The Riverside County Board of Supervisors took action this summer that is of great historic importance to our veterans and their spouses. Why, you might ask.

It was critical — and historic — action for veterans who live in Riverside County and its 28 cites.  The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved a new policy that will benefit veterans and their spouses if they apply for a job in the County of Riverside.

This county is among the nation’s leaders in being the chosen residence for more than 130,000 veterans [and their families] of the National Guard, Reserves, Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

So, what policy could the Board of Supervisors pass that is of great benefit to our veterans and their spouses? A Veteran’s Hiring Preference Program.

This means that veterans applying for a job with the County of Riverside will get a job interview if they meet the minimum qualifications for the job and can verify their military service with proper discharge paperwork. It makes great sense to put our veterans’ leadership and skills honed in the armed forces of our country to work by serving the 2.3 million residents of this county.

The county and its residents will get men and women that possess proven leadership skills, people who understand the concept of service above self, and people who are accustomed to doing more with less.

You will find that veterans are constantly multi-tasking; something today’s government leaders must ask employees to do with the continuing shrinking budgets and as more needs arise in our communities than ever before.  Veterans have already had time to develop leadership and management skills learned in the classroom and applied those classroom lessons with expertise under the stress of conflict.

The service and sacrifice of a veteran’s spouse was not overlooked by these policymakers either in making this historic move. They have come to understand the demands placed on today’s military spouse(s) and families, thus the preference has been extended to qualifying military spouses. The spouses of our military members are serving alongside their service members.  They are accountants, counselors, teachers, coaches, act as two parents in one, and manage the households — whether they live on a post, base, fort, or on any local economy around the globe. Many sacrifice their own professional careers to move to other places in which their spouses are sent by our military.

The same can be said of their own education; frequently forced into dropping courses and then reapplying to college in a new area.  Every single business owner or manager, federal, state, and local government leaders can benefit by hiring veterans and their spouses.

County Supervisors — Manny Perez, Kevin Jeffries, Chuck Washington, John Tavaglione, and Marion Ashley — may not be household names around the nation or across the state, but these five guys stood up for veterans, their spouses, and our flag when they authored, then voted for this historic Veteran and Spouses Employment Preference Program on May 23, 2018.

Let’s watch and see if other leaders take notice and follow in their footsteps.  America benefits when employers, public, private, or nonprofits hire veterans and their spouses.