On Patrol

Until every one comes home | The Magazine of the USO

Meeting the Chief

May 2, 2012, 12:05PM |

President Barack Obama interacts with troops on Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, on May 2, 2012. Obama made a surprise visit to the air base, where he announced a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai detailing the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan. Army photo by Sergeant Roland HalePresident Barack Obama interacts with troops on Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, on May 2, 2012. Obama made a surprise visit to the air base, where he announced a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai detailing the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan. Army photo by Sergeant Roland Hale


The Torch Burns Bright

May 1, 2012, 11:37AM |

First lady Michelle Obama stands with Royal Marine Captain Simon Maxwell and Melissa Stockwell - the first female amputee from the war in Iraq - during the 2012 Warrior Games Opening Ceremony at The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on April 30, 2012. USO photo by Joseph Andrew LeeFirst lady Michelle Obama stands with Royal Marine Captain Simon Maxwell and Melissa Stockwell - the first female amputee from the war in Iraq - during the 2012 Warrior Games Opening Ceremony at The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on April 30, 2012. USO photo by Joseph Andrew Lee

1. Share: To mark Memorial Day, Stars and Stripes has started a new feature called “The Things You Keep,” where readers can submit stories about the physical objects they use to remind themselves of a fallen service member. Interested? You can share your story with Stripes here.


2. Run: Priority registration for the Army Ten-Miler starts Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. EST. You have to be a current service member or have run seven or more Army Ten-Milers to register during the priority time period. The general public that doesn’t qualify for priority registration can start signing up May 15 at 12:01 a.m.


3. Learn: Service members aren’t the only ones directly affected by day-to-day Defense Department moves. SpouseBuzz.com does a great job chronicling how the less-publicized side of military families live.

Education Protection

April 30, 2012, 8:56AM |

President Barack Obama signs an executive order April 27, 2012, as First Lady Michelle Obama watches on Fort Stewart, Georgia. The order will help ensure America’s service members, veterans, spouses and other family members are protected from aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions. White House photo by Lawrence Jackson President Barack Obama signs an executive order April 27, 2012, as First Lady Michelle Obama watches on Fort Stewart, Georgia. The order will help ensure America’s service members, veterans, spouses and other family members are protected from aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions. White House photo by Lawrence Jackson

Americans hear yo-yoing statistics about the national unemployment rate every week. But for young veterans, the outlook has been stuck on bleak for a while.

The Detroit Free Press—quoting the Bureau of Labor Statistics—says the unemployment rate for American military veterans age 24 and under is a staggering is 29.1 percent. The news doesn’t get much better for older vets, as the overall unemployment figure for those who’ve served in Iraq or Afghanistan sits at 10.3 percent, significantly higher than the overall national rate of 8.2 percent.

The national rate for all veterans regardless of age is actually 7.5 percent, suggesting that once those who’ve served enter the workplace, they’re actually better than the national average at holding on to a job.

“They just don't get it,” Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Policy Director Tom Tarantino told the Free Press when discussing employers. “It’s hard to make that cultural connection.”

Read more in Despite skills, veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq not getting hired.