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Winston-Salem asking employers to hire veterans

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- On the day we celebrate, honor and remember those who've fought for our freedom, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines is asking we do more for veterans and encourage companies to hire them.

Joines is proclaiming this week "Employ a Veteran Week."

Statewide more than 60,000 veterans are on some type of employment assistance and Joines says companies need to give them a closer look.

"We are not asking for special preference but at least give these veterans a good hard look," Joines said.

Tom Ehlers agrees saying, "it's kind of like talking out both sides of your mouth everybody supports the military everybody supports a veteran but the next step is to do something."

Ehlers is veteran of the Navy and now the District 18 Commander for the American Legion. He says many veterans don't understand why they have a tough time getting a job.

 "They feel that they are not taken seriously feel they are put in the bottom of the pile instead of the front of the pile," Ehler said.

"That's terribly sad that one in four homeless are veterans who were out there at one time defending our country and were not doing our part to quote defend them it is sad," says Captain John Topper.

Topper now works with the Army R.O.T.C. at Wake Forest University. After losing his job in a downsizing, he re-enlisted in the service because he says finding another job would have been tough.

Topper says he doesn't understand why companies are hesitant to hire veterans, "I think it's a mystery to a lot of us because we know what kind of qualities and leadership traits we would bring to companies."

For more information about what businesses can do to recruit veterans or if you’re a veteran wanting to find a job check out the N.C. Department of Commerce website at