《经济学人》:美国退役士兵归国后面临的困难
日期:2011-12-29 11:20

(单词翻译:单击)

American veterans
美国退役士兵
A hard homecoming
归途漫漫
Budget battles and a stagnant economy greet America’s soldiers as they return from Iraq and Afghanistan
美国士兵从战火纷飞的伊拉克和阿富汗回到家乡后,迎接他们的是对预算案的争吵和停滞不前的经济

BRETT QUINZON did two tours in Iraq before leaving active duty in May. Originally from Minnesota, Mr Quinzon now lives in Thomaston, a small town around 65 miles south of Atlanta. A grey December morning found him filling out forms in Atlanta’s large veterans’ hospital, seeking treatment for depression. Since returning from Iraq, he says he has more anger issues, and finds himself more watchful and on-guard in public situations than he was before he deployed. That is not unusual: many soldiers return from the battlefield with psychological scars. Between January and May, as he prepared to leave active duty, Mr Quinzon applied for hundreds of jobs. The search proved difficult: like many veterans, he enlisted right after high-school, and lacks a college degree. But persistence paid off. He is now an apprentice at a heating and air-conditioning company, and is being trained as a heavy-equipment operator.

布雷特.昆士昂在今年5月退役前,曾先后两次赴伊作战。现在,他从老家明尼苏达搬到了离亚特兰大南部65公里的小镇托马斯顿居住。本月中的一天早晨,天空阴沉灰暗,有人在亚特兰大一家大型退伍士兵医院中看到了昆士昂的身影。当时他正在填写表格,因心理抑郁前来寻求治疗。从硝烟弥漫的伊拉克回到美国后,他觉得自己变得容易暴躁,并发现在公共场合中,变得警惕,拘谨得多。出现这样的问题并不意外,许多从战场上归来的退役士兵心理上都有阴影。今年1月到5月,在昆士昂准备退役期间,曾寄出了数百封求职信。像许多退伍老兵一样,他高中一毕业就参军入伍,没有大学文凭。所以对他而言,求职的过程显得艰难异常,但不懈的坚持终于换来了回报。现在,他正在一家冷热设备制造公司实习,岗位是重型机械操作员。

Not all recent veterans are so lucky. Around 800,000 veterans are jobless, 1.4m live below the poverty line, and one in every three homeless adult men in America is a veteran. Though the overall unemployment rate among America’s 21m veterans in November (7.4%) was lower than the national rate (8.6%), for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan it was 11.1%. And for veterans between the ages of 18 and 24, it was a staggering 37.9%, up from 30.4% just a month earlier.

不是所有最近退役的士兵都像昆士昂那样幸运,能找到份工作。目前在美国,大约八十万退伍兵处于失业状态;生活在贫困线以下的退役士兵有一百四十万人;每三个成年无家可归者中就有一个是退伍兵。在十一月的调查中发现,在美国两千一百万退伍兵里,总失业率为7.4%。这一比例确实要比全国失业率的8.6%要低。但从伊拉克和阿富汗战场上回到国内的退役士兵,失业率却为11.1%。而年龄在18到24岁的退役士兵,失业率已从10月的30.4%激增到11月的37.9%。

If demography is indeed destiny, perhaps this figure should not be surprising. More soldiers are male than female, and the male jobless rate exceeds women’s. Since so many soldiers lack a college degree, the fact that the recession has been particularly hard on the less educated hits veterans disproportionately. Large numbers of young veterans work—or worked—in stricken industries such as manufacturing and construction. Whatever the cause, this bleak trend is occurring as the last American troops leave Iraq at the end of this year, and as more than 1m new veterans are expected to join the civilian labour force over the next four years.

如果说年龄结构决定失业率高低的话,大概下面的数字应该不会让人惊奇。男性士兵的人数要大于女性士兵的人数。理所当然,男性退伍士兵的失业率也要比女性退伍士兵高。因为许多士兵并未获得过大学文凭,事实上,经济衰退对受教育程度较差的士兵打击非常大。很大一部分年轻的退伍士兵,现在或曾经在受到了严重的冲击的领域,如制造业和建筑业中工作。无论原因为何,受教育越少,在经济衰退中受打击越大,这一形势将伴随着最后一批美国参战士兵在今年年底离开伊拉克,回到美国。未来四年间,将有超过一百万的新退伍士兵将涌入民政劳动力市场。

And of course it is also occurring in fiscally straitened times, though it looks as though this will affect veterans’ services less than other parts of the federal government. Though there have been some small fee increases for veterans covered by Tricare, the military health-insurance programme, significant cuts to veterans’ benefits are unlikely, and for good reason. Military pay is far from generous, and the benefits are comprehensive but hardly gold-plated or easy to navigate. Not for nothing is a popular online forum for veterans wending their way through the bureaucracy of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) called HadIt.com.
尽管看上去预算紧缺对联邦政府其它项目的影响要大于对退役士兵所享服务的影响,但随着大量劳动力的涌入,伴随而来的还有预算紧张。虽然对于加入军队健康保险计划Tricare的退役士兵来,支付费用有小幅上调,但大幅削减退伍士兵的待遇是不可能的。说起来军队待遇远说不上慷慨,各种津贴林林总总,但数额都不大,得到也绝非易事。为津贴是一个热门在线论坛,帮助退役士兵如何在退伍士兵事务部(简称VA)办理各项事宜。该网站叫HadIt.com(受够了.com)不是没有原因的。

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重点单词
  • bureaucracyn. 官僚制度,官僚主义
  • persistencen. 坚持,毅力
  • depressionn. 沮丧,萧条
  • constructionn. 建设,建造,结构,构造,建筑物
  • unemploymentn. 失业,失业人数
  • apprenticen. 学徒 v. 使当学徒
  • overalladj. 全部的,全体的,一切在内的 adv. 总的来说
  • comprehensiveadj. 综合的,广泛的,理解的
  • affectvt. 影响,作用,感动
  • generousadj. 慷慨的,宽宏大量的,丰盛的,味浓的