The Aftermath of War

Greg Rivers

By Debbie Gregory.

For many veterans the aftermath of war means dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after an extreme emotional trauma that involves the threat of injury or death.

PTSD is a real and potentially debilitating anxiety disorder triggered by exposure to a traumatic experience such as an interpersonal event like physical exposure to a disaster, accident or combat, or witnessing a traumatic event.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) have left their mark on many returning service members.  Moses Maddox is just one veteran who has returned from deployment in Iraq, suffering from PTSD, and trying to rebuild his life.

Mike Liguori returned home after two tours in Iraq with the Marines, and then slipped into a depression that, at its depths, left him contemplating suicide. But the San Carlos native emerged from the darkness of post-traumatic stress disorder, and today feels his life is in a great place. He still has one big problem: he needs a job.

A key fear is how a PTSD diagnosis could be contributing to higher joblessness among the generation who enlisted after the 9/11 attacks. Because employers are barred, by law, from asking job applicants about mental health conditions, many assume that any veteran can be afflicted with PTSD, even though the vast majority of them returned from war without emotional problems, researchers and veterans advocates say.

Why do veteran jobs play such an important role in the recovery of returning service members with PTSD? Employment enables many people with disabilities and combat-related conditions, including those with PTSD, to fully participate in society. In fact, according to the National Council on Disability, people who regain employment following the onset of a disability report higher life satisfaction and better adjustment than those who are unemployed. At the most fundamental level, employment generates income, which is vital to individual and family economic well-being. Given how closely our identities are tied to our occupation, employment plays a critical role in maintaining our self-esteem. Furthermore, employment affords opportunities to experience success which is a critical element towards psychological health. It facilitates social interaction and connections that can reduce the isolation that is commonly experienced through depression and PTSD. For these reasons, gainful employment can be an important component in the recovery and rehabilitation of people with PTSD.

Corporate America and the White House are becoming acutely aware that something must be done to help returning veterans find jobs.’s Veteran Job Search begins with the Virtual Job Fair and continues to the Job Board. The employment resources focus on transitioning military, Guard/Reserve, Veterans, Military Spouses, or anyone who is searching for a job. Your job search will enable you to look for jobs in occupational areas across the board, nationwide and worldwide. has partnered with a number of employment resources such as Indeed, NCOA and the Department of Defense to aid your job search by providing thousands of job listings.

The Obama administration has teamed with the private sector on an initiative called “Joining Forces,” which seeks to find at least 15,000 jobs for veterans in coming years. is a proud supporter of Joining Forces and a Top 100 Employment web site.  According to CEO Debbie Gregory, “Companies hiring Veterans end up with employees with an extraordinary work ethic that are disciplined and will reach their goals/mission.”  Gregory also provides employers detailed information on the tax incentives in the VOW To Hire Heroes Act.