Michael Martinez, Veteran of the United States Army who served 10 years as a Ranger Airborne Medic with High Meritorious Awards from the United States Federal Governmental for serving three tours in the former Yugoslavia, is currently participating in the transitional program that the State of New Jersey and The Department of Veteran’s Affairs have provided. Unlike the more popular view, Mr. Martinez graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts & Science from Rowen University. Always employed since the age of 16, he now at the age of 38 has not been able to find gainful employment after placing 568 job applications in the past two years.
Unlike popular view, Mr. Martinez’s current economic crisis did not result from drug dependency, chemical substance abuse, alcohol abuse or womanizing. In fact, Mr. Martinez has a very clean record and was neither ticketed nor arrested. His economic crisis resulted from not finding gainful employment and the financial abuse suffered from his family. According to New Jersey’s Department of Labor, Mr. Martinez’s unsuccessful rate of finding gainful employment results from his disposition as a Veteran, low economy where companies neither wish to employ new college graduates nor wish to pay the financial dividends that Mr. Martinez merits as a result from his academic training and life experience. In fact, “Overqualified” seems to be the constant response that he gets daily on his emails in a country that guarantees “Veteran’s Preference.” To add, the six thousand dollars Federal Government grant offered to companies who hire veterans does not seem to promote employment for the homeless Veteran Community.
So, let’s quickly review the daily life of a Veteran who’s in transition to gaining self-independence.
The day begins roughly at 6:30 am with feeding the resident population. After eating, residents perform assigned duties, go to appointments, and attend support groups as they endevour to seek gainful employment and enter into financial stability and economic independence.
Residents partake in volunteer projects to help build-up their self-esteem, community awareness as well as receive excellent recommendations from their counselors pertaining to work ethics.
After enduring all these pressures, counselors assist residents in a well-balanced program of exercise, meditational techniques and encourage program participants to pick-up hobbies to help boost their self-esteem. Then, the daily routine ends immediately after 5:30 pm dinner where residents may go to their rooms, relax and watch tv until the next day.
The program offer a safe retreat to America’s best heros who’ve fought for their country, earned meritorious awards as well as the academic education needed to become a thriving member of society. It just so happens that as adults, our Veterans loose familial support and have to turn to governmental state agencies to help them progress in life. Many of our residents are content with the fact that they are not forgotten of the numerous years of service rendered to their country. Programs such as this provides the basic human needs for progressing into the next steps in life.