From Our Listeners

Letters: Unemployed Veterans And Being Mormon

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NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments about high unemployment rates for returning veterans, how Mormons are dealing with the heightened attention created by Mitt Romney's presidential run, and the perils of flying with a musical instrument.


It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week we talked about the high levels of unemployment veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq face and how difficult it can be to translate military training into civilian job skills. Not exactly the problem that listener Corey Morris faces in Denver. My husband served a 15-month tour in Iraq, and as a dentist he had no trouble getting work in the civilian world, she wrote. The issue I would like raise is that of spouses transitioning back.

After several years moving around, including three years overseas and trying to keep things afloat on the home front while my spouse was deployed, I found it difficult to return to the workforce with a large gap in my resume. The opportunities to stay current in my field and further my education were severely limited and inhibited by the years my husband spent in the service. However, while programs for vets are in abundance, I have found very few, meaning no resources available, to family members of our veterans.

Jake Smith in Florida heard our discussion about the increased attention Mitt Romney's candidacy has brought to Mormons and emailed: As a Latter Day Saint raised in the South, I have always had to deal with people who mock and deride my beliefs. In high school I was hesitant to tell people what church I went to for fear of harassment. After high school, I served a mission in New Mexico and my confidence went up as I shared my beliefs with people. Now I speak freely about my beliefs and have the confidence to discuss them with people who disagree with me.

Finally, in a conversation with cellist Paul Katz about the perils of flying with his instrument, I remark that he might want to reconsider the flute. Allison Furlong wrote to say: That's no joke. My husband, as it happens, plays the flute. Once, while putting his flute through the X-ray screening at airport security, he watched the screeners' eyes get as big as saucers as she saw the instrument pass through. Once he reassembled the flute and demonstrated that the instrument was not, in fact, a pipe bomb, everything was fine. We still laugh about it, and I'll bet that TSA agent will never forget what a disassembled flute looks like.

This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan. Tomorrow, the - what you probably don't know about confidential police informants. We'll talk about an effort to better protect them. Join us for that. This is NPR News in Washington.

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