When veterans return from their tours of duty and begin to reintegrate into the workforce, they face numerous hurdles. Many veterans suffer from mental health issues and musculoskeletal injuries. New Jersey currently has the highest percentage of unemployed veterans in the nation, 10.8 percent, almost double the national average of 6.6 percent. The unemployment rate for veterans is even higher than the state’s unemployment rate for civilians, 6.6 percent. Our veterans suffer despite their incredible sacrifice for our nation.
We need to put our veterans back to work and continue to provide for them and their families during retirement.
My solution is a unique one – I propose incentivizing employers to hire veterans by reducing the employer FICA tax, from 6.2 percent to 5 percent for two years. This will grant employers a small tax holiday for every new veteran hired. Putting veterans back to work will reduce their dependency on government assistance and will contribute to our nation’s economy. Yet, we cannot stop our support of veterans at employment.
We need to support our veterans even into their retirement. For this reason, I support increasing military pensions. We also must protect our soldiers on the battlefield.
As a member of Congress, I will ensure that our armed forces are the best trained, best equipped, and best supported military in the world. Our first responsibility is their safety while our troops are on active duty. Meanwhile, we cannot forget the sacrifice their families make every day while their loved ones are serving our country. By supporting our troops and veterans, we also support their families.
These initiatives are just a small way for us to say thank you to our district’s 35,000 veterans for putting their lives on the line and for keeping us safe here at home.
Mark Dunec is a professional problem-solver running for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District