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A job is the best way to honor veterans

A veteran speaks with a hiring manager at a Veteran's job fair on May 15, 2012 in Utica, New York.

Adriene Hill: Today is Memorial Day -- a day to think about the less-than-one percent of Americans who serve in uniform and those who've died in the line of duty. Today we wanted to take a look at ways to support our servicemen and women and their families.

Marketplace's Jeff Tyler reports.


Jeff Tyler: When a soldier dies in combat, there’s a huge emotional toll for the family. And, the financial impact can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a charity to support, Jason Hansman with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has a recommendation.

Jason Hansman: TAPS -- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors -- is one of the premier organizations that is working with the families of the fallen to kind of make sure that they are taken care of.

Then there’s the issue of helping vets provide for themselves. Unemployment among veterans runs as high as 30 percent in some parts of the country. Joe Davis is spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Joe Davis: A pat on the back is one thing, but helping veterans to get jobs when they take off the uniform and try to re-immerse themselves back into civilian society, a job is crucial.

Wall Street is hiring. Chris Perkins is a former Marine Captain, and now a managing director at Citibank. He says many people in human resources don’t realize that an artillery officer might make a good stock market trader.

Chris Perkins: These guys are making quantitative decisions all day long. And understanding risk. And it’s very, very similar between the military and finance.

The former marine captain helped establish an alliance called Veterans on Wall Street. It helps vets find jobs in finance -- even if they only have a high school education.

Perkins: Many of our jobs -- in fact, hundreds of our jobs -- do not require a college degree.

Perkins says Citibank plans to hire at least one thousand vets this year.

I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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