Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan face a dismal economy – their unemployment rate stands out at 11%. In response, the Wounded Warriors Program developed a two-year fellowship program to provide 25 wounded or disabled veterans with the opportunity to work in a Congressional district office.
Justin Donato joined the Navy and spent several years as an operations specialist on the guided missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga. His service-related injuries – partial hearing loss, tendinitis in his knees, and torn cartilage in his wrist – made him eligible for the Wounded Warriors Fellowship. As a veterans’ case worker in the Pensacola district office of Rep. Jeff Miller, Donato feels like he is making a difference.
“I can’t relate to a Vietnam vet because I wasn’t there, but what I can do is listen and do what I can to help,” Donato says. “Every case is different.”
The California district office of Rep. Jeff Denham was one of the offices selected to participate in this year’s fellowship program.
“Our region is home to thousands of proud veterans, and I look forward to welcoming another veteran to my staff, ” said Rep. Denham. “Our Veterans are among our countries greatest leaders and it is very important that we do all we can to ensure they have jobs here at home.” Read more.
This program is limited to veterans who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001, have a minimum 30 percent service-connected disability rating from the VA and less than 20 years of service.