A 2016 Veterans Administration found that 20 veterans a day commit suicide. That is 600 people a month and 7,200 people a year, or a small town. This tragedy needs to be addressed and skills learned in the military applied to civilian uses. Basic Training and Advanced Infantry training cost the taxpayer $73,000. This is an investment in human capita, going to waste. A soldier can assess a dangerous situation, reach a conclusion and work as a team to solve it. These are the same skills a lower manager makes with a college degree, so an Honorary Discharge should be rated like an college: associates or undergrad degree, without the proven track record to problems solve as a team. It takes 8 weeks of basic training to start a military, I propose 4 weeks discharge training.
At the end of four weeks each soldier will have been:
1. Screened for PTSD and other psychological problems,
2. Vocational testing to determine best use of soldier’s abilities to specific types of jobs,
3. Computer training with interview skills and vocational training, civilian social skills,
4. Link the Discharge Training program with a national job databank,
5. 6 months of placement in group therapy to examine how the soldier is doing.
When each soldier graduates, he will have one of three results: a job, vocational training with job placement, or college with $7,000 in first and last month’s rent, spending money until their first employment check comes in.
On this 4th of July, remember what your veterans sacrificed to keep your freedom.
Howard L. Hibbard