Tesla, you may or may not know, has a career program for veterans who have served in the U.S. military. In a country that celebrates its veterans on television yet turns a blind eye to the needs of many vets who are struggling with all types of problems, ranging from PTSD to homelessness, Tesla is one of many American companies that are focusing on employing those who served in our military.
One of the main things Tesla is looking for in employees is that they have a leadership mentality and experience. Tesla wants people who can lead small teams, come up with a plan, and accomplish the mission. Some of the core values that Tesla appreciates in veterans is discipline, attention to detail, and dedication — that sense of loyalty and commitment that veterans often have. Tesla will not only help veterans transition from being members of the military into members of civilian life, but also values the experience that veterans have.
Why Veterans? Why Tesla?
People who have served in the military know how to deal with a crisis as soon as it comes up. That is a good skill for a nimble, fast-growing, constantly improving company.
Tesla is also working toward solving a crisis — one that has been around for a long time and is still unsolved. In fact, this crisis is one that many choose to turn a blind eye to and pretend away.
Solving the crisis of climate change requires more than a direct approach. One can’t just flip a switch and it’s solved. No, this crisis requires people with the passion to change it working many years to do so. It’s a good fit for someone who has come home from war who wants to continue serving our nation, or humanity as a whole.
The Plight of 67,495 U.S. Veterans Today
The idea of homeless veterans is appalling. When people go to serve in the military, the leave behind their families and sometimes end up in situations where there is a really high chance that they may die. When those who are fortunate enough to return home do so, they come home to a country that doesn’t necessarily respect or take care of them.
In an article by The Military Wallet, writer Ryan Guina states, “There are over 630,000 homeless people in America. 67,495 are veterans. It amazes me that in today’s society, over 1 in 10 homeless people in America are veterans.” Ryan shared an infographic that breaks down just how serious the situation is.
Almost a million veterans lived in poverty in the United States in 2018. 20,000 of them with government-sponsored mortgages lost their homes in 2010. 76% of homeless veterans struggle with alcohol, drug, or mental health issues. 30% of veterans ages 18–24 are unemployed.
That person standing in the middle of the road begging you for money as you drive by may have once put on a uniform and served this country. People being judged as junkies or crazies may have given up so much for this nation. Yes, turning to drugs and alcohol is a horrible thing, but instead of judgement, have compassion. Trauma is the number one cause of homelessness. People turn to drugs and alcohol to escape their pain. Sometimes their pain is too much for their minds to take.
— 🐶 𝔼𝕒𝕣𝕝 of FrunkPuppy 🐶 (@28delayslater) November 6, 2019
With Veterans Day and the holiday season coming forth, we often fleetingly think of those much less fortunate than ourselves before putting them in the backs of our minds as we continue our day-to-day lives. People seem to forget about impoverished Americans, and when the topic comes up, the usual stereotypes come into play. Poor people must have done something wrong to now be poor.
Oh, he is on drugs, so that’s why. Maybe if he didn’t do drugs he wouldn’t be on the streets. Yes, go tell that to the veteran who lost a leg and is living on disability but can’t afford to pay rent because his monthly disability check is just $700.
Go tell the children of homeless parents that they need to just get a job and they will be okay — never mind they are too young to work.
This mentality we have toward the less fortunate needs to drop, because things do change and one day it can happen to you. Homelessness does not discriminate.
America shouldn’t say, “Thank you for your service,” to our veterans. America should demonstrate its gratitude instead. We need more than Veterans Day. We need more companies like Tesla stepping up to work with veterans.
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