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Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 -- 11:41 AM

Now that most soldiers from the 32nd Brigade of the Wisconsin Army National Guard are home, it?s time for them to get back to work stateside.

But, because of the slumping economy, some are finding their jobs are gone.

Wayne Short of Granton volunteers with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. He visited with returning soldiers at Ft. McCoy over the weekend.

"The Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act covers the servicemen to make sure that they get their job back with all the benefits and seniority as when they left," Short explains.

Other laws protect the soldier's right to family leave.

But, those laws don't guarantee the job will exist, and the slumping economy has led many employers to downsize, or close.

"It appears a full 25% will be unemployed due to downsizing or companies that have completely gone of business," he says. "Those people are referred to Job Service - Veterans Division, to try to find them employment."

As for the mission, Short says the soldiers he talked to are excited to be home.

"A lot of them are on their second deployment. It was much easier this time. Last time, the Neillsville unit got stuck in a very difficult part of Iraq. This time, it was much easier than it was last time," he says.

The Neillsville American Legion will host a ?Welcome Home? event on February 20th. Stay tuned for details.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.