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Local News

Many Iraq, Afghanistan Vets Unemployed

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West Hartford's 2011 Veterans Day ceremony. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

West Hartford’s 2011 Veterans Day ceremony. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

CHICAGO (AP) _ Veterans like former Marine Corps member Orlando Ocasio are struggling to find jobs after coming home from overseas.

The Purple Heart recipient with two toddler sons lost his factory job two years ago, joining the ranks of the 240,000 unemployed veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Supporting his family has been a struggle, and he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder since being wounded.

For veterans in the U.S., the unemployment rate is much higher than the national average. And the situation is expected to worsen after thousands of service members return from Afghanistan and Iraq by

year’s end.

A measure approved Thursday by the Senate is aimed at helping, by providing special tax incentives to companies that hire unemployed veterans.

The House is expected to approve it next week.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal says he expects House approval will be swift.

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