Tonawanda News


November 12, 2012

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


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

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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