Job Fair For Veterans Held In Durant - - No One Gets You Closer

Job Fair For Veterans Held In Durant


DURANT, OK -- A special job fair is helping local military veterans find a new line of work.

The unemployment office put on the job fair at the Kiamichi Technology Center for veterans on Wednesday and the goal is to give them some extra help finding a civilian job.

After flying a helicopter on missions in Iraq, and then training others on the helicopter in California for five years, Durant resident Brad Dollar is back home and looking for a job.

"It is a new experience, trying to get out and find a job and be competitive in the civilian sector," says Dollar. "I know all about what it's like to be competitive in the military, but it's a little bit different here."

Dollar says he is going back to school at Southeastern Oklahoma State, but he still needs to find work to support his family. "I'm trying to eventually become a game warden, so looking for something in law enforcement or security, something to kind of get my foot in the door," Dollar says.

"When they come home, there's not really any civilian counterpart to what they do. There is  law enforcement or security, but there's not a lot of them," says Justin Parker, who served in Kuwait recently and now works at Durant Workforce Center helping veterans. "I'm an E-6, a staff sergeant, so I have leadership skills, but for many people that's hard to put into a resume."

One guardsman who also works in the Tulsa Police Department says he led 500 men in the withdrawal from Iraq. "We were in Kuwait. We ran convoys into Iraq to help meet the president's deadline to be out of the country by December 31 last year," says Lt. Col. Chris Chomosh of the 180th Cavalry division of the Oklahoma National Guard.

Now Chomos has been telling them about things like resumes and interviewing, the skills they need back home. "The army has about 240 jobs and most of them are very easy to transition, it's all about the soldier and how much you want the job," Chomosh says.

Turnout was light and several job seekers who are not veterans also showed up to hear from companies including Caterpillar, Lowe's, the Choctaw Casino, and the National Guard.

In Florida, First Lady Michelle Obama gave a speech on Wednesday thanking companies for hiring 125,000 veterans under a White House initiative, and says they are planning to triple that number in the future.