While the unemployment rate continues to go up, veterans are facing one of the most important decisions they will ever have, to stay or go. The stop loss that kept them around past their tours is being lifted, but leaving the service is not as easy as it once was. Leaving the armed forces with no plan, no job, and no idea what to do has made some reconsider even though they preferred to get out of the military. As a retiree take it from me young men and women. Plan well ahead of time because it is as tough as you are hearing. I retired at Fort Campbell, KY, the 101st Airborne Division, so I am aware of how hard it is for you, but if you do not have an education, a good support system, or a job lined up, don’t just jump, you may be knee deep in mud! Remember that movie “It’s hard out here for a pimp” well, the pimps are struggling now, can’t nobody pay for it. That’s Hard! isn't it weird that the armed forces offers so many jobs, but when a veteran departs the military they are forced to begin at the bottom of the totem poll to prove themselves all over again. Corporate America only recognizes the upper crust of the armed forces like the Colonels and generals, everyone else is on an eneven playing field. Let's be honest! the military is a good place to start, but to many that join, fail to prepare themselves for the realization of the civilian sector and find themselves behind the social curve, some unable to adapt, having to go back to school, realizing maybe they should have remained in the service. All the medals, badges, tabs, and awards earned while serving mean nothing when everyone is battling for jobs across America.