President Obama thanked the nation’s veterans on Saturday and called for more measures to help returning servicemembers find jobs in the private sector.
“If you fight for your country overseas, you should never have to fight for a job when you come home,” said Obama in his weekly address.
Obama said that the nation needed to do more to ensure that veterans had “every chance to share in the opportunity he or she has helped defend.”
“In addition to the care and benefits they’ve earned – including good mental health care to stay strong – that means a good job, a good education, and a home to call their own,” he added.
The president touted steps taken by his own administration, including the hiring of 300,000 veterans by the federal government and transition programs that provide servicemembers and their spouses with career training and help to find work.
Obama also urged Congress to “do the right thing and pass the Veterans Jobs Corps. Put our veterans to work rebuilding America.”
The president proposed a veterans jobs bill as a remedy to the high unemployment rate facing returning servicemembers. But the bill has made little headway in the GOP-controlled House.
First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have also taken an active role in aiding military families, with their Joining Forces campaign helping veterans find jobs outside of the military.
The president said that businesses working with that effort have “already hired or trained 290,000 veterans and military spouses, and they’ve committed to hiring over 400,000 more.”
Obama also called for “more help with job searches. More tools to connect veterans to job openings. More chances to earn licenses and credentials for civilian jobs. And new tax credits for companies that hire veterans and wounded warriors – tax credits which Congress should make permanent.”
“We’ve made progress getting our vets back to work. But we’ve got a lot more to do. And as more than a million of our troops return to civilian life, we’re going to have to work even harder,” said Obama.
The president and first lady will host a breakfast for former servicemembers to mark Veterans Day on Monday.
Obama will then visit Arlington National Cemetery for the traditional wreath-laying ceremony, where he will also deliver remarks.