VeteranAccording to The Work First Foundation, nearly one million veterans are searching for jobs. One million veterans. When I read that statistic, I stopped in my tracks.

I don’t think anyone could say that veterans aren’t hardworking. I don’t think anyone could say that veterans aren’t well-trained. I don’t think anyone could say that veterans don’t know how to play on a team.

What you can say about veterans is that they’re people who chose to sacrifice time with their loved ones, risk their lives, and take on some of the most challenging work that any human being can be asked to do. Ask yourself, would you have the courage to do the same?

I have to confess that I know very little about the military or military life. While it’s true that my grandfather and my father both served (and my dad, age 79, is retiring today from his job at a local base, where he’s been a doctor processing recruits), and some of my friends have served, I’ve had very little exposure to the military overall. So I can’t say that I fully understand the complexities of military life.

But I do appreciate the sacrifice, regardless of how I feel about war in general and the wars we’ve been involved in specifically, and I think we should value those who have been willing to risk their safety and their very lives on behalf of the rest of us. When you think about it, it’s pretty darned amazing.

So what gives, America? How are there a million veterans, people who are the best-trained, the most hard-working individuals in our entire country, who are looking for jobs? Come on, America. That’s just nonsense.

VeteranWell, veterans, I have a message for you: To heck with jobs!

You have an alternative. You don’t have to wait for someone to give you a job. In fact, to heck with jobs. Do your own thing. Once you’re off-duty, there’s no reason you can’t become your own commanding officer and call the shots in your own business.

Should there be a job waiting for you when you get home from serving your country? Maybe. Certainly, this country owes you its gratitude. But that gratitude can come in many more forms than a job.

In fact, perhaps there’s something better. Remember the American Dream? That thing so many people gave up on or forgot about? Remember the ideal that anyone in this country can live a better life than the generation before? Remember the dream of starting a business and creating your own success, something far greater than any job could offer?

So if you’re hunting for work and haven’t found it or if you really don’t want a job, but have felt some entrepreneurial stirrings, then here are some extra resources specifically for veterans interested in starting their own businesses:

Finally, I’d like my gratitude to come in the form of opportunity, so as of today, Business in Blue Jeans goes red, white, and blue by offering a 25% discount on all products and services to all veterans and surviving spouses of veterans. If you’d like to take advantage of your veteran discount, e-mail (info-at-businessinbluejeans.com) or fax (800-714-4699) your proof of military service (your DD214 and your Veterans Organization Card) along with your e-mail address to us and we’ll send you the coupon code for your discount as my sincere and humble thank you for your service.

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