KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --- "I heard that veterans always get that opportunity." Ryan Edman told me on his lunch break. "They always get the job. Its easy to transition. It is not. It is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. hands down."
Edman is working his 7th job since February of 2009.
He was a specialist with the 141 Infantry, with plans of a military career, but a back injury changed that. Now 4 years later he still can't find a steady job.
Instead he bounces from temp job to temp job trying to support a family amid layoffs.
He isn't alone either. While the national unemployment rate is 7.7% the rate for veterans is closer to 14%.
Potential hires also fight being viewed as a statistic, one of the estimated 30% of soldiers who have been treated for PTSD.
"Are these casualties of war?" We asked Jonathan Williams of the Tennessee Veterans Business Association.
"I think they are." He tells us, "I think they absolutely are. These are issues a lot of guys are facing that are hidden in a lot of ways behind closed doors."
The TVBA works with veterans and local businesses, advocating hiring for our former soldiers.
There are other groups like theirs, but as Edman tells us more has to be done.
"Sustaining employment for veterans is extremely difficult. Especially in our area, especially for Iraq and Afghan vets that are coming out right now. Today and tomorrow."