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Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive editor of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), recently reported that 17 percent of returning veterans are out of work. This is more than twice the national unemployment average of 8 percent. What’s worse, the national average is nearly twice what it was before the 2008 financial crisis.

As of Sept. 11, 2011, more than two million men and women had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. These people return to America as members of a uniquely cohesive, dedicated and skilled team. Just as prospective employers eagerly look forward to recruiting graduates of elite educational institutions this time of year, in my opinion employers should consider returning veterans with even greater anticipation.

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