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Wal-Mart to combat veteran unemployment with hiring plan

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is taking a step in helping the veteran community with plans to hire 100,000 returning service members in the next five years beginning Memorial Day, May 27.

Honorably discharged veterans will be eligible for hire for a job in their first year off active duty.

The plan is designed to aid the community of veterans who face higher unemployment, mental diseases and a slew of other complications upon returning from duty.

“They [veterans] need to get back into, not only civilian life, but they got families to support,” said, Major Stroupe, director of Alachua County Veteran Services. “It will do nothing but not only help our veterans, it will help our economy.”

Wal-Mart is also hoping to hire disabled veterans.

Albert Linden, a Vietnam War veteran who runs the Gainesville chapter of Disabled American Veterans, lost a leg in Vietnam and understands firsthand the difficulties veterans face. He is proud of the qualities that veterans have that employers appreciate, such as discipline, taking orders and, usually, veterans only need minimal training when entering a new job, he said.

“They may not be the final job that a person in the industry wants, but at least they’re back at work,” Linden said. “Working, earning a living and doing some things rather than sitting at home doing nothing.”

Andrew V. Pestano edited this story online.

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