January 25, 2024
Ragan Payne Jerry Phillips

Pictured: Ragan Payne, left, was the winner of the Chili Cook-off essay contest sponsored by the Craddockville United Methodist Church Men’s Club on Veterans Day. At right is Jerry Phillips, president of the club.

By Bill Sterling

Ragan Payne, 15, a student at Nandua High School, was the winner of a Veterans Day essay contest sponsored by the Craddockville United Methodist Church Men’s Club. The essay contest was part of a Chili Cook-off in honor of the late Richard McDowell, a former member of the club and a 29-year veteran of the Air Force.

Following is the essay.

By Ragan Payne

In 2020 there were 18.3 million veterans in the civilian population. As of March 2022, 216,000 of them were unemployed. Veterans have done so much for our country. It’s time we do something for them. Here are some of the things we can do to help.

One thing we can do to help is to understand some reasons why they might be unemployed. One reason might be that 24.9 percent of veterans have disabilities. Another reason could be that seven percent of all veterans have PTSD. Also, most veterans don’t have a four year college degree, which makes it difficult to get good jobs.

Some veterans are able to get good jobs. Some go into home repair jobs and things like electricians and plumbers. Other jobs include security guards and law enforcement. Those are good jobs, because they have experience in action packed situations.

There are many good reasons to hire veterans. A few are that they are incredibly loyal and know how to work as a team. They are great at problem solving. They are also great at conflict resolution. Those are just a few, but there are many more.

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