by Retired Army Col. Bob McLaughlin, Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, Chief Operating Officer
The many special dates on the calendar in May brought great celebration and reflection this month. Allow me to highlight just a few.
On May 10, we marked Military Spouse Appreciation Day. The spouses of our military heroes face many unique challenges as they support their service member serving our nation, not the least of which is the hardship of managing and maintaining a career of their own as they transition from one duty station to another.
As the nation enjoys historically low unemployment of less than five percent, our military spouses do not. They face nationwide unemployment of 16 to 24 percent, depending on which survey you read, and underemployment averaging 56 percent. These stats are unacceptable and negatively impact quality of life for military and veteran families. The Mt. Carmel team is doing its part to combat this inequality.
In partnership with regional ABC affiliate KRDO and the MilHousing Network, we hosted the National MilSpouse Career Summit with live-webcast from Mt. Carmel. The effort was carried via webcast to ABC affiliate pages in 13 cities with large military and veteran communities. The effort featured employers and resources responding to audience questions submitted over social media. Bringing awareness and viable employment options to a wide audience is one positive step we have taken. Video of the informative and inspiring event is posted to our website at veteranscenter.org
As we near Memorial Day, we will pause and take a knee to honor our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could live free and bountiful lives. With several inspiring community services on that day, please find an appropriate moment to honor all who died in service to our nation.