(Photo: Thinkstock Photos)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - In the next year 300,000 troops will be coming off the battlefield, and many will be looking for a job. President Clinton spoke to hundreds of veterans in Little Rock Tuesday at the Hiring Our Heroes campaign.
"Already more than 200,000 people have gotten jobs from encounters just like the one you're here to have today, and I personally think it is really, really important," said President Clinton.
Trudging through the first time greetings and small talk, Tim Marino took the first step toward employment at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair. Marino grew up in a military family and traveled often. His father was in the army, and he joined the National Guard at 17.
"Graduated high school and went into to basic and AIT, and I've basically been deploying non-stop since December of 2012," said Marino.
Marino draws unemployment and a check from the guard, but with two kids, he needs a stronger income. That's where employers like Whelan Security step in. Misty Ladd, a manager with the company, said veterans already have the right mindset to be a great employee.
"To be on time, to be respectful, to follow instructions and to be honest and truthful, and those are the skills that we look for in every employee, but it just comes naturally for the veterans," said Ladd.
Marino hopes his skills as an air traffic controller and work ethic will make him competitive enough to find consistent work.
"I work well with people, I'm an organizer, [and] I've been a safety guy for about as long as I've been in the guard," said Marino.
So far Hiring Our Heroes has put on more than 600 job fairs across the country, and they hope to land 500,000 vets jobs by the end of 2014.