Darts and laurels

  • Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Laurels to Walmart for its pledge to offer jobs to more than 100,000 recently discharged veterans over the next five years. Bill Simon, president and CEO of the retail chain’s U.S. operations, announced the initiative earlier this week, while also promising that Walmart would buy more of its goods from domestic suppliers. He said the hiring pledge would apply to veterans who apply for a job within 12 months of leaving active duty. The program will begin in May, after Memorial Day. There’s no guarantee these will be full-time jobs with benefits, but with veterans having a higher unemployment than the public at large, even a part-time job can help smooth the transition as veterans return to civilian life.

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And while we’re on the subject of veterans, laurels to the inspiring story of Tyler Jeffries, the Army sergeant who was severely injured by an enemy explosive device while on duty in Afghanistan last October but vowed he’d be on hand to welcome home his platoon. As recounted by columnist Mark Wineka in Thursday’s Post, it was a vow Jeffries kept despite losing both of his legs, and he traveled cross-country from Concord to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state for an emotional reunion with his fellow soldiers. What was an extraordinary example of courage, sacrifice and loyalty among comrades in arms.

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Dart to at least one traffic fatality that may have been related to Thursday night’s winter storm, an accident on I-40 that killed a Morganton man. While schools in Rowan County and around the region were closed Friday, we apparently skated through the blustery weather without major problems. Schoolchildren — and adults — anticipating snowmen and sledding may have been disappointed by the skimpy snowfall, but few of us relish the thought of shivering through power outages or wondering whether the next limb that comes down is going to crash through the roof.

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