This afternoon at Schofield Barracks, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard spoke to a group of more than 200 Hawaiʻi soldiers who are considering a transition from military service to civilian life.
She explained that our soldiers have the skills, leadership, and experience that would benefit any agency, organization, or business in the private sector. The congresswoman also highlighted some of the obstacles veterans face as highly trained applicants ready to join the civilian workforce when there are misconceptions about their preparedness once the uniform is laid down.
“This kind of transition summit sends a strong message to our service members—when you’re ready to lay down the uniform, you’re not going to get kicked to the curb and left on your own,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed Major with the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard. “Changing misconceptions that a veteran may not be fit to serve in the workforce is necessary—and it comes down to each of us affecting change in our own spheres of influence. Tell your story and encourage your fellow soldiers to do the same to help those who have never served understand the value that our veterans bring to the table. The need for this understanding is real.”
In Congress, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has worked to create incentives for businesses to hire veterans, to fight against attempts to roll back the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and to increase opportunities for veterans to participate in apprenticeship programs and more.
On the 12th anniversary of the Iraq War, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard launched the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who have served in the military after 9/11, and who are dedicated to issues related to the newest generation of veterans. The caucus’ legislative agenda focuses on the 2.8 million veterans who have served and deployed since 9/11 and provides a forum for this new generation of veterans to voice their concerns and ideas.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced the bipartisan Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act—a bill that works to make that transition smoother by enabling veterans to use their GI Bill benefits to learn critical workplace skills or apprenticeship programs in the skilled-trade industry. Currently, GI Bill benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of Department of Labor approved pre-apprenticeship programs that teach the skills and techniques necessary to prepare individuals for training and careers in the skilled-trade industry.