Servicemen leaving the US military are forced to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, high unemployment and a loss of camaraderie while they were serving. (File Photo)
The deteriorating US economy and soaring unemployment rates has left US soldiers and veterans returning from Iraq with no choice but to grapple with a bleak and uncertain future.
US Defense cuts have also cast doubt on the possibility of troops securing military jobs inside the country.
“Right now the unemployment rate nationwide is through the roof," said Staff Sergeant Brett Bolton, an Air Force truck driver who has served for six years.
Uncertainty about the future has taken the joy out of being relieved of military duty for most troops.
"I've done my six years. I feel like I've done enough and I want to go back to the civilian world, but right now it's not looking too good for me,” VOA website quoted Bolton as saying on Saturday.
In an earlier interview with Press TV, Edward Spannaus, Legal Affairs editor in Washington D.C, had described the situation of returning soldiers and veterans as a national disgrace, saying that budget cuts aimed at saving the near collapse US economy would only make the situation worse.
"Young men and women join the army these days precisely because it's the only job they can get. The people tend to come from the poor layers of the society and overwhelmingly from the poor states in the country," Spannaus said.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment for veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan is higher than the national average. Their rate of unemployment is rated at about 12 percent as opposed to the 9 percent nationwide average.
The youngest of veterans, aged 18 to 24, had a 30 percent jobless rate in October; a drastic hike from the 18 percent of last year.
There are currently about 39,000 US soldiers in Iraq. According to a 2008 bilateral security accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), all the US troops are required to leave the country by the end of this year.