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But first stop is the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff general Peter Pace and he joins us from his -- from our Washington studio.
Welcome to death and -- general -- were honored to have you.
No thanks very much Judy appreciate being on with -- Now -- -- retired as chairman of the -- I wanna point out to our viewers that chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Is this senior military officer in the United States to report directly to the president.
And -- as you have that job during the Viet -- -- -- during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars you're also one of the few man.
Who's been in that kind of position who.
Has also been a Vietnam veteran.
So you have decided to devote yourself since your retirement to a lot of the issues facing our veterans today -- -- men and women returning from Afghanistan.
But I ask you to go back to 1967.
When you graduated from the Naval Academy and you were in the Vietnam War and you saw what we did.
Where -- are veterans after that war what lessons we learned from Vietnam.
That you were determined we weren't gonna miss we were not gonna make the same mistakes today.
Well I think first of all -- nation has learned a lot of lessons I remember.
After Meissner -- in Vietnam and I came home.
Those who supported the war.
We're very appreciative of what I did.
Those who do not support the war -- were actually or hostile to me as a person.
And that made a huge impact on me today.
After some almost eleven years of war.
The huge difference.
For our troops is that the American people whether or not they support the war are supporting the war.
And that message of support and thanks from all the -- fellow citizens makes a huge difference in the way that they feel about what they're doing.
And their willingness to continue to serve soups -- that's number one.
That number two I do believe that we have over the last forty years.
An enormous amount -- resources as we should.
Not only that the -- -- wounds that are visible.
But the battlefield wounds are not visible and trying to help not -- that this soldier marine.
Who's been injured but also support their families so there's been a lot of lot of progress in that regard.
He'll look at and Starr -- -- statistics coming out of out of this war where something like 20%.
Of our combat cancer coming back with traumatic brain injuries where.
There were more deaths of our active duty forces from suicide than there were.
What measures are taken now for the returning -- and especially -- wounded warrior.
And people who have these injuries what measures we take you now to take care of those who took care of us.
-- first and foremost I think it's getting the message across to the troops if it's OK.
To admit that you have a problem.
You know in my own servers -- Marine Corps it's all about you know we can do anything where we're part of the rocks were -- and we can overcome.
And for someone who's who is steeped in that tradition and wants to be -- great -- for example.
It's very difficult to admit.
Date without a physical.
-- that's visible that's just somehow you may be wounded and so there's a lot of education going on first for the troops themselves.
The second for the families.
Third for the medical community.
In fact not only for those who are -- active duty but those who have retired I had a physical this morning that it Bethesda naval hospital.
They actually what took me through a series of questions just to determine if I was having any kind of post dramatic or other suicidal tendencies so I think it.
The organizations the medical community.
-- commanders in the field.
Are trying very hard -- and make sure that -- pace coming home from battle understands that there are booms that are not visible.
Their honorable honorable war rooms and we need to deal with him I would would any other kind of injury.
Now what other things that you also devoted -- to is your chairman of the Wall Street work routers work buyer's foundation.
You know after Vietnam our -- came back and issues that they.
People dissident did not honor those the warrior because they -- they didn't like the war unpopular war and it kind of took it out on our bats.
But now our -- are coming back battling with injuries but those of going back -- a different economic time and they're facing unemployment rates even higher than the general public.
So what tell us about the walk -- Wall Street -- writers foundation and what you're doing to help the wounded warriors coming home and who are looking for job.
Yeah thanks for asking that KT.
There are lots a great organizations out there Wall Street were fighters foundation is one of them.
What we try to do is help young men and women who have been injured.
Who have -- battlefield wounds poor -- served honorably since 9/11.
To transition back into.
Civilian life in this case into -- into the financial services industry who will take young men and women.
Gone through rehabilitation in our hospitals are ready to assimilate back into civilian society.
And help them for a period -- -- about six months.
First get the education they need.
Second get mentoring the third you have a chance to have in -- ships.
In the financial services industry and we started this sergeant.
Former sergeant of mine who's also Vietnam veteran guy named Larry -- and I started this back in December of 2008.
But so far we've had 36.
Students -- go through the course 29 and graduated seven are still in the course we try to have about twelve in the course of one time.
And we were proud of the fact that all 29 have received officer for employment in financial services and what we're trying to help.
Not in the veterans understand but also.
The potential employers understand.
Is that here you have you have proven commodities you have individuals who have proven their ability to work under stress.
To stick -- To be loyal to be dedicated and to get the job done and that the marriage -- those two and especially in financial services the integrity.
That these young men and -- and bring to the job he's so very well suited for what they're gonna do next.
-- -- don't do what happens if somebody's leaving the military epic comeback from.
Whether or injured or whether they're not they're leaving the military -- retired from military service and -- trying to get a job on.
In the civilian world and how they even write a ransom and how to they know where to go for interviews -- the military.
Help them as -- kind of job outplacement per -- as you leave the Marines serving army and the navy.
And as you respect for some hundred to 200000.
Troops here who are who are getting out of the service.
The services are doing as good jobs I think that they can -- right now in educating.
The folks are getting out.
There's not enough resources available to continue that mentoring.
And there are other organizations out there volunteer organizations like a group called American corporate partners.
And what they do use.
Senior executives from some of the largest companies in United States as mental errors.
With the -- paces in the sergeant paces of the world who need some -- called before they -- -- an interview we're just wanna be able to have a discussion with them.
There is -- -- group rather -- sentinels of freedom.
Who do a similar thing but also help with college education so there are many organizations out there.
Reaching out to helping returning veterans the biggest problem right now KT is that.
It's very difficult because -- properly so.
The law of the land which.
Precludes the military from giving out names of those who are coming out of service if it's very difficult for those who want to help.
And there are those who need help.
To be brought in contact -- each other.
So I bastard go for example here to help us with very a web page where.
If you're online and you can you -- a little something like.
Post traumatic stress disorder or anything that might indicate -- some kind of -- military person.
For them to have a screen up pops up its asking you know is this something you're looking for help with.
And and perhaps it had some kind of a portal that way to get.
Individuals coming out of the service.
Hooked up with those we're trying to help them in -- civilian community.
So in other words if if there's -- clearing house silencing you know -- private.
First class yeah you know -- is coming out of the military and there's now one website he goes to there's no one clearing house where he goes to try to match himself there's no monster.com.
The fair for returning that's mainly for how students we don't have it for people -- the military.
Well yeah I mean the same good things that are available to college students are relative to returning military but.
Even those sites objective tonight ubiquitous -- they don't cover everything.
And what I think would be hugely beneficial because there are literally.
Thousands of groups in our country that want to reach out and help veterans.
And there are thousands of veterans who need to help we really need.
A location in cyberspace.
Where that everybody can go those who want to help can say on this is gonna help I'm willing to give.
And those who need help and say this is kinda help I need to it and bring them together in a much more efficient and effective way.
We -- the military the evolving now where we're talking about drawing down and out her -- Iraq.
Reducing the size of the military what does that mean for the person who -- -- end to the military thinking this is going to be my twenty year career it's going to be right by a factor.
Your career is that person then going to be in a position where they're not going to have that option going forward.
Well I don't think that will be that the case KT out I'll tell you why and I'll stick with the Marine Corps which are no best.
We need about 20%.
Of all Marines who sign up for for initial enlistment.
To stay on -- on the first four years so there's a lot of US to city in the size of the the organization.
And accommodating those who -- like to -- The real problem I think is one of cutting down the size of the armed forces prematurely.
We still have a lot of troops deployed overseas.
A lot of our troops should -- in the army and Marine Corps have had 45 or six tours overseas.
We finally now have come down in our commitments overseas and to now -- we can have more time between deployments.
And just about the time there were able to give our families and our troops a little more breathing space.
We're about to cut the size of the armed forces and I think we just need to put that into the equation.
When we look at how fast we should tore down the size so we give those who are serving our nation the opportunity to catch their breath.
Because we are going to need to have troops deployed.
At least in Afghanistan with the agreement has been signed.
And -- the other trouble spots in the world so we need to be careful not to cut down so so quickly and to such a degree.
That we keep the temple.
On our families and on our troops as high as it stand for the last ten plus years I have.