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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Information For Employers About Veterans

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Information For Employers About Veterans

Managers and supervisors can help by learning how Veterans may react after being in a war zone. Employers should know the common reactions to trauma. Be aware that most Servicemembers will return to normal, given time.

“I wasn't easy to get along with. I passed a lot of promotion opportunities because of what I was feeling.”

Edward Rentas

U.S. Army
1999-2010

Returning Veterans often resume the job they had before they left home. Other Veterans may start a new job after discharge. Veterans make very good workers because of their military training. They learn skills in leadership, teamwork, and performance under pressure. Military experience fosters respect for procedures. Veterans are not afraid to tackle tough problems.

However, Veterans all go through some readjustment after they get back from a war zone. Employers can benefit from understanding their employees' needs and rights. Informed employers can help make the process smoother for both the returnee and the workplace.

The National Guard and Reserve

About half of those who returned from deployment in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts were members of the U.S. National Guard and Reserves. These servicemembers have faced many challenges that differ from those on Active Duty.

When they are deployed, the normal "civilian" lives of Reserve Component members are highly disrupted. The lives of their families are also disrupted. Spouses must suddenly make decisions without a partner. Families go through financial changes and emotional upset. At the same time these families often lack the close ties and support that full-time military families share with each other.

The change from active duty back to everyday life is not always smooth for Veterans. It can be even harder for Guard and Reserve. They no longer have others around them who have shared the same war experiences.

Rights of Employees

Employers also need to be aware of the rights of their Veteran employees. The law applies to all public and private employers in the United States. For Servicemembers meeting criteria, employers must provide:

  • Prompt job reinstatement
  • Accumulation of seniority, including pension plan benefits
  • Reinstatement of health insurance
  • Training or retraining of job skills, including accommodations for the disabled
  • Protection against discrimination

Resources

You May Also Be Interested In

Understanding PTSD and PTSD Treatment (PDF)

A complete guide to PTSD basics.

VetChange

Take control of your drinking and PTSD symptoms.

Mobile Apps

Apps for self-help, education, and support after trauma.

Get help for PTSD

If you need help right away:

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PTSD Information Voice Mail:
(802) 296-6300
ncptsd@va.gov
Also see: VA Mental Health