The national unemployment rate spiked following the 2008 financial crash, and it has remained stubbornly high ever since. Unfortunately, it has been even worse for returning American servicemembers. Today, though, Wal-Mart announced a plan to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

The program will begin on Memorial Day, May 27, of this year, and it extends to any honorably discharged veteran who left the military within the previous year.

According to prepared remarks by William S. Simon, the president and chief executive of Wal-Mart U.S. and a Navy veteran:

Hiring a veteran can be one of the best decisions any of us can make. Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They're quick learners, and they're team players. These are leaders with discipline, training, and a passion for service. There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever.

First lady Michelle Obama, whose program Joining Forces assists returning veterans and military families, issued a statement in support of Wal-Mart's move: “No one who serves our country should have to fight for a job once they return home. Wal-Mart is setting a groundbreaking example for the private sector to follow.”

Wal-Mart is the country's largest retailer, and it employs over 1.4 million workers, about 100,000 of whom it says are veterans.

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