Home From War: Huntsville Ranks #1

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Last month, Huntsville made Money Magazine’s 2012 list of 25 best places to retire. Add another honor to the growing list of top rankings for the Rocket City. Another group is putting Huntsville at the top of the list. Huntsville calls itself the “Star of Alabama.”

USAA, which provides financial services for the military and their families and the website military.com are endorsing that slogan. The two groups call Huntsville the best place for veterans in our state.

“Oh it’s great and it’s great for our community,” says Will Webb, co-founder and President of Still Serving Veterans. “We’ve got a patriotic giving community and they are very veteran friendly.”

SSV serves a critical need in our community helping vets make the transition from military to civilian life.

“We’ve got over 300 defense and aerospace industries here. We’ve got scores of federal agencies," said Webb.  "Redstone Arsenal is a tremendous facility so that this community is a dynamic, proactive veteran-friendly community.”

And with more than 1,000,000 jobless veterans nationwide right now, SSV helps vets find work here in the valley. “To have a community that opens their arms and has the jobs and has veteran friendly companies who go out of their way to help veterans is very critical and that’s why we got this well-deserved recognition,” Webb said.

The folks who developed the best places for veterans list looked at everything from employment opportunities and local colleges and universities to crime rates, taxes and general quality of life, things that a lot of us take for granted. But those same things matter to those coming home from war. And it’s those variables that have helped SSV find jobs for more than 250 veterans the past two years and put Huntsville on the map again.

“We’re thrilled that we’ve had that opportunity and these are great Americans, young men and women who want to continue to serve and contribute," said Webb. "And many of them are working on Redstone Arsenal in either Department of Army, civilian or many of the other federal agencies that are out there.  And we’re placing them in the private sector as well.”