Even though returning combat veterans earn a bad reputation in the media, many veterans can be fantastic assets to employers who are looking for disciplined and hardworking individuals. True, while the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs reports that one in five combat veterans develops Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, the remaining 80% of veterans who do not suffer from such mental illnesses deserve to be recognized and even celebrated by corporate America.

The USDVA has provided an article on their website called, “Why Veterans Make Good Employees”. There, a bullet-point list exists that outlines just ten terrific reasons to hire veterans. Among the top reasons are noticing how veterans are trained in multi-disciplinary fields, such as technology, quality interaction with others, and “coordinating and troubleshooting” problems and their solutions in an efficient manner. A veteran’s résumé will prove almost too impressive when you find that they qualify for just about all of the job listings your company has recently released.

Another highly-ranked skill that veterans offer is their unique dedication to a task and their ability to always deliver with precision, no matter the circumstances. Under pressure? Crunched for time because of rigid deadlines? No problem. Veterans have been trained to work under intense conditions, and although the workplace might not replicate the battlefield, many of the same principles apply. One simple miscalculation can be devastating to others and the company as a whole, but usually veterans achieve their target goals in the office much like they did on the battlefield.

But the skill that the USDVA placed at the top of the list was a veteran’s knack for working well in a team. A group of employees would be wise to place a veteran in charge of a group project, since leadership is one of the main skills drilled into all cadets in all military branches since during their ROTC days. But even if they aren’t drafted into the spotlight, veterans can easily follow orders (think back to their time on the battlefield). Plus, the USDVA also acknowledges a veteran’s ability to think more outside-the-box, which leads to more “creative” solutions to problems.

But what about the 20% of veterans who return from combat with some form of mental illness like PTSD? The truth is, while they do possess more mental instability which might be seen as a liability to employers, organizations like the VA boast that they can help veterans rehabilitate from their traumatic time at war through talk-therapy, psychiatric medication, and even career assistance and advice.

However, veterans should be wary of seeking this sort of treatment through the VA, since reports released by CNN in 2012 revealed that medical professionals associated with the VA prescribed 259% more narcotics than in 2002, and that individualized therapy had fallen by the wayside. Therefore, ailing soldiers and veterans who suffer from PTSD might want to consider consulting outside organizations to rehabilitate their physical and mental health, as well as help make themselves more competitive in the job market.

One of those organizations is Operation: I.V, a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2012 that helps combat veterans heal from both PTSD as well as traumatic brain injuries. Its founder, Roxann Abrams, is a Gold Star Mother who lost her son SFC Randy Abrams in 2009. Randy took his own life after experiencing a PTSD flashback from his service in Iraq. Randy had undiagnosed PTSD- a common occurrence among combat veterans either due to mistakes made by the medical field or simply the individual’s failure to report such grave symptoms.

As a result of her son’s death, Abrams founded Operation: I.V. so that combat veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan have a place to receive treatment through a specialized “VIP”, or “Veteran Intervention Plan” program. “VIP” offers ten different rehabilitation programs, including hyperbolic oxygen therapy, service dogs, and anxiety reduction therapy. Additionally, veterans may also partake in programs such as job retraining, business mentoring, and educational assistance. Again, while there is no cure for PTSD, the programs provided by Operation: I.V. can drastically improve a veteran’s mental health and overall outlook on life!

Author's Bio: 

Abigail Fazelat is a contributing writer for Operation: I.V., a non-profit organization founded by Gold Star Mother Roxann Abrams who lost her son SFC Randy Abrams to PTSD. Randy took his own life after experiencing a wartime flashback- an experience not uncommon to any combat veteran. As a result, Abrams founded Operation: I.V. as an “intravenous of help” for other Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and contemplating suicide. Fazelat has worked for the organization since October 2013 under a pseudonym.