Veterans

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Police and community leaders in Fayetteville are working on a local incarnation of the Silent Siren program to help veterans in an emergency.

Fayetteville police responded last week to a call from a woman whose husband, a soldier, was parked outside a Walmart threatening to kill himself. Police approached the stand off without lights, sirens and shouting.  They were able get the soldier help.

Fayetteville wants to expand that gentle approach for emergencies involving veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or traumatic brain injury.

map, states, veteran education assistants
Student Veterans of America / StudentVeterans.org

North Carolina is one of only eight states in the country where none of the state's schools offer in-state tuition or residency exemptions for veterans. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the number of veterans living in the state is expected to balloon by as much as 60,000.

This presents an opportunity for the state to change course and join the rest of the country in training service members who have called North Carolina home while in the military, though are technically residents of the states from which they enlisted.

Veteran Job Fair
Leoneda Inge

Hundreds of military veterans from across the Triangle region and beyond packed a special job fair Thursday in Raleigh. 

This job fair at Carter-Finley Stadium was for veterans like Jimmy Hicks of Cameron, near Ft. Bragg.

“Usually I get at least one or two calls back when I attend a job fair," said Hicks.  “Hey, if you get one, I think that’s a good thing."

Hicks retired from the Army in 2000.  He's looking for a career in telecommunications.  His job with Verizon was outsourced some years ago.

Veterans learning to fly fish.
Justin Lubke http://www.notyetbeguntofightfilm.com/?page_id=46

Retired Marine Colonel Eric Hastings used to dream about fly-fishing when he was in Vietnam. In 1969, he returned home to Montana and went quickly to the water. "I came back from combat and found I needed relief. And the more I was out there fly-fishing, the more I knew I needed more of it.  You know, this ... this river healed me," he says.

Marine Corps Vet Finally Opens His Own Business

Jan 24, 2014

Here & Now’s Robin Young first met Matt Victoriano at the 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte. He was struggling with PTSD and also struggling to open his own business. We’ve been following him ever since (hear Robin’s October interview with him here).

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans returning from deployment face a quickly-changing job market. Many have a difficult time explaining how their military experience has prepared them for the civilian work force. The unemployment rate for veterans is about 7-percent, on par with the national average.

The North Carolina National Guard Education and Employment Center helps guard members look for civilian jobs.

Manager and fellow veteran Austin Walther says they also help vets translate their military experience into civilian job skills.

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

North Carolina is taking a day to recognize the estimated 700,000-plus veterans living in the state.

American Legion branches around North Carolina are honoring local veterans today after parades in Raleigh and Fayetteville over the weekend.  N.C. Central University is among those that have invited veterans to speak at their events today. 

Ann Jones of Fayetteville Technical Community College says the school is hosting its own Veterans Day ceremony Monday morning.  She says veterans who take classes there use their experience to help fellow students.

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

First Lieutenant Nathan Rimpf of Raleigh lost both his legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last year.  He received a Purple Heart and got two titanium legs when he returned. And on Thursday he'll be a new home owner.

GI Bill
UNC

With major military installations and affordable public higher education, North Carolina is well-suited to take advantage of the high number of veterans looking to attend college. The federal government has spent more than $30 billion on the post 9-11 GI bill since revamping it four years ago – a number that is likely to increase sharply as more military personnel are discharged.

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

A group of young veterans in the state is working to make the transition to civilian life easier for former members of the military.  Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina Cares is raising money to rehabilitate buildings at the John Umstead Property in Butner.  John Turner, executive director of the organization, says when it's completed the facility will provide mental health services, physical rehabilitation and job training for homeless and at risk vets. 

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