With an unemployment rate just under 10 percent for veterans returning from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, finding a job for those who have served their country has proved to be a challenge. In pledging to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, has set an example of honoring the sacrifices of the nation's men and women in uniform that other corporations should follow. Few gestures say welcome home more profoundly than the security of a job.
Scheduled to begin on Memorial Day, the Wal-Mart jobs program will be open to any veteran who has been honorably discharged within 12 months of the end of their active duty service. The jobs program is a commendable business decision and a recognition veterans make dependable employees.
Wal-Mart has suffered from several public relations fiascoes in recent months — a brewing bribery scandal in Mexico, claims of sexual discrimination by 2,000 female employees and an embarrassing snub of Vice President Joe Biden's gun violence task force. The company's jobs program for veterans may not completely rehabilitate Wal-Mart's image. But it's a good first step.