Starbucks could teach KFC a lesson when it comes to how it treats veteran employees.

Everybody who works for a living deserves to make a living wage.

Everybody.


But the words of Derrell Odom, a Marine and veteran of two tours in Iraq, bring it home even more when he talks about life at minimum wage.


"I don't want my son to look at me like I'm something less because I have to work for $7.25 and I bust my butt every day and I take pride in what I do … we have a voice and we want it to be heard."

Don't we owe it to people like Derrell that good jobs with benefits and a decent paycheck are part of the deal when they come back home?

I'll say it again: Good jobs with benefits and a decent paycheck should be part of the deal of living here.

On Veterans Day, rather than only posting well wishes to vets on Facebook, how about getting the word out that there are people like Derrell who came back from the bowels of hell to make $7.25 an hour?

It's a national disgrace that needs to change.

I came across some interesting things when I started researching this, and I'd like to pass them along.

1. An estimated 1 million veterans would receive a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $10.10.

2. Some employers shy away from hiring veterans because they're worried about PTSD.

3. In fact, some veterans even hide their experience in the service because they're worried about their employer judging them, or their coworkers begin concerned about their mental health status.

What often results when people live like this? Depression, a worsening of already-existing PTSD, a downward spiral that can lead to homelessness and poverty, and more.

Approximately 57,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.

That's almost 12% of the total adult homeless population.

But even worse? Suicide, related to these issues and many others.

Studies have shown that suicide rates among veterans are 50% higher than among civilians.

Image by Copy Editor/Wikimedia Commons.

Some companies, like Starbucks, get it. It was just announced that Starbucks will be offering free tuition to Arizona State University to a family member of the veterans who work for the company. It already offers tuition assistance to employees working toward an undergraduate degree at ASU, but this is icing on the cake for veterans who work there.

Meanwhile, here's Derrell with one and a half minutes of YES.

That sound of desperation in his voice? It's very real for veterans of all kinds, as well as anybody working at $7.25 an hour or close to it.

If you agree with him, pass this around. It might just open some eyes.

More

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended