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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:13 AM
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Veterans warily test waters of civilian work
Veterans warily test waters of civilian work
The Associated Press - The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Nov 27, 2007 7:43:01 EST

FORT RILEY, Kan. Brian Brooks sat against the wall listening intently to instructions for his next mission. After 20 years of working for team Army, the next task was all his.

Brooks is trading his uniform and procurement job for civilian clothes and work schedules. Since 1987, he has reported each day for duty, knowing there was a job waiting for him. Now, theres no guarantee.

For some of us, its a different world. It will make you a little nervous, said Brooks, 38, whos retiring after 20 years.

The disconnect between life in the active-duty military and the civilian job market is not unusual. For the nearly 250,000 who leave the military annually, selling themselves to employers isnt something they have had to worry about for years if ever.

More and more midgrade officers and enlisted service members are leaving the military as multiple deployments to war takes their toll on them and their families. Despite increased incentives, including huge bonuses from the Army, many are opting to test the civilian job market, even if they arent sure how.

For the Defense Department, having thousands of unemployed veterans is costly. In 2006, the agency paid $518 million in unemployment benefits and $365 million through the first three quarters of 2007.

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