Los Angeles County will explore ways to fast-track the hiring of veterans for county jobs, while finding ways to connect more veterans with social services, under a motion approved unanimously this week by the Board of Supervisors.

Introduced by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Kathryn Barger, the motion recommends the county look into various ways to support veterans, including a fast-track hiring program for veterans and their spouses, including homeless veterans, and then working to connect them with services through a County Veterans Services Officer.

The motion also asks county administrators to lobby the state for more funding for veteran services.

“We owe the nearly 250,000 veterans living in our county much more than a debt ofgratitude for their service,” Solis said. “We need to make sure they have the services and support that they need throughout their civilian life as well as for their families. This is a national issue that we have to address together.”

Barger said the motion would help provide services for the diversifying veteran population in the county, including aging, disabled, homeless, female and LGBTQ veterans dismissed from service or given Other Than Honorable Discharges under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policies, or as a result of sexual trauma experienced in service, or veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. 

“Local government has to play a role,” Barger said.

Previously, LGBTQ veterans discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policies, or transgender veterans who were banned from service under a policy approved during the administration of former President Donald Trump, who were given Other Than Honorable Discharges were not eligible for certain benefits.

National Guard members also were ineligible for select benefits.

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