There was a point in the not-so-distant past of America that returning soldiers were sometimes looked upon with disdain for being deployed. Fortunately, this type of misdirected anger has all but subsided, but this doesn’t mean that our servicemen and women don’t still have difficulties when they come home. On top of potentially developing post-traumatic stress disorder or having difficulties readjusting to civilian life, it can also be quite difficult to find employment. Luckily, the “Troops to Trucks” and “Troops to Truckers” programs are working towards a solution to this problem to increase safety on the interstates.
Necessary for Everyone
The “Troops to Truckers” program is dedicated to getting veterans immediate work in the commercial trucking industry when they return home. This is accomplished by training them to drive commercially if necessary and help expedite their licensure process. It may not seem like much, but it’s absolutely essential for ex-soldiers, the trucking industry, and your safety.
It’s predicted that there could be 300,000 full time commercial trucking positions available across the country within a year. Even with each state having different truck accident laws, the increased number of truck drivers on roads across the Unites States could be very hazardous. It only makes sense to fill these open job positions with fully trained drivers, making the roads much safer for you.
A Win-Win Program
Between 2014 and 2015, a steady withdrawal of servicemen and women from the Middle East means that almost 20,000 troops will be coming home. Even though the United States has an unemployment rate that’s higher than we’d like, it’ll still be difficult for many returning veterans to find work. What makes the “Troops to Truckers” program so ingenious, is the current truck driver shortage in America. A consistently rising demand in the freight shipping business has left many Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) companies understaffed.
This military geared program is meant to help returning soldiers quickly find jobs, but they can only work within the confines of the law. Luckily, states consistently agree to work with this program, which wouldn’t be able to run otherwise without a bit of support from governmental agencies. For this reason, many state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have agreed to speed up the licensure process by doing things such as allowing veterans with heavy vehicle training to skip the road skills test. It should be noted, though, that these programs can vary state by state.
Benefits to the Troops
Any military medic or satellite communications expert has probably run into the harsh realization that the civilian world often requires them to retake the training that they’ve already had while in the military. This can also be the case even for those with large truck driving experience.
One of the biggest benefits to the troops, other than immediately having access to a job that pays over $30,000 a year, is the fact that they won’t have to be retrained in most instances. The states that are working with the “Troops to Truckers” program usually make this unnecessary. In the end, this works out well for everyone and helps returning servicemen and women quickly reintegrate into normal life.
Our troops deserve the absolute best, but due to partisan politics and a pervasive yet often denied idea that troops should only be helped when they’re engaged in combat, they don’t often get the best. The Troops to Truckers program, though, is one of many efforts to change this. In the end, if we can make this a better world for our returning veterans, it’ll be a better world for us all.
Holly Chavez is the author of this article and a multidisciplinary writer that has contributed to military and legal blogs and forums. She has several family members who were previously on active duty in the military and feels any programs that help military vets return to work is a positive move. Be sure to comment and let her know what you thought about the article.
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