Rockport Organization Hosts Job Fair Aimed at Employing Veterans

According to the Pentagon, roughly 1,000 veterans a week leave the military, and of those, only about 100 have job opportunities waiting for them.

To address that problem, a group in Aransas County called Rockport for Veterans hosted a special job fair specifically for veterans on Wednesday.

Mike Bywater just retired from the U.S. Army after 25 years of service. He said one day, you just wake up and realize it's time to go find a different career.

"It's challenging. I'll tell you coming out of the Army -- where you know exactly where you've been, where you're going and what you're fixing to do -- into civilian life, where it's not so much, kind of a day-to-day challenge but looking forward to that challenge," Bywater said.

65-year old Lester Brock is a Vietnam-era veteran who said a lot of the available jobs are geared towards younger veterans.

"I got a lot of good years left in me, you know?" Brock said. "Yeah, I want to work until as long as I can. I've worked my whole life."

Karen Fox of the Texas Veterans Commission said employers should know that veterans bring a wealth of experience and capabilities to any organization.

"Their talent base is really unmeasurable because they're able to do so many different things," Fox said. "They're drug free, they're eager to work, they're disciplined, and so veterans in general are a great asset to any organization."

Carl Burman uses what he learned about leadership and management from his military service and incorporates those skills in the business he and his wife started, Skinny Bob's Coneys.

"Being a veteran, you get a lot of experience of how to work with people," Burman said. "It's not just, you know, being in the military, going to war, going overseas. You get a lot of good experiences for any type of career that you can go into, so it's definitely helped me on the management side."

Veterans say the transition from the military world to the civilian world can be a challenge, but with the skills and character these veterans learn during their time in the service, any employer would be lucky to have them.


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