Empathy

You would think that I’ve had enough writing for one day, considering that I just wrote a 6 page resume for Federal employment. Honestly, this is the first resume that I could actually express most of my talents and experience. I’ve been told that normal resumes for private employers need to be only 1 page long. After you finish your address and education, you’re half way down the page! My military experience takes a lot more than 3 bullets to explain.

I’ve never written a federal resume, because I didn’t understand it’s importance. I also never wanted to use my disability to gain employment. Just because my legs are damaged does not mean I need to stand out in front of the rest, at most, in front of more disabled veterans.

After meeting with my EDD rep today, I felt that there was actual hope on getting employment with either the Federal government or State government. By using my disability, will help greatly with employment. This leads me to two thoughts; disability as an employment benefit (or empathy) and having a disability is the only way a veteran can find work.

I’ve been unemployed a few times; the outcome has always been disappointing with the work I was doing. The work I was trying to fit into was something that I wasn’t built for. I would take jobs because I needed to pay my bills. In pursuing these jobs, I never used my disability, only hoping my education and experience would carry over. No other doors really opened up for me. So was that because I wasn’t disabled? No one could understand my profession?

Now that I am actively using my 10 point preference as a disabled vet and the experience may actually will help with the employment process. Is that empathy? Employers want to hire vets who served their time and now have service connected disabilities that will change their lives forever. We’re a tax write-off for crying out loud. I ask again, is the empathy? Or is it the only way employers will notice us from the rest of the world.

Veteran do not need certain specialties or exceptions, we’re human beings with a brain and great knowledge from our experiences. We did our job well, we’ve done things most people won’t even consider. Even when we get out of the service are labeled and segregated because we’ve made certain sacrifices. Do we deserve a different standard in employment? Do we deserve empathy because we are disabled in one way or another? That’s a decision you need to decide. A personal belief and ethic that is becoming the social norm and a stereotype. Think hard before you make this judgment. Veterans’ are human. Treat us as such. We made our sacrifices for ourselves, our nation and our families.

I have hope. Its 2014, we’re not at “war” and the image of a veteran is being cleared up. Laws are being passed that help us with employment and social services are being implemented. Does this solve all of our unemployment woes? No, plenty of us are still unemployed. The future doesn’t look as grim as it did in 2009 and 2011 when I started to apply for a career. The stigma maybe loosening the rope around our necks and hopefully political shortcomings and decisions are being left out of our past (we were only following orders). I started this blog with the feeling that veterans are always the last to receive a fair share. Stereotypes and stigma has left us to be baby killing machines who love war with our PTSD and love to hold secrets. Hopefully now those stereotypes are dissolving and we can finally start to build our lives, disabled or not.

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