Life after Service, One Veteran's Story - - No One Gets You Closer

Life after Service, One Veteran's Story


SHERMAN,TX--- Texas Governor Rick Perry recently announced that 95 out of the "Top 100 Military Friendly Employers" do business in the state of Texas. Lowe's Home Improvement, State Farm and Walmart are just a few of the local companies on the list.

Emilio Zavala works for one of these companies. He says day-to-day life is fairly predictable these days. But he's not complaining.

"It's a wonderful feeling," Zavala said.

Seventeen years ago Zavala returned to civilian life after serving his country for 25-years.

"The majority of my time was spent at the Army Reserve and of course I had Vietnam experience, Desert Storm and the latest one was Iraqi Freedom," Zavala said.

He says the transition from military life to civilian life was a big adjustment.

"You don't have to be watching over your back, you know, watching all around you," Zavala said.

Now, he is only looking forward.

"Your family keeps you going. There's nothing more important then family," he said.

Since his exit from the military, he has become a Product Services Manager at the Sherman Lowe's.

Lowe's is one of the top 50 "Top 100 Military Friendly Employers" and they employ over 14,000 veterans.

"Without the military we wouldn't have all of the luxuries we have today so for us to try and show a little bit of support on the back end of that is very important," Sherman Lowe's Store Manager Jody Herrel said.  

Zavala says he loves working with other veterans.

"They see you falling and they pick you up," he said.  

The veterans at Lowe's say its important for those coming out of the military to remember a few things when making the transition into civilian life.

"Rely on your military background and your dedication because that's what employers are going to want," veteran and Freight Flow Department Manager Charley Thomas said.

"There are people out there who will help you every way they can. Just hang in there and you will preserve," Zavala said.

Several of these businesses on the"Top 100 Military Friendly Employers" will be at the "Hiring Red,  White and You" job fair this Thursday. This is an event for veterans and employers to connect and discuss job opportunities. The event is being held at the Palazzo Event Center in Denison and over 25 businesses will be there.

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