Local man among many veterans struggling to find work - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Local man among many veterans struggling to find work

(FOX19) -

30 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home with no job to go to.

While the Department of Defense keeps statistics on those veterans, knowing the number of unemployed veterans who have already made the transition to civilians is more difficult.

Dwayne Bolin of Georgetown Ohio is one of those veterans. He spent 17 years from 1979-1997 serving the United States Army and the United States Navy. Bolin had full intentions of retiring from the military but in 1997 due to budget cuts he says he was honorably discharged from the US Navy Reserves.

"I asked at that time you know what do I do? And he just told me thank you for your service," says Bolin.

Bolin began a new career in the medical field but lost his job in June. Finding a new one at 53-years-old is proving difficult even as a veteran. Bolin says he has even applied at fast food establishments but still hasn't had any luck landing a job.

"We've done for you. Now you do for us. I'm not looking for a handout. I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm looking for a job," said Bolin.

Tuesday at American Legion Post 69 in Montgomery, veterans discussed numerous issues they are facing with State Representative Connie Pillich.

"We are still seeing a lot of unemployment with our vets. It has improved over the last few years but we're not there yet," said Pillich.

As a veteran herself, Pillich says a lot of military skills get lost in translation. She believes businesses just aren't realizing the benefits of hiring veterans at all ages.

"We have a lot of trouble. You take a person who served maybe in the infantry. Your average civilian might not understand that means they are a top performer, getting there early and getting the job done," said Pillich.

Now nearly two months unemployed, Bolin says he is still looking for that employer that does appreciate his service but the waiting is putting his family in financial trouble.

"Thank god I've got an understanding wife who knows what is going on and she has done everything she possibly can to keep the glue together. But it's the run around that veterans are getting is what is getting old," said Bolin.

For the veterans just returning home, Ohio offers a military bonus for anyone who has served in Iraq but this is the last year to apply. The deadline is December 31. You can call 1-877-OHIO-VET to see if you qualify for that bonus.

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