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WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Bob Dole will be starring in commercials again, only this time the product he’s pitching is America’s veterans.

Dole’s “hire a veteran” public service announcements, set to begin airing nationwide in the coming weeks, are part of the Department of Labor’s latest efforts to help young troops who fought in the war on terror move from military life to the civilian workforce.

“If you see a veteran today, you should remember those five magic words: ‘Thank you for your service,’” he told a crowd of military and business leaders at a department event on Thursday. “We have an obligation to help those who serve and then go back to civilian life.”

The campaign, part of the department’s Hire Vets First initiative, highlights recently retired military personnel as a highly trained and highly motivated workforce.

Labor officials already have set up a Web site, www.hirevetsfirst.gov, where employers can go to learn about skills learned military training and participate in veterans hiring programs, and where recently separated veterans can learn how to write a résumé and see what services are offered at career centers.

Also at Thursday’s event, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao announced the department will be developing “plain English” versions of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act to help small business owners better comply with rule regarding their workers who are reservists.

The Department of Labor works with the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve on complaints about job problems and unlawful firings for troops deployed in the war on terror.

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