Local Mom, Veteran Emphasizes Importance of Hiring Vets

July 25, 2017 08:06 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Although the number of unemployed or underemployed veterans in Olmsted County is low compared to other parts of the state, hundreds still go without work.

A local mother of two who is a veteran is now sharing some of the challenges she has had to face.


Sarah Reed says she felt her service in the military didn't mean much to employers knowing unemployment had left her homeless before.

"And I mean you just feel like a failure at that point," said Reed.

Ryan McSweeny, the employment and outreach case manager for Veterans Services of Olmsted County says there are many reasons why vets are getting jobs.

"Not all jobs that you have in the military can apply to a civilian job when you get out. So it's kinda hard depending on you know the age group," said McSweeny. 

Of the more than 10,000 veterans in Olmsted County, between 400 and 500 of them are unemployed or underemployed.

McSweeny says this leaves them at risk for ending up on the street or homeless.

"You’re sitting there and you're thinking I need to be able to buy diapers and food. And I need to be able to pay rent. Even if you have a roommate or you have a friend that's helping you out, it’s not enough," said Reed.

After almost two years of unemployment, Reed was able to finally find a job with the help of Veteran Services of Olmsted County.

Things are looking up for her and she's planning to go to college.

"Because with my degree, I’ll be able to make so much more money an hour and it'll be so much easier," said Reed.

McSweeny says when vets are hired, it’s an investment into someone who is willing to work hard.

"I think they prove that you know signing their life away in the military. You know it's, once you've got them, and you've earned their trust. You know they're gonna be the best," said McSweeny.

Reed says a job helps her feel a sense of accomplishment.

"Once you finally are able to find that job and get that job that it just makes your whole world feel okay. You feel safe again," said Reed.

Reed also says she hopes in the future, employers will put more merit into the work our servicemen and women have done for the country.


Roxanne Elias

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