Coconino National Forest, Arizona
Prescott National Forest, Arizona
Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2012
n Community housing provided (participants should also plan on camping for extended periods)
n Transportation during work activities
n Living stipend of $300/week
n Week-long training session
n Travel expense reimbursement of up
to $550 to and from sites
Current-era military veteran, honorably
discharged; 21 or older; valid driver’s license;
good physical condition; able to hike up to 8 miles on rugged terrain; able to pass USFS Work Capacity (“Pack”) Test; willing to
undergo criminal background check.
00171169 and 00171170
Veterans Fire Corps provides recent-era Veterans with the training, credentials and experience they need to competitively pursue wildland fire and/or forestry careers. Projects include fuels reduction, fire effects monitoring, FIREWISE educational outreach, participation in prescribed fires, and pre-fire preparation of burn units.
This position offers a variety of field and office work, including
gathering field data in forest settings, navigating plots with GPS
hardware, and managing the FEAT/FIREMON Integrated database. Typical work hitches may include up to 4 consecutive 10-hour
days with 3 days off. Position involves long hours in the field working in all weather conditions and in rough terrain.
Training and education are key components to this program, including:
Veterans Fire Corps Fall 2012
To apply: Go to thesca.org and click “Sign Up”.
For info and fee waiver call 603-543-1700 Ext 1499 or email SCArecruiting@thesca.org subject Veterans Fire Corps.
n Wildland Fire Chainsaws
n Basic Wildland Firefighter
n Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
n Introduction to Incident Command System
n Standards for Survival
n Human Factors on the Fireline
n I ntroduction to the National Incident Management System
n Wilderness First Aid and CPR
Posts Tagged ‘Jobs for Veterans’
Coconino National Forest, Arizona
IAVA Action Fund just released its 2010 Congressional Report Card – and we want you to be the first to check it out. This critical tool shows who in Congress took action for new veterans and who was full of hot air.
The grades are not good. The Report Card shows just how little Congress accomplished for Iraq and Afghanistan vets this year. Out of 535 legislators, only 20 legislators earned an A+, and more than a third of Congress earned Ds and Fs.
Congress showed promise for vets in the first half of this session, but by the second half, everything went downhill.
They failed to achieve real reform in our three most critical areas: improving the outdated VA disability claims process, upgrading the Post-9/11 GI Bill and helping vets find jobs in a tough economy.
As we head into the midterm elections, Americans must hold Congress accountable for their voting record. Vets can’t wait for the gridlock to clear in Washington. IAVA Action Fund is keeping our nation’s lawmakers honest, and ensuring that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans remain a priority on Capitol Hill. This is what the Report Card is all about.
Veterans bill improves benefits, protections
Posted : Friday Oct 15, 2010 13:27:03 EDT
An omnibus veterans benefits bill signed into law on Wednesday holds the promise of big changes for disabled veterans and their families, according to the two committee chairmen responsible for passing the compromise bill.
One example is an expansion of employment and re-employment legal protections and more financial protections for deployed and mobilized service members, including the opportunity for service members to sue people or businesses who violate the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act.
The bill, the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, was passed by Congress before lawmakers took an election break and was signed by President Obama on Wednesday.
“Veterans across the country will see their benefits improve,” said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, highlighting programs to increase automotive grants for disabled veterans, provide childcare services for homeless veterans and expand life insurance for disabled veterans.
“Many of these provisions were pending for some time, and I am pleased that they have now become law,” said Akaka, referring to the fact that the bill took two years to pass as lawmakers grappled with what programs to include and what to leave out.
Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., the House Veterans’ Affairs committee chairman, said the bill “will make a big difference in the lives” of many veterans. He mentioned improvements in employment help, more research into health issues facing Gulf War veterans and expansion of financial and legal protections of deployed troops as key items.
Until now, violations of the legal or financial protections under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act did not include penalties. Now, violators would face fines of up to $55,000 for a first offense and up to $110,000 for subsequent violations, and individuals whose rights are violated also may sue for civil damages and attorney fees.
Additionally, the law expands termination rights for residential and motor vehicle leases and for telephone service contracts.
On auto and residential leases, the new law requires unpaid balances to be pro-rated from the effective date of termination, rather than being charged through the end of the next billing period. And when residential leases are canceled because of mobilization or deployment, early termination fees may not be charged.
On telephone contracts, the law allows termination of a cell phone or telephone exchange service any time a military member receives notice of orders to relocate for 90 days or longer to a location not served by the current contract.
Additionally, family-plan cell phone contracts could be terminated if anyone on the plan is a service member who deploys or moves out of the service area. When phone service is terminated, a phone company would have to keep it available for up to three years for reuse by a service member, but getting the old number would require re-subscribing to the phone service within 90 days of returning.
This saga has been underway since the first troops rotated after the Shock and Awe bombing of Iraq in 2003. For the past 7 years only one mission has been accomplished, the war side one. Post war battles are harder to fight, because the soldier is not armed with the emotional weapons to overcome a bio-chemical make- over of their entire being. At least not in the employers minds.
I predicted this patriotic hypocrisy following the first retreat I attended in 2005, for returning combat veterans. There were 19 at the workshop, and 11 of them had trouble getting their jobs back after deployment. Four of them were engaged in lawsuits with former employers. They were all reservists who by Federal Law must be allowed to return to their jobs after being called up for duty.
What was the Employers response to these young warriors? “Sue me, then.” So much for the yellow ribbons.
And this is just the first wave of troops rotating home. We think we have an unemployment problem now? Wait for the next wave to hit the barren beaches of bleakness in the economy. I remember well 1973 when no one wanted to hire a Vietnam Veteran.
There is, however, an aspect to this job placement dilemma that is really quite positive. Now the VA cares. Now our current Administration cares. Now there are mentoring programs and vocational rehabilitation that never existed in my era of suppression and repression of all war related matters. We are a bit more enlightened about a soldiers needs. That is a good thing. The funding and support for these programs needs to be ongoing and stable until every Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, and Coast Guard combatant are safe at home. Without that assured commitment, we will only see a deja vu of the self destruction and homelessness that visited us in the veteran community for the 25 years following the end of the Vietnam War. There were no yellow ribbons then, just suicides. We can do better, and will. Mike Brewer/USMC
The article follows.
“I was even turned down by McDonald’s,” said the 29-year-old San Diego native.
The military is known for developing leadership, adaptability, loyalty and teamwork. But Butcher said when he tells employers he needs time off to see therapists for post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury, they don’t call back.
“They think you are mental,” he said.
After nearly a decade of war, many U.S. military veterans have lived through extended periods of combat stress and the trauma of losing colleagues. Nearly a third of the troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan report symptoms of PTSD, severe depression or traumatic brain injury, according to a 2008 study by the Rand Corp.
Many of these new veterans struggle to find and retain civilian jobs. Not only are they returning to the worst economy in decades, advocates say, but many employers do not know how to accommodate these invisible wounds and worry that they might “go postal.”
“If you are a person with a lost limb, it’s a little more straightforward what you might need,” said John Wilson, assistant legislative director for Disabled American Veterans. “You might need a different kind of keyboard or voice-recognition software to do the typing.”
But employers may not know what to expect from a person with PTSD or a brain injury. The symptoms can include severe headaches, memory lapses, poor concentration, slurred speech, loss of balance, a short temper and anxiety in a crowd.
“These elements can make it a challenge to do everyday activities in the workplace,” said Raymond Jefferson, assistant secretary for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service in the U.S. Department of Labor. “But there are very reasonable accommodations employers can make to allow wounded warriors with PTSD and [brain injuries] to be high-contributing, high-performing members on the team.”
When the Society for Human Resource Management surveyed its members in June, 46% said they believed post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues posed a hiring challenge. Just 22% said the same about combat-related physical disabilities.
Although media attention has helped make the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and traumatic brain injury a government priority, veterans say it has also contributed to the stigma associated with these wounds.
“They hear so many stories on the news — this soldier got back from Iraq and killed his wife — which makes people a little reluctant to hire you,” Butcher said.
Butcher deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of a tank crew that repeatedly came under fire. One hot day he left a hatch open and the force of a grenade blast slammed his head against an iron shield.
Many veterans are using education benefits to improve their qualifications. But when Butcher enrolled in community college, the sight of Muslim students kneeling to pray triggered terrifying flashbacks. He left after one semester.
A friend helped arrange an internship at a computer manufacturing company, but Butcher said he got into frequent arguments with co-workers. After four days, he was asked to leave.
Butcher said he has since learned to walk away when he gets angry and uses weekly counseling sessions to relieve stress. But he said the flexibility he would need from an employer puts him at a disadvantage compared to job seekers who don’t have special needs.
Officials with the U.S. departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor and Defense have worked to assure potential employers that the mental and cognitive disabilities of many veterans can be accommodated with little expense and minimum disruption.
Short rest periods — no longer than a smoking break — can make a big difference, said Ruth Fanning, who heads the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service. The department also pays for adaptive technology, such as electronic organizers to help keep track of appointments and white-noise machines to reduce distractions.
Denita Hartfield, a veteran now working from home, takes a digital recorder into every meeting, writes lists in color-coded notebooks and covers her workspace with Post-it note reminders. A striking woman, fashionably attired, with a master’s degree in criminal justice and weapons of mass destruction, Hartfield struggled as dean of students at a business school because her disabilities were not immediately apparent.
“I need my appointments to live,” she said.
Hartfield now wants to set up her own business advising veterans and employers how to work together. She says more open communication would have helped in her case, but at first she did not want to acknowledge her disabilities.
“One of the problems is so many folks aren’t even talking about their invisible wounds,” said Tim Embree, legislative associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “The issues are different with every individual, so what I think matters is that the individual understands what’s going on as well as the employer.”
To help employers better accommodate the mental health issues veterans face, the Department of Labor has set up a web site, America’s Heroes at Work.
Many veterans find civilian work with the U.S. government, which is one of the largest employers of former military personnel; they make up a quarter of the federal workforce. About 40% of the staff at VA medical call centers in Northern California are disabled veterans, many of them with PTSD or brain injuries, according to Project Hired, the nonprofit contracted to run them. Los Angeles Habilitation House is training 18 veterans with invisible wounds to provide contract management services to the government.
They include Ronta Foster, a 49-year-old father of two who has cycled between the Army and low-paying civilian jobs for years.
He was diagnosed with PTSD and traumatic brain injury after deploying to Iraq in 2003 but traces the symptoms back to a beating he received outside a German nightclub in 1982.
“The opportunities have been far and few for me,” Foster said. “This here is going to give me an opportunity to start another career and take care of me and my family. That’s all I have been wanting to do for 30 years.”
Some companies also seek out veterans. Joshua Stout is one of 80 people recruited through Northrop Grumman’s hiring program for severely wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. A former Marine who served in both wars, he now works as a project manager at a plant in San Diego that is developing an unmanned surveillance plane for the Navy.
The company consulted occupational nurses on how to help the 27-year-old manage PTSD and a brain injury. They showed him how to set reminders on his computer and arranged his cubicle so co-workers could not come up from behind and startle him.
Stout said he struggled to learn how to manage databases, but his supervisor worked with him until he could remember the steps.
“I get a lot of self pride out of working for this company,” he said. “I’m still supporting the troops and I’m still defending freedom.”
Although accommodations have to be made, Karen Stang, who manages the hiring program, said managers appreciate what veterans like Stout bring to the company.
“They bring loyalty, a great work ethic, commitment,” she said. “It’s been a real win-win.”
Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times
With the number of men and women rotating home, this could not be more timely.