When Sergeant Bryon McNeil returned home from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan he moved back to his home state of Texas to look for work.
Not having any luck, he did what many other soldiers and their families are doing: He picked up and moved to South Carolina. South Carolina’s unemployment rate for veterans is well below the national average.
Business owners say they have embraced hiring vets. They even see their experience as a plus. “They have that mission focus to watch out for the person to your left and right it’s that kind of attitude… its about the mission,” said Time Warner Cable’s Paul Turevon.
Sergeant McNeil survived three helicopter crashes while in combat and was left unable to work. The VA in South Carolina helped his wife find work too.
Vets come to see Joe Medlin, a fellow veteran who recently returned from Afghanistan, to help better themselves. They have resume writing workshops and training sessions to prepare soldiers for workplace opportunities.
Medlin’s battalion is only facing four percent unemployment. That is about half of what state and national averages are. Turevon believes preparation for life after war is equally important.
“How we treat veterans today is a direct proportion to those who are willing to serve in the future," he said. "If we treat veterans well today then future generations will want to serve.”