising your 1st amendment rights to respond to inappropriate and insensitive comments racist or abusive? Sounds like you are not educated nor know what you are talking about. Gee I’m so racist I voted for Obama right? I’m going to vote against in him in 2012 just to anger people like you. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    • Reasonable Doubt

      Lets bring Bush II back and declare war on Iran! Obama has no bxxx pulling all the troops out Iraq!

      • Veterans First

        Yup, I totally agree with Reasonable Doubt. Obama is a blowhard. Now Iran and Iraq are in collusion. NO VETERAN SHOULD RE-UP OR SERVE THIS COUNTRY AGAIN SINCE WE ARE NOT APPRECIATED. If Obama wants people to serve back in the Middle East against Iran and Iraq, then institute the draft and make everyone go including his two monkey daughters. I’m never voting for that lying monkey again just to anger the flaming liberals.

  • Janet

    The United States needs to worry about their own people going back to work and not bringing people from other countries here. Put the unemployed American back to work all of them.

    • Veterans First

      I totally agree with Janet. Instead of going around and intervening in Middle East psycho issues, both the Republicans and Democrats need to worry about Americans and Veterans. Let the Middle East people kill each other off. Who gives a rip!!! Help this COUNTRY FIRST!!!

  • kayla wilke


    • Veterans First

      You are an insensitive jagoff for saying such a nasty thing. You should be lucky that there are people like Lopez willing to fight for the freedoms and luxuries you have. I say institute the draft so people like you are forced to take a bullet for this country, then I’d like to see you make some ignorant comment.

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