Stigma of PTSD for Combat Veterans Seeking Employment is a Disgrace!

by | Apr 2, 2012

Quote from the above link and article by Stacy Lu.

“Nearly half of employers — 46 percent — said PTSD or other mental health issues were challenges in hiring employees with military experience, according to a 2010 Society of Human Resource Management survey. And a 2011 survey of 831 hiring managers by the Apollo Research Institute found that 39 percent were “less favorable” toward hiring military personnel when considering war-related psychological disorders.”

Whether a soldier comes home with or without PTSD, it appears that employers are hesitant or nervous about the perceived risks of hiring someone with military experience.  This was true long ago and experienced by me directly in 1965 when interviewing for my first job following service in the US Navy.  I didn’t get hired the first time because my DD214 noted a mental health condition at the time.  At least now the DD214 medical notes are not included, but the stigma exists anyway.  How can we expect our veterans to reach out for treatment of a PTSD condition if employers consider the issue as a risk in the hiring criteria?  I kept my diagnosis a secret until age 64 when it was safe to do so while researching and writing my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Even with my diagnosis from the US Navy, and little or no treatment remedies at the time, I managed to carve out an excellent career in information technology industry and complete my college education along the way.  The stigma of mental health issues, especially in the case of veterans who served in combat, is a national tragedy and must be addressed by Congress!  Veterans receive outstanding vocational training in the armed forces of the US, and typically demonstrate excellent leadership qualities as well.  Employers should be willing to put aside this apparent bias and hire the best candidate who could well be a young combat veteran with huge potential to make a difference in the corporate world.  I would hire these young go getters instantly!

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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