Trucks at Work

The faithful still soldier on

It’s doesn’t surprise me in the least that a recent poll of 1,701 veterans found – despite the many challenges they face, from disabilities to finding jobs – that the vast majority, some eight out of 10, would readily repeat their military careers.

That tells you something, I think, about the kinds of people who join the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard – and why trucking is so focused on recruiting more of them into the freight-hauling business.

Yet, though most veterans in the poll above said they would readily repeat their service, they face plenty of post-military issues.

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) group, which conducted this survey, noted that the biggest issues faced by veterans today include major gaps in the support, health care and disability benefits they receive, with many younger veterans in particular struggling to find jobs.

"The survey shows veterans of every generation are proud of their military service and believe it had a positive impact on their life, even though many paid a price," said Marc Burgess, DAV CEO and national adjutant, in a statement – noting that the sledding is especially hard for post-9/11 vets.

Here are some other findings from DAV’s survey to chew on:

  • 84% of those veterans polled believe their military service had an overall positive impact on their life. Nearly eight in 10 would, if they had to do it all over again, repeat their service.
  • Yet only 38% of veterans feel they had the support needed when re-entering civilian life. Veterans identify the challenges of daily living, such as employment, finances and housing as the biggest hurdles they faced upon leaving the military.
  • Only 22% agree the federal government treats veterans well, while 53% feel the public treats veterans well.
  • Just 44% of veterans report they have received the health, disability, financial and education benefits they were promised. Only 18% believe disabled veterans have received the benefits they were promised.
  • Many post-9/11 veterans report their time in the service had an adverse impact on their health: 37% say it had a negative effect on their physical health and nearly 28% say it had a negative effect on their mental health.
  • Post-9/11 veterans are more likely than veterans from other service eras to report that, upon leaving the military and becoming a civilian, they had a difficult time with relationships with their spouse or partner, children, or parents and family members.
  • Post-9/11 veterans are also much more likely to report that finding meaningful employment after leaving the military is difficult, with 36% saying it was tough.
  • 56% of women veterans do not believe they receive the same respect and appreciation as their male counterparts; while only 34% of male veterans think women do not receive the same respect as men do.
  • 44% of female veterans would encourage their daughters to serve in the military, while only 34% of male veterans would.
  • Finally, 85% of veterans say they appreciate it when someone they do not know thanks them for their service.

Trucking companies large and small – as well as U.S. and Canadian for that matter – are doing their part on the jobs front to bring more military veterans into the industry’s ranks.

Efforts by Bison Transport, Werner Enterprises, and J.B. Hunt Transportation Services, and Schneider are just some of the big names in trucking that are trying to recruit more veterans.

And, sometimes, such recruiting efforts generate interesting stories on their own as well.

For example, two Iraq war veterans who had served together under fire in combat almost a decade ago ended up unexpectedly reuniting as drivers for Crete Carrier just last year.

Great stuff; let’s hope we hear of more such stories if the industry continues to be successful in its efforts to sign up more veterans.

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