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Unemployment Big Hurdle for Returning Veterans

Joe Franzese Photo

Joe Franzese of the Wounded Warrior Project talks about challenges for returning veterans. (Photo/Mike Reilley)

By Jon Doe

Post-9/11 veterans have more resources available than past generations of veterans, but transitioning back into civilian life has been difficult because of delayed benefits and high unemployment, according to a Wounded Warrior Project employment specialist.

The overwhelming amount of soldiers returning from combat — 2.5 million throughout the past 13 years — has created a backlog in the Veterans Affairs system and delayed medical and education benefits. A 2013 report showed that 245,000 veterans wait a year or more for the VA assistance they are owed for their service.

“A lot of ways, being in the military is very easy because you know exactly what your focus is,” said Joe Franzese, a third-generation Marine who now works as an employment specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project. “Once you get into the swing of things, it’s a very easy way of life. You have one job and that’s it. But, coming back home and just not having that whole structure is just challenging itself.”

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Quick Poll: How Much Would You Pay for Google Glass?

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CVS to Stop Carrying Tobacco Products

CVS announced Wednesday it will stop carrying tobacco products.

Gov. Quinn: State Pensions Threaten Illinois MAP Grants

Governor Pat Quinn Photo

Gov. Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul on Wednesday. (Photo/Josclynn Brandon)

By Josclynn Brandon and Angelica Robinson

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said. “We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”

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Gov. Quinn: State Pensions Threatening MAP Grants

Governor Pat Quinn Photo

Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at a press conference at DePaul University. (Photo by Josclynn Brandon Brandon)

By Josclynn Brandon and Angelica Robinson

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said. “We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”

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