Tonawanda News

Columns

November 13, 2013

DUVALL: On Veterans Day, a chance to examine our support

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Then there is the matter of returning to civilian life. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan between the ages of 18 and 24 have a stunning unemployment rate of 29.1 percent. We owe these young people better. They signed away the years most of us spend carousing with friends and learning who we are. The very least we can do when they come home — no, if they come home — is help them find a job.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel would be well served to call up his old boss, President Barack Obama, and tell him about what that city is doing to address the problem. Emanuel has created a fund leveraging both public and private money to offer every military veteran in Chicago a $1,000 yearly scholarship to one of the city’s seven colleges. He has ordered those colleges to accept military training be honored with college credits so veterans don’t have to waste time and money to prove they’ve got skills anyone can plainly see they’ve already mastered. And he has ordered each of the city’s colleges to create veteran resource centers to assist in obtaining financial aid and job placement.

This can be replicated on a national level — or at least a local one. Which elected official in Western New York will come forward and replicate this model for the former servicemen here?

Supporting the troops with a ribbon on the back of your car is fine. It’s a nice gesture. But if you really want to help them, call your congressman. Call your state legislators. Call the mayor and the Erie County executive. 

Remind them on this day more than any other, but on every other day too, we made a promise to these people and it’s our duty to keep it.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. His column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. Contact him at eric.duvall@tonawanda-news.com.

Text Only
Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo