As November approaches, we often look at the calendar in anticipation of that one day when most health food addicts suffer a significant emotional event. But nestled quietly between the 10th and the 12th, annotated with neatly printed text, is another significant event known as “Veterans Day.”
“How’d that get there?” we often ask ourselves.
The celebration of November 11th dates back nearly 100 years. President Wilson took to the national stage on November 11, 1919 to recognize the first anniversary of the armistice between Germany and the Allied nations. While honoring the brave men who perished during World War I, he referred to this day as “Armistice Day.” It was celebrated as such for another 35 years before being renamed “Veterans Day” in 1954 after a World War II veteran named Raymond Weeks fought to expand the holiday. His hopes were to not only honor those veterans who gave their lives for this great nation during World War I, but to celebrate all veterans. On May 26, 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill expanding the holiday which would later become known as “Veterans Day” during a Congressional amendment on June 1, 1954.
While “Memorial Day” recognizes those who made the ultimate sacrifice, “Veterans Day” recognizes all Veterans, both past and present, while still honoring all veterans who have passed away, regardless of cause. But just how many people are we honoring? According the U.S. Census Bureau (2011), even though 1.47 million veterans are serving on active duty at any given time, there are 21.5 million veterans in the United States today. That’s just 7% of the population. Dating back to June 14, 1775, some estimates show an astonishing 100 million people have served in the American military.
Wherever you may be on Monday, November 11, think of that number. Whether you’re spending the day celebrating with a classic American barbeque, spending the day out with family, earning your next paycheck, or relaxing at home, remember that number. Without that number, the United States may still be paying levies to the Queen; Europe may be in the hands of the Nazis; the United States may be dependent on the Japanese; Communism may rule the world; Saddam may be in control of the world’s oil; and the United States may have never gotten justice for September 11, 2001.
This Veterans Day, if you know a veteran, hug them, praise them, look them in the eye and shake their hand. Whatever you do, thank them. Remember that number because, without it, the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness may no longer be self-evident.
Read more Veteran stories in the Military Service Employment Journal at msej.info
Citi and CredAbility Join with IAVA, TAPS, and MSCCN to Launch Online Financial Education and Counseling Program for Armed Forces Members, Veterans, and Their Families
Recent data shows that members of the armed forces, veterans and their families face particular financial difficulties. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who have served on active duty since September 2001 was 12.1 percent in 2011, compared to the national unemployment rate of 8.9 percent that same year. According to Debt.org, more than 25 percent of military families that have credit card debt carry a balance of more than $10,000, and a third of military families report they have trouble paying monthly bills. Also, 2011 data from CredAbility of veterans who went through credit counseling shows that veterans ages 29 or younger have average monthly expenses that exceed their net income by $880 as well as average credit card debt of $7,234.
CredAbility ReConnect addresses these financial challenges with a set of online tools, education and counseling. Individuals and families served by IAVA, TAPS, and MSCCN will be able to access custom versions of the online program, free of charge, tailored to the unique needs of the veterans, families and survivors they serve. Members of the armed forces, veterans and their families not affiliated with these organizations can access CredAbility ReConnect at www.CredAbility.org/recon.
CredAbility ReConnect covers:
- The Financial Impact of Deployment – Online courses to help military families deal with the financial implications of a deployment, including how to manage money while a spouse is overseas.
- Easing the Transition – Online courses, such as “Understanding Your Military Benefits” and “Reconnecting Financially,” help ease the financial transition for those who have recently left the armed forces or experienced the death of a servicemember.
- Budget and Credit Counseling – Personalized financial “check-ups” help users manage their money better and prioritize spending through easy-to-follow plans. Online courses help with wise use of credit, debt reduction strategies, and setting goals for a healthier financial future.
- Debt Management Plans – Custom affordable repayment plans, often with reduced interest rates, fees and penalties for qualified individuals, help visitors pay down debt, negotiate with creditors and regain their financial footing.
- Foreclosure Prevention and Home Buying Guidance- HUD-certified counselors provide guidance to individuals who are behind on their mortgage payments or face foreclosure, as well as to prospective homebuyers.
Free one-on-one credit counseling with a CredAbility certified counselor is also available by telephone at 888-808-7285.
“A serious need exists for a targeted set of financial assistance services like CredAbility ReConnect,” said Mechel Glass, Vice President of Community Outreach for CredAbility and a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. “Young veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan might want to create a plan to make regular deposits to an emergency savings account and pay down debt. And active duty servicemembers might want to create a financial support plan for spouses and children during times of deployment or transfer, or in the event of a loss that leaves them financially vulnerable. CredAbility ReConnect will provide the education and counseling to show them how to accomplish these personal finance goals.”
“Every member of the armed forces has sacrificed a great deal in service to their country, and in addition to the challenges of military service, many face tremendous financial pressures as well,” said Suni Harford, Citi’s Regional Head of Markets for North America. “These brave men and women receive extensive military training, but far too few of them receive any kind of formal financial education. CredAbility ReConnect was developed to help these deserving men and women build financial capability and achieve long-term economic security for themselves and their families.”
Citi is an established leader in the national effort to support veterans and active-duty servicemembers, including those in the Guard and Reserve, and CredAbility ReConnect is the latest initiative in a coordinated, firm-wide effort in this area. In May, Citi launched Citi Salutes, a one-stop resource that consolidates all of Citi’s programs, products and partnerships that support the greater veterans community. Later this month, Citi will be helping to lead the second annual Veterans on Wall Street conference and job fair in New York, an initiative co-founded by Citi to develop career opportunities in the financial services industry for veterans.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://new.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
About Citi Community Development
Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.citigroup.com/community.
CredAbility is one of the leading nonprofit credit counseling and education agencies in the United States, serving clients in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, in both English and Spanish. In addition, the organization provides in-person counseling through its branch network of more than 25 offices located across the southeast.
Founded in 1964, CredAbility is a family of Consumer Credit Counseling Service agencies that includes CCCS of Greater Atlanta, CCCS of Central Florida and the Florida Gulf Coast, CCCS of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, CCCS of East Tennessee, CCCS of Central Mississippi and CCCS of Upstate South Carolina. The nonprofit agency is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Governed by a community-based board of directors, CredAbility is funded by creditors, clients, individual donors and grants from foundations, businesses and government agencies. Service is provided 24/7 by phone at 800.251.2227 and online at www.CredAbility.org.
About Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the nation’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of our newest veterans and their families. Through innovative health, education, employment and community programs, IAVA strives to build an empowered generation of veterans who provide sustainable leadership for our country and their local communities. Learn more, get involved and join IAVA’s over 200,000 Member Veterans and Civilian Supporters. For more information, visit http://iava.org/.
About Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
TAPS provides immediate and long-term emotional help, hope, and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America. TAPS meets its mission by providing peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, camps for children, seminars for adults, casualty casework assistance, a 24/7 resource and information helpline, and connections to community-based care. For more information, visit http://www.taps.org/.
About Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN)
Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) were chartered in 2004 as private sector non-profit organizations that provide no-cost employment readiness, vocational training, and one-on-one job placement services for National Guard, Reserves, transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, homeless female veterans, war wounded and caregivers of war wounded.
CASY-MSCCN operates as an employment partner to all branches of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Coast Guard, through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). In addition, without funding and through its partnership with Kenexa and DirectEmployers Association, CASY-MSCCN created and maintains the National Guard Employment program, which provides training and job placement to returning National Guard personnel and their families. Each of these high-touch programs is supported by solid partnerships with major corporations, mid-size companies and small businesses that provide employment opportunities for our military-affiliated job seekers. Our state-of-the-art technology, built by Kenexa, provides real-time, verifiable tracking numbers and outcome reports to our employment partners, military services, and donors. For more information, visit http://www.msccn.org/.
Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day and MSCCN would like to thank all of the husbands and wives who serve alongside our service members. We honor and celebrate your selfless service and extraordinary support for your loved ones as they serve our great nation. In observation of this day the following was issued by Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief Of Naval Operations:
“As we observe military spouse appreciation day on 11 May this year,
we honor the military spouses who have selflessly served alongside their
active-duty husbands and wives. They keep our families “on course and speed,”
and their support enables us to focus on the mission at hand – to be ready and
to operate forward around the world. By their devotion and strength, we
remain the greatest navy this world has ever known.”
On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we acknowledge the demands on our families. There is an inscription on one of the 26 bronze relief sculptures at the Navy Memorial in Washington, DC that accurately states: “The Navy Family: they who wait also serve.” We all know that when service members are deployed, the challenges at home continue, and our military spouses bear the burden each day in support of their loved ones and in service to their nation. We thank our husbands and wives for their constant patience and steadfast understanding as they often face the challenges at home or celebrate life events without their loved ones. Though they may not wear the uniform – it is their honor, courage, and commitment that sustains us.