U.S. Chamber helping veterans get back to work

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Updated: 12/04/2012 7:16 pm Published: 12/04/2012 4:04 pm

Men and Women who fight for our freedoms are now getting a second chance at finding a job.

More than 200 veterans signed up for "Hiring our Heroes," an event to give local veterans a fresh start.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation and the American Legion put on the event.  More than 75 employers showed up to speak with veterans looking for work.

Gueren White, a former Army Gunner, lined up to see employers.

"Hi, I'm Gueren," said the veteran as he spoke with U.S. Cellular about job openings.

This is White’s first step to getting back to work.

"What type of opportunities are you looking for?" asked an employer.

Right now, the father of two is just looking for something part-time.
He was deployed to Iraq back in 2003 fighting the War on Terror.
White says the hardest part wasn't being away from family, it was hoping he'd make it back to them.

"You see someone, they might have something potentially dangerous to you or your unit and it's a small child, what do you do?" he said.

White says the decisions were never easy.
After run-ins with three IED’s, he was medically discharged for a traumatic brain injury.
"It's been pretty tough," he said.

White has been unemployed for a year.

"Doing what I did, there's not really a job set here for that," the father told FOX23.

The state's unemployment rate sits at 5.3% but estimates put the rate for unemployed veterans at two percent higher.
Job fairs like, Hiring our Heroes, gives many of these veterans hope.

"When I first got back it wasn't they had job fairs but it wasn't anything like this," the veteran recalled.

"We have employers who are very interested in hiring them,” said Denise Reid, the
Director of Talent Strategies and Recruitment with the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “We have a number of services and organizations that are willing to support them."

It's exactly what veterans like White need to see.

"I feel like I have a chance to get,” he said “It's very inspiring being here."

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office was also there hoping to hire veterans. The department requires applicants to have at least an high school diploma or GED. The associates degree to become a deputy is being waived for four years for anyone who served in the military for four years.  You must have been honorably discharged within the last two years.

If you’re interested in becoming a deputy or David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center jail officer you can reach TCSO Human Resource Recruiter Latif Whitsett at (918) 596-5669 or lwhitsett@tcso.org.
The Hiring our Heroes event has helped 14,000 veterans and military spouses get hired across the nation.

The U.S. Chamber is hoping to have 500,000 veterans and military spouses employed by 2014.

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