Iraq war veteran faces job market challenges

March 11, 2013 4:17:58 PM PDT
An Iraq war veteran says he keeps getting rejected for full-time jobs despite being highly trained and educated as a nurse through the help of the Veterans Administration.

The vet shared his frustrations in this tough job market with ABC7's Theresa Gutierrez.

This Marine vat did two tours of duty in Iraq. He has numerous combat awards and recognitions for his service. He has an associate degree in biology and the VA paid for his bachelor's degree in nursing.

When he could not get hired by the VA, he went back to school, and they paid for him to get a master's degree in nursing . He is frustrated and did not want to be identified for fear that it could hurt his chances of ever getting hired by the VA.

This disabled veteran has applied online for several veteran nursing jobs and keeps getting rejected.

"So far i have I have three rejection notices," the veteran said. "What am i missing here?"

He has been told that veterans are hired first for these jobs, yet ,he does not understand why he is being passed over.

"My goal is to serve this very unique group of Americans with whom I share a common bond," said the veteran. "I am ready to work for the VA. It is my ultimate goal. It is frustrating. I am just going to keep applying."

The veteran's wife is also a nurse and is very upset her husband cannot get his dream job working for the VA.

"We have friends who have been hired, civilians and it is pretty much who you know, and it should not be that way," said the wife.

The veteran says he finally got so disgusted that he went to a VA hospital dressed in his uniform and asked why he is not getting hired, or not even getting a response. That is when the rejections started happening.

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs issued this statement:

"The situation this young veteran is facing is unfortunately not unique in the tight job market many Illinois veterans face. We have many programs seeking to help our Illinois veterans secure good jobs and we take our responsibilities seriously."