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Veterans get thanks, but need more jobs

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Saluting veterans at the Presidio
Heather Masetl-Lipson and Sarah Young from the San Francisco Conservatory perform in remembrance of war veterans on Veterans Day at the Presidio Veterans Cemetery Friday morning. (Scot Tucker/SFBay)

Senators left Washington for Veterans Day weekend having accomplished something for a change.

All 95 lawmakers, including Oakland’s Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), approved Thursday legislation that gives tax credits to employers who hire out-of-work military veterans.

That’s good news for Former Army Staff Sgt. Josh Aguilar of Hayward, who served for 11 years — with three tours in Iraq. In a Friday San Francisco Chronicle profile, Aguilar says he reintegrated into civilian life in June and hit the pavement for a job soon after.

No luck yet, says the 31-year-old:

“I get plenty of thanks for my service, which is very nice…but employers just don’t seem to be able to see how my military experience fits in for them.”

Sen. Boxer wasted no time touting the Senate’s accomplishment in a statement:

“The brave men and women who fight for our country shouldn’t have to fight to find a good job when they return home. This bill will help veterans get the job training they need to build their careers while providing incentives to employers who put veterans to work.”

Throughout the Bay Area Friday, politicians and families marked the day with official observance ceremonies. In The City, civilians and military servicemen and servicewomen worked to restore the Presidio, a former military base turned national park.

Not far away, hundreds were expected to line up along Market and Montgomery streets for the annual Veterans Day Parade at 11 a.m.

Aaron Morrison
San Francisco-Bay Area bred multimedia journalist. SF State alum.

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