The joining forces policy is an initiative developed by First lady Michele Obama in conjunction with the secretary of State Joe Biden. The initiative is meant to call attention to veterans of the United States who have gone to war for their country and are cleared to join the society after their service. The initiative stems from the moral obligation that soldiers who have come from war fighting for their country should not come home only to continue the war which this time has to do with fighting for job opportunities (AAN, 2014).
The policy was developed prompted by growing concerns among families of veterans of the war and the veterans themselves who found it quite difficult to find and secure job opportunities once they re-entered the society after their service. The war heroes and heroines are, unfortunately, not first choices of employers due to several factors. Foremost, they are found to lack in the skills necessary for the job market. Secondly, they require training to develop skills and knowledge that is required in the job market which presents overhead costs for businesses that have to spend both time and resources ensuring that the repatriates have the skills and knowledge necessary to complete the job. What is more, the majority of the soldiers left for combat without having attained tertiary education an element that is increasingly becoming a necessity in the job market in the USA today. Thirdly, the veterans spouses having been single parents or otherwise while their spouses were out at war had to rely on the salaries of the veterans to take care of their families. Now that they are back, and both are jobless it is becoming a burden to support their families in the case where there is little to go around in terms of available jobs that can hire a veteran or their spouses (White House, 2014).
The problem is, however, not just in veteran unemployment veterans of the war are as well sadly victims of traumatic experiences while out at war an issue that sometimes also spreads to their families when they either die at war or come back home traumatized or disabled. The first lady has made a bold move to challenge CEOs in the United States to address the issue of veteran unemployment, but also challenged other state organs such as the healthcare industry to join the Joining Forces initiative in providing healthcare to veterans and their families. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has been in the forefront by pledging support for veterans and their keen on whichever medical attention they may require. Particularly on matters to deal with trauma 3.1 million nurses from the ANA has pledged to support American veterans and their families who may require medical attention to address traumatic experiences (ANA, 2014).
Toward the achievement of this objective the Joining Forces initiative has received support from various quarters in the healthcare sector particularly the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The AACN has developed an educational program in liaison with the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) to enhance veterans’ care through the education of healthcare workers dealing with veterans. This is informed by the fact that veterans present unique needs from the conventional American patient and, therefore, special care should be given to them. Similarly, the same applies for the families of veterans since their experiences with family members who have been to war cannot be comparable with average family households in the US. For these reasons, the Joining Forces initiative has been quite impactful in designing and maintaining healthcare workers training program that proves effective in providing quality healthcare to veterans and their families spearheaded by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2014).
The scope of the Joining Forces project or initiative spreads throughout all the states in the USA, currently first lady Michele Obama is calling for the implementation of the Joining Forces policy into law by all states in the USA. She projects that by this year 2014 all states in the US will have passed the Joining Forces Policy legislation. The enactment of the Joining Forces legislation into law is purposed to assist veterans and their families in the repatriation process as the war heroes and heroines re-enter the community easily. There are numerous benefits that the Joining Forces program presents for the country. Foremost, through the repatriation of the veterans into civilian lives the Joining Forces initiative ensures that veterans are capable of affording to support their families by securing jobs. Moreover, the program also opens doors for the spouses of the veterans and makes it easier for them as well to secure employment opportunities. As a result, the program provides veterans and their families with a source of livelihood (White House, 2014).
Secondly, the veterans are trained through the program to gain skills and expertise that are required in the job market. In this way the veterans can make contributions into the American economy which results in economic growth and sustainability. Thirdly, the Joining Forces program also provides veterans with quality healthcare solutions that ensure the healthy being of their health as well as that of their families. What is more, the veterans are able to contribute to the healthcare sector by providing employment to many healthcare workers who are specially trained on how to give healthcare to veterans and their families. Much of this training also goes into the improvement of medical staff competencies particularly with regard to skills used in the treatment of trauma among veteran patients and their families (White House, 2014; AACN, 2014).
Essentially, the Joining Forces program is a bold move initiated by the first lady of the United States in liaison with the Secretary of State Joe Biden on the basis of a moral obligation of humanity to secure employment opportunities and quality healthcare for veterans of war. The success of the program will see that soldiers who come back home from war are not faced with hardships when it comes to securing jobs to cater for their families as well as in ensuring that they have access to the best available quality healthcare for their psychological and physical treatment (White House, 2014; AACN, 2014).
The LA Weekly is a freely circulating newspaper that serves as an alternative newspaper in Los Angeles in California. Founded in 1978 by editor and publisher Jay Levin in conjunction with a board of directors. The weekly magazine is well known for its coverage of Los Angeles cultures and events. Unlike the conventional newspapers which generally are benched on hard news, the LLA Weekly is hinged towards the entertainment industry with most of its coverage revolving around music, film, arts, and theatre. The newspaper is owned by the Voice Media Group which owns a number of other newspapers that also circulate in the City of Los Angeles (Levin, 2008).
The inclination of the LA Weekly has had it cover stories on the culture of the residents of LA occasionally hosting awards and events such as the LA Weekly Theatre Awards that was established in 1979 and the LA Weekly Detour Music Festival since the year 2006. The concerns of the newspaper with regard to the culture of LA residents makes it an appropriate choice for the discussion of the legislation surrounding the Joining Forces Policy (Levin, 2008). Hence the decision to channel an editorial through the LA Weekly is informed by the receivership that the newspaper enjoys in the city with regard to the following of entertainment lovers who read the paper for among other reasons entertainment news and to learn of pertinent concerns such as the Joining Forces Policy.
The paper’s famous writers include; Jonathan Gold and Nikki Finke who are however not currently working for the newspaper although they have in the past won the LA Weekly numerous awards including the coveted Putlizer-Prize for breaking the story of the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer in LA. Other renowned authors for the paper include; theatre critic Steven L. Morris, film critic Ella Taylor and columnist Mark Cooper. The paper has a long history of providing residents of LA with news and information about current trends in the entertainment sector of the country (Levin, 2008; Theatre Communications Group, 2013).
The headquarters of the newspaper firm is base in Culver City, California. It currently serves up to 160, 128 readers in the city. The editor in charge of operations in the firm is Sarah Fenske and is published by Beth Sestanovich. Rolled out as a tabloid, the LA Weekly runs every Thursday of the week its circulation of over 160, 000 makes it one of the most read newspaper tabloids in the city of LA. Thus an editorial published through the LA Weekly would serve to reach out to the majority of LA newspaper readers hence informing the choice of this media outlet in delivering the editorial to the residents of the City of Los Angeles (Levin, 2008).
The Joining Forces Policy is a humanitarian effort to ending suffering of war heroes and heroines who are repatriated back into society. Calling it a humanitarian effort simply means that it is a move to assist those who find themselves in a helpless situation making them unable to address pertinent issues that matter to them. In this regard soldiers who come back home after fighting for the country should not be subjected to such status as to be helped. In the first place soldiers are the reason why America is what it is and I stand corrected though it is popular belief that The United States of America is the greatest country in the World with the phrase ‘Living the American Dream’ common among ambitious Americans as well as those aspiring to work and live in the states. Therefore, it is surprising and interesting to see that a great country such as the USA treats its heroes and heroines as beggars in the streets.
Foremost, the ex-US soldiers do not require to get a job since providing service to their country should be the only job they have to get in that compensation that should follow must be tailored to adequately meet the needs of veterans and their families. Sadly, the case is the opposite where soldiers returning home from war and relieved of their duties come back home to deplorable standards of living that are far worse than before they left for the war. This is majorly because they can no longer secure a job for themselves or for their spouses.
Consequently, the move to repatriate veterans into the community through the joining forces program has with effect painted a picture of a meek retired army personnel in the USA that makes the American soldier a laughing stalk. However, the program has positive intentions in ensuring that veterans have a decent living and are able to cater for their families despite having access to quality healthcare.
Nonetheless, the project could have been implemented through a more dignifying approach that would with effect ensure the repatriation of veterans into society without developing feelings of sympathy, embarrassment, meekness, incompetence and vulnerability etcetera among veterans who are absorbed back into the community. For instance, a program instead of the Joining Forces initiative could be rolled out that trains ex-soldiers in skills and competencies in various fields of business, industry and investment. The program could take place immediately they are relieved of duty for a period of a few months. Resultantly, the ex-soldiers would also be exempt from the embarrassment that they may come across related to difficulties in securing opportunities for employment. Such a program rolled out along the healthcare plan in the Joining Forces initiative would serve a great deal to ensure veterans live a quality life after joining the society.
The stature of the USA as a country to beat in terms of development, in infrastructure and development in terms of democracy should be aligned with its treatment of war heroes and heroines. In this regard, it is astonishing to read that high ranking government officials such as Secretary of State Joe Biden and First Lady Michele Obama are at the forefront of spearheading a program that shames the American ex-soldiers who have served their country in dignity. Hence, the Joining Forces initiative though appropriate in intention requires a bit of adjustments to ensure that the dignity of the American solider is upheld.
AACN. (2014, 4 15). Joining Forces: Enhancing Veterans' Care Tool kit. Retrieved from www.aacn.nche.edu: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/downloads/joining-forces-tool-kit
AAN. (2014, 4 15). Joining Forces Initiative. Retrieved from aan.com: https://www.aan.com/public-policy/joining-forces-initiative/
ANA. (2014, 4 15). Pledge to Support Joining Forces . Retrieved from nursingworld.org: http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ThePracticeofProfessionalNursing/Improving-Your-Practice/ANA-Supports-Joining-Forces/Pledge-Page.I
Levin, J. (2008, December 3). L.A. Weekly Founder Jay Levin on the Visio That Started It All. LA Weekly News. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from http://www.laweekly.com/2008-12-04/news/la-weekly-founder-jay-levin-on-the-the-vision-that-started-it-all/
Theatre Communications Group. (2013, 08 04). Awards Listings . Retrieved from www.tcg.org: http://www.tcg.org/publications/at/awards_listing.cfm?ID=5
White House. (2014, 4 15). Joining Forces . Retrieved from www.whitehouse.gov: http://www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces