BA Breakdown: VA resources for job hunting veterans

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 28, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – President Barack Obama announced yesterday that he plans to have virtually all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016.

“As many of them begin to transition to civilian life, we will keep the promise we make to them, and to all veterans, and make sure they get the care and benefits that they have earned and deserve,” President Obama said.

But some kababayans here say more work needs to be done.

Romina Sapinoso of Fremont said, “I think that first of all we shouldn’t send our young men and women to war in the first place and if we ever do, it should be as a last resort. And when they do come back they should have all the things they need to get back in their life here in the United States such as mental health care rehabilitation.”

Daly City resident Divinia Alberto said, “I think the government should give them jobs, counseling, and housing.”

For 2015, the U.S. government has allotted close to $164 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

To help the newest veteran’s transition to civilian life and find good jobs, the budget provides $33 million to continue the Integrated Disability Evaluation System and VetSuccess on Campus initiatives.

These programs help veterans receive information on education opportunities, job counseling, and placement.

According to the V.A., veterans can search for jobs by going online at V.A. websites – Vetsuccess or E-benefits.

There veterans can upload their resumes and search and apply for jobs.

Fil-Am Jerry Estrellado is a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army and served one tour of duty in Iraq.

He came home hoping to find a job through the V.A. but ended up finding one on his own.

“I mean coming back from the military whether it’s a 10 month or 20 month deployment, the process is they come back, they give you a lesson on how to fill out a resume, how to do in a job interview. But to me that’s a no-brainer; therefore, I didn’t learn much,” Estrellado said. “I don’t know how that helps anybody unless you have connections and you get a direct referral. That’s great, but it just didn’t help out.”

But he says he appreciates that the V.A. regularly reaches out to vets like him.

“I get emails, so many emails, whether through LinkedIn or my personal email. But it just comes down to see if you fit the requirements for the job,” Estrellado said.

The fiscal 2014 budget proposal also includes using $1 billion to create the Veterans Job Corps program that would give thousands of veterans jobs relating to preserving and restoring federal, state, and local lands.

Congress has yet to pass it.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • Steve Racilis
    29 May 2014 at 3:17 am - Reply

    When filing any type of Veterans benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs, make sure to include VA Form 21-686c Declaration of Status of Dependents and VA form 21-526, Part C: Dependency and have a copy of your marriage certificate (if married). Mare sure to complete all pages, and SECTION I to SECTION III must be completed. Read all forms fully and ask the VA representative for assistance if needed. Ask for your own copy of all forms filed with your claim. When writing responses about a letter you received from Dept of Veterans Affairs, make sure to write your claim file number on top of each page. Best to go to your County Records Office and ask the clerk to file your DD Form 214 and ask for a copy with stamp showing your name and the date you filed.

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