Tags: MidPoint | Veterans | retraining program

Veteran: Why I Thanked the President

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 04:10 PM

Veteran Gary Pollard says he wrote to the White House because he wanted the administration to know that he had been helped by a program signed into law by President Barack Obama called the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).

"I wanted him to know along, with his administration, that the programs that his administration as well as Congress has set forth, people were benefiting from it," Pollard, who worked as a medic in the U.S. Army, told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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Pollard wrote a letter to the White House that was published on the White House blog on Oct. 2 titled "One American's Perspective," in which he described how the program that Obama signed into law in 2011 helped him obtain an Associate's Degree in business and get training in the field of cyber technology.

"I've served my country for eight years, and I was grateful and thankful that people within his administration and within Congress saw the need for veterans to get back to work and to give us a vehicle and a tool to be used to retrain us and give us a chance to get back and fight again, fight for our country, stand up for our country, be men and women that want to be contributing citizens to our country," he explained.

The veterans jobs program went into effect on July 1, 2012 and was part of the VOW to  Hire Heroes Act of 2011. It assists unemployed veterans who are between the ages of 35 and 60 years old with up to 12 months of training assistance. For veterans to participate in this program, they cannot be eligible for any other VA educational or benefits program.

According to Pollard's letter to the White House, he explained that two years ago he was laid off from a job in the telecommunications industry that he had had for 14 years.

"It was frightening to know I couldn't be the provider that I was accustomed to being," he told Newsmax. "It was frightening to know that my wife was the sole breadwinner. It was frightening to know and to feel that I couldn't provide for my children like I wanted to."

"It was an uncomfortable, two year time period. I'm just grateful and thankful that it's over," he said.

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He explains that with the help of VRAP, he was able to get back on his feet.

"Within a week, stating that I was eligible, they laid out all the criteria — how long I was eligible for and the criteria that I needed to meet," Pollard explained.

"Once I got the letter, I went down to my local community college, enrolled and as soon as the semester started. I would say within two to three weeks of semester starting, I received my first payment," he said.

He says that he's "been out of the military now for about 15-16 years and the G.I. Bill is exhausted for me so the VRAP Program was a Godsend."

"It was another way for me to get back, retrain myself to reinvent myself and to gain a set of skills that I have right now," he added.

According to Pollard he says that "the government has dropped the ball" in "helping soldiers re-acclimate themselves to society" as well as making sure they have good healthcare through the Veterans' Affairs Administration hospitals.

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Veteran Gary Pollard says he wrote to the White House because he wanted the administration to know that he had been helped by a program signed into law by President Barack Obama called the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).
Veterans, retraining program
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2014-10-21
Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 04:10 PM
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