Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

New program aims to help veterans navigate post-war life

by Take Two

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U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jose Navarrete (R) listens to Brian Mendez with University of Southern California facilities management services as he looks for employment during a jobs fair for veterans called "Serving Those Who Have Served" on campus on March 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

According to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America — or IAVA — the unemployment rate for veterans nationwide is more than 7 percent. Here in California it's just over 6.5 percent.

Hundreds of thousands of veterans are stuck in a massive backlog at the VA, waiting an average of 125 days for their claims to be reviewed. At least 22 veterans take their own life each day, including an increasing number of young veterans.

So the IAVA has created what it calls the Rapid Response Referral Program to help veterans navigate post-war life. That program is already underway in New York, and starting tonight, it launches here in Los Angeles.

We're joined by Jason Hansman of the IAVA, and Angela King, a Navy medic who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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