Veterans Seek Work at Irving Job Fair

About 800 veterans came to the Irving Convention Center to meet with the 88 recruiters who are actively hiring

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    About 800 veterans attended a job fair at the Irving Convention Center with 88 employers. (Published Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012)

    Veterans looking for work got some help on Thursday.

    About 800 veterans attended a job fair at the Irving Convention Center with 88 employers.

    RecruitMilitary and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce partnered for the event.

    Mike Rollins, RecruitMilitary's director of national accounts and a veteran, said he understood that many recently had left the battlefield.

    "You'll see a young person in a suit and tie literally here to beg for a job," he said. "Three months ago, he was kicking in doors, not knowing if certain death lies on the other side, so it's a tremendous feeling to be able to give back to them."

    Louis Riley has been searching for a job since he left the Navy in September.

    "Be prepared for a battle when it comes to the jobs, because it's a lot harder than I thought it would be," he said.

    Patrick Frink, who was medically discharged from the Air Force in April 2011, echoed similar sentiments.

    "For six months, I took some time to heal from surgery, and then since then I've been looking pretty hard for a job," he said. "It's unfortunately been a lot more difficult than I imagined."

    One recruiter, Exeter Finance Corp., did more than just accept resumes at the job fair.

    "These individuals have an opportunity to discuss with decision-makers here right now," said Drew Wirstrom, area general manager.

    Wirstrom, also a veteran, said he understood the difficulties of finding work. He encouraged his fellow veterans to keep trying.

    "A company took a shot on me," he said. "I worked with them for 10 years, got a wealth of knowledge, and it put me on the career path that I am now."

    RecruitMilitary holds 67 career fairs in 36 cities across the country. This was the first time this year that it's taken place in North Texas.