Braley Column: Working to get our veterans back to work Print
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 12 December 2011 13:31

The best way to thank our veterans and tell them 'good job' is to help them find a good job when they return home.

Federal law requires employers to re-hire National Guard servicemembers when they return from active duty service.  I’ve always been proud of how seriously Iowa employers take their duty to help re-integrate our returning soldiers back into normal day-to-day life.  But what about those veterans who were out of work when they were called up?

Late this summer, 2,800 members of the Iowa National Guard returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.  In a survey conducted after they returned home, more than 600 of these men and women reported being out of work.  That’s the equivalent of an unemployment rate of over 21 percent in this group – nearly four times the Iowa unemployment rate.

Unemployment among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans isn’t just a problem unique to Iowa.  Nationally, these vets are unemployed at a rate nearly twice the national average.

Creating jobs for these veterans will not only help them, but it will also address the greater unemployment problem in our country.

That’s why for several months, I’ve worked to promote the idea of cutting taxes for employers who hire unemployed veterans who are returning from active duty service.

In August, I introduced the Combat Veterans Back to Work Act, a bill that provides tax credits for employers that hire unemployed veterans.  This idea, which attracted some rare bipartisan support in Congress, was  incorporated into two new tax credits that were signed into law by President Obama last month.

The first, known as the Returning Heroes tax credit, provides up to $5,600 in tax credits for every unemployed veteran hired by an employer.  The second, called the Wounded Warrior tax credit, doubles the existing tax credit for firms that hire unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities.

The bottom line is that these tax credits will help the bottom line of businesses and help get veterans back to work – a win-win for our economy and many brave men and women.

If you’re a veteran or a business interested in learning more about these tax credits, I encourage you to contact my Waterloo office at (319) 287-3233.

by Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01)