There's no better source for learning about veterans' jobs than a veteran who's been through the search himself. LoveToKnow chatted with Ryan Kules of the Wounded Warrior Project to find out more about how wounded veterans re-enter the workforce after their military stint is over.
About Ryan Kules
An Arizona native, Ryan Kules attended Arizona State University and completed the Army ROTC program, marking the first step in his military career. With a bachelor's degree in Justice Studies, he was set to become an Armor officer.
Ryan Kules is a wounded warrior himself, having survived a blast in Iraq during November 2005 that severed his right arm and left leg while killing the two other soldiers who were with him in the vehicle. He retired in May of 2007 as a Captain.
Kules has a wife, Nancy, whom he met while in school, and a daughter, Jillian. They reside near Washington, D.C.
The Wounded Warrior Project
When Ryan had retired from the Army and finished rehabilitation, he was ready to find a new job. The Wounded Warrior Project helped him on his way to a veteran's job, and now he even works for them. WWP's job is to give the severely injured ex-soldiers a helping hand when it comes to finding a new job.
A wounded veteran can contact the Wounded Warrior Project for assistance in finding a job by visiting WoundedWarriorProject.org, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling Ryan Kules at 202.425.9297.
Finding Veterans Jobs
Here's what Ryan had to say about the Wounded Warrior Project and veterans jobs:
What types of jobs do veterans usually find once they're not in the military anymore? Do they tend to take the opportunity to find something different, or do they tend to try to work their old jobs in a civilian position?
The majority of warriors that I am working with are interested in jobs that their experience in the military transfers well to. That being said, qualities such as discipline, hard work, motivation, and leadership skills transfer well almost anywhere.
What are some of the biggest challenges veterans face when they're returning to the civilian workplace?
As far as wounded warriors are concerned, they may face unique challenges regarding their injury and returning to work. Those challenges differ based on the injury and a can be as minor as an extra break every few hours to the need for an ADA compliant workplace.
What does the military do to help veterans transition back into the civilian world when they are discharged?
The military has programs set up that apply to the general population of transitioning individuals. Warriors to Work focuses on severely wounded service members and their unique needs.
Are there any education benefits for them if they wish to return to school to train for another career?
The VA offers education benefits for wounded service members who qualify through Vocational Rehabilitation.
What is the process like when you're searching for veterans' jobs? How do you screen them and match them up?
One of Warriors to Work's main goals is to help warriors find employment that empowers them and is something the warrior has interest in. We want these individuals to enjoy their career, not just collect a paycheck. I am contacted by companies and individuals that are interested in giving Wounded Warriors employment opportunities. Once deemed appropriate, those opportunities are posted on our website. If a warrior sees a job they would like to pursue, we work together to complete the necessary steps for application. If a warrior does not see something of interest to them listed, I work to make contacts in the field of their desire.
How long does it generally take to find a veteran a job from the time they ask for your assistance?
Each warrior has different interests, skills, requirements and desires so it is on a case-by-case basis.
The military offers quite a few benefits that set you up for the rest of your life-even after you leave the service. For information on the GI Bill, a form of education assistance, visit the GI Bill website.
Not a wounded warrior, but still looking for veterans' jobs? You can do a Google search for "veterans jobs" or visit the Department of Labor.