Sears among companies helping military families

By Reuters
Posted April 12 at 12:44 p.m.

The White House is partnering with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and Siemens AG to help struggling military families find jobs as part of an initiative partially overseen by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

Each company will offer different services for military spouses and veterans as part of an initiative–called Joining Forces–formally launched Tuesday by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden.

Sears will conduct a virtual career fair for military spouses and will provide transfers to other stores for employed military spouses. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club will guarantee jobs at other stores if a soldier is transferred. Siemens will reserve 10 percent of its more than 3,000 open positions in clean tech industries for veterans.

Other organizations and companies, including Cisco Systems Inc., have committed to helping educate and train military spouses and veterans.

Joining Forces is part of an effort by the Obama administration to help relieve undue burden on military families, which have faced added stress as soldiers face multiple tours.

The nation has been at war in the Middle East for nearly a decade–the longest sustained conflict in the nation’s history.

“We’re here today because these Americans in uniform have never served alone,” President Obama is expected to say, according to remarks released by the White House. “Behind every American in uniform stands a wife or husband; a mother, a father; a son or daughter; a sister or brother. These families–these remarkable families–are the force behind the force.”

The choice of McChrystal to help oversee the initiative signals the emphasis the administration is placing on it. McChrystal oversaw international forces in Afghanistan and spear-headed an effort to boost troop levels in the country.

President Obama relieved him of power in June of last year over mocking statements the general and his aides made to Rolling Stone magazine.

Choosing McChrystal may help show the public there are no hard feelings between the military and the White House.


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