Veterans' Preference

DGS49

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This morning I read an obituary about one of my HS classmates. Good guy, nice looking, football player, lots of friends in HS. Graduated, went to Villanova, and a great career, prospered. Died after a short illness at 71 (no mention of Covid).

Over the years I've seen a pattern. Members of my class ('67) who avoided the draft came right out of college, stepped into careers that were then available to recent grads, and prospered. Remember the timing. They graduated from college in 1971, when a significant portion of the workforce was IN THE SERVICE, thus the job market was overflowing with great opportunities. ANY DEGREE was a ticket to the corporate success ladder.

Those of us who "served" (like me) got out of the service in '71, went to college and graduated in the '75-'78 timeframe, when the job market was - let's be honest - terrible for recent grads. Most of us took jobs that didn't require a college degree because employers wanted skill-specific degrees for entry-level management and staff position. Our whole career trajectory was impaired because of the impact of the Vietnam War on the job market.

My personal story - and my career - were also hampered by the fact that I fucked up. I went to college for a year, failed out, then went into the service for 3 years. But the fact is, I tried to enlist out of HS but my parents raised such a stink that I had to give it up. I was the only one of five in my family who had the grades to get into college, and they couldn't support my decision to NOT go to college right out of high school. Coming out of the Army in '71, it took me until '78 (working full time) to graduate, then to go law school, graduating in '82. But even with the law degree - I chose not to practice law - I never actually caught up with my HS classmates who avoided the draft and hit the job market in '71.

When people say, "Thank you for your service" (I have a Vet license plate), I'm sure they have no awareness of the other part of being a vet: you have given up a portion of your career and a time in your life that you will probably never get back. It's a bigger sacrifice than most people think. And that's not even considering the stresses and dangers of military service.
 

Gdjjr

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I don't advertise my "service"- I joined the Navy at 17 and got out 10 days before my 21st birthday- May 65- Dec 68- I got my GED in the Navy aboard the USS Yorktown CVS-10- all I can say is; "it's been a helluva party Woodrow"-
 

rightwinger

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I hear the same thing happened in WWII as returning soldiers flooded the job market.
 

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