WHY OVERSEAS JOBS ARE A SUSTAINABLE OPTION FOR CERTAIN VETERANS

After consecutive tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, many Gulf War veterans would never dream of going abroad as an entrepreneur. It is certainly understandable. However, you may be surprised to learn that thousands of men and women who have served in Iraqi Freedom and/or Enduring Freedom are actively looking for jobs abroad. If you are a veteran and you are weighing the benefits of going abroad as a defense contractor, keep reading for the scoop.

JOB PROSPECTS FOR THE RETURN OF VETERANS OF THE GULF II (IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN)

While the US job market is showing gradual improvement, the unemployment rate for WWII veterans remains well above the national average. Undoubtedly, as veterans begin to find employment, rates will gradually improve, but it will take time. Working abroad provides veterans with the opportunity to (1) “get out” of the worst of the recession, (2) earn excellent wages, and (3) facilitate their transition to civilian life. This can be a reasonable alternative to looking for a job in their hometown during a recession!

The employment data for veterans returning from the Second Gulf War is sobering. Not only are veterans in transition unfortunate enough to re-enter the civilian labor market in the midst of a protracted recession, but their job prospects are difficult. Accepting employment abroad with an American company that supports operations in Afghanistan, Kuwait or Iraq offers many veterans the opportunity to avoid the depressed American job market while earning a lucrative salary.

EMPLOYMENT DATA FOR THE RETURN OF VETERANS OF THE GULF II

The data presented in the January 6, 2012 employment report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is revealing. In December 2011, 13.1% of Iraqi and Afghan veterans were unemployed, compared to a national civilian unemployment rate of 8.5%. In all, more than 248,000 veterans of the Second Gulf War were unemployed. Among young veterans of the second Gulf War (18-24), one in three (32.2%) were unemployed. Also discouraging, the employment rate of women veterans of the Second Gulf War was 16.8%, almost double the national rate. Finally, recently separated WWII veterans earned an average of $ 10,000 less per year than their civilian counterparts.

THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF OVERSEAS JOBS OFFER VETERANS

American employers often find it difficult to translate their military experience into civilian job skills. This is not the case for defense contractors. They speak the language of the veteran. Veterans already know what to expect; they “were there, did that”. Chances are they worked with subcontractors during their tour (s) and that they already know they can handle the difficulties. Defense contractors appreciate the ability of veterans to develop and execute a plan. They know that veterans exercise good judgment in difficult conditions and are determined to fulfill their mission.

Working as an entrepreneur abroad can ease the transition of veterans to the civilian job market and give them the chance to pay their bills or build a nest. Most overseas entrepreneurs earn between $ 80,000 and $ 150,000 a year. In addition, $ 91,500 of their annual income is exempt from federal tax if they stay outside the United States for at least 330 days a year. Overseas entrepreneurs generally receive up to 30 days paid R&R leave per year, plus airline tickets.

FOR CERTAIN VETERANS, ACCEPTING AN OVERSEAS CONTRACTOR JOB IS AN APPEAL

Happy to finally be home, many veterans of the second Gulf War do not wish to return abroad. It is certainly understandable, and we owe them a collective debt of gratitude for their service. Yet for thousands of veterans in transition, the prospect of working abroad is attractive on various levels. They will not be alone. Defense contractors overseas rely heavily on veterans to fill their ranks. For many Gulf War II veterans, accepting a job with an entrepreneur abroad is a viable alternative.

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