More than 2.2 million men and women served this country in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This longest sustained military operation (since the war in Vietnam) resulted in more than 6,600 deaths. For those who have returned however they have joined the ranks of those who have served before them and returned from the Gulf War, various conflicts in the Mideast, Bosnia, Central America and even the Vietnam War.
Returning from the battlefront to the home front brings with it the promise of a new life and a chance to get back on track. Knowing what resources are available to assist with the home front transition is important in order to help those who served and give them a well-deserved chance to become successful and claim their piece of the American promise.
Types of Ways to Help Those That Serve
It is important to find ways to reward and pay tribute to the efforts of the men and women who have risked their lives to protect our freedoms. These efforts may include contributing to programs such as the USO and others that work specifically to provide for the welfare of current and former service members. There are also local bake sales and fundraisers that take place throughout the community to help a veteran meet certain financial obligations that have accrued while away in service or to provide for the scholarship and education of children and other left behind.
One of the most powerful ways to provide for you to help a returning veteran is to support efforts and initiatives that give job training and support. These programs allow veterans to discover new or untapped skill sets and receive the training needed to transition completely into their new lives away from the battlefield. Whether you refer a veteran you know to seek this type of support or provide financial support, being aware of the programs in the Pittsburgh area for our service members helps strengthen the community and provide a valuable and needed opportunity.
Pittsburgh Hires Veterans Initiative
One specific initiative launched to help Pittsburgh area veterans is Pittsburgh Hires Veterans (PHV). The program is a collaborative effort of The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Veterans Leadership Program (VLP), New Century Careers (NCC), and other area organizations that provide assistance to veterans in the Pittsburgh community. The focus of PHV is to provide training assistance and help with the development of career opportunities for area veterans in the manufacturing sector throughout Southwest Pennsylvania.
Helping veterans obtain the skills and qualification they need to land good paying manufacturing jobs fulfills the mission of PHV. Individuals with the right qualifications stand to earn as much as $83,000 in oil and gas related manufacturing jobs, according to a report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2012. Jobs in Pittsburgh in the area of fabricated manufacturing is expected to grow to more than 16,000 by 2020 while employment in plastics and rubber production will grow to under 5,000 for the same period. Supporting the efforts of the PHV initiative is one of the ways to support those who have served us well.
Find out more about how Pittsburgh continues to make our community a better place for our veterans by exploring the programs and partnerships brought to you by the John G. Rangos Sr. Charitable Foundation. Our deep sense of patriotism permeates through all that we do, helping those who have served have a warm welcome home. Discover how you can help make our community a better place to be and check out all the foundation’s involvement today.