New program helps injured vets learn job skills

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January 17, 2007

FORT GORDON, Ga.---When our soldiers come home injured, getting back in the workforce can be difficult.

New veterans can have a tough time switching gears from life in the military to life as a civilian.

That's why Fort Gordon is joining forces with several other agencies to help servicemen and women figure out a new career path.

The "Coming Home to Work" program had its ribbon cutting today.

It was a celebration of new opportunities for wounded warriors like SPC Daniel Hays. He's joining the program after fracturing his skull overseas.

"It's to help me recuperate and return (to civilian life)," he said.

The program that will help these men and women has been in the works for years, and now soldiers who are too injured to fight will get to work part-time in the community. The program gives them the skills they'll need to start a new career.

"I have a job lined up...a federal job. And it's due to a program like this," said SPC Carson, who started a new career thanks to the help of a similar program.

Grant Swanson with the Department of Veterans Affairs hopes soldiers here will have similar success stories.

"It will help them transition to the different kind of work that exists in the civilian sector versus military," he said.

They'll do that by testing and counseling veterans what they should do next.

"The whole reason I'm here is to get better and pretty much accomplish my goals," SPC Hays said.

Gen. Bradshaw is hoping everyone will have that same optimism. He quoted Henry Ford: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."

And now these injured service men and women can have new goals of their own.

Great turnout today, from VA program leaders in from Atlanta to injured soldiers, many stopping buy to pick up information to see if they're eligible for the program.

Coming Home to Work is already up and running.

It's a joint effort by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Atlanta, the VA in Augusta, and the Eisenhower Army Medical Center.