Jobs scarce for female vets

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - When our troops return home, is a job waiting for them? For about one in ten, the answer is no.

If the veteran is a woman, the answer is higher than that.

Cynthia Glick isn't standing on the line at Golden Corral in Boynton Beach for the free meal. She's here for the camaraderie.

"Even if we don't know each other, we really do," said Glick.

The thread the Air Force Vet shares with a growing number isn't just the uniform.

"Right now, I'm not really working," said Glick.

She served from 1979 to 1981 as a military police officer in a test program for female troops. Since then, women have been more ensconced in military life, yet life after service has gotten more difficult.

Amongst post-9/11 male vets, unemployment is at 9.2 percent, compared to 15.5 for women, a difference of more than 6 percent.

"It's unacceptable, male or female," said Ross Fallacaro, a case manager at Stand Down House in Lake Worth.

He says there's a shortage of services for female vets, that goes beyond helping them find jobs.

"That's a problem we keep running into. Where do we house single female veterans who need the housing?"

But on jobs, he says re-entry training programs are often geared specifically to the kinds of jobs that have historically appealed to men.

"I just don't think they we're prepared for the numbers of female veterans that would be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan," said Fallacaro.

Glick - a former dental assistant - says she expects to work soon for a a temp agency.

She feels worst for younger vets, who are re-entering American life hoping to start careers in a questionable economy and who may not have as many support services as male counterparts.

"They're young, a lot younger than myself," said Glick. "That's how I knew female vets were having a hard time."

Print this article Back to Top

Comments