Jobs for Veterans: You’re Welcome, America, Now Hire Us

After serving their country with honor, courage, and skill, too many veterans are struggling to find jobs. To prove the point, meet five who are determined to make it—their success will be ours as well.

By Gary Sledge from Reader's Digest Magazine | June 2012
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    Eric Smith: The Corpsman

    Age 27
    Navy, 6 Years
    Petty Officer 3rd Class

    You might have overlooked the man in the blue service uniform quietly mopping floors at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore last year. But not so long ago, Eric Smith was wearing military garb and performing emergency medical procedures on wounded soldiers in Iraq. Read his story »

    Andrea Gillotte: The Journalist

    Age 31
    Navy, 8 years
    Petty Officer 2nd Class

    Growing up in a small town outside Nashville, Andrea Gillotte longed to be like the female anchor on local TV news: beautiful, poised and sophisticated—all the qualities she strived for. Gillotte's home life had been chaotic. Her parents, both drinkers, divorced when she was two. It wasn't until her grandmother gained custody of Gillotte at 14 that she began to hope she might make something of herself. Read her story »

    Mark Haake: The Aviation Tech

    Age 24
    Marines, 5 years
    Corporal

    Mark Haake was exhilarated in February as he stood atop the huge hangarlike fleet maintenance building of the city of Columbus, Ohio. He had just been hired by Tipping Point, a solar panel installation company, to help install 2,800 energy-saving panels on the structure. As he surveyed the sky-high job site, he felt, for the first time since he’d left the Marines, that he had a future. Read his story »

    Donna Bachler: The Administrator

    Age 31
    Army, 12 years
    First Lieutenant

    Donna Bachler’s brother Darrin Edward Rossi, private first class, U.S. Army, lies in a military cemetery in New Jersey. A victim of what Bachler calls the “invisible wounds” of war, Rossi, at age 33, took his life in 2005 while struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Bachler bears similar wounds. Read her story »

    Andrew Steiner: The Squad Leader

    Age 29
    Marines, 4 years
    Corporal

    When a mortar shell exploded inside the tent of his forward operating base in Iraq, Andrew Steiner and 15 other Marines were wounded. Steiner, who received the Purple Heart Medal, still carries shrapnel in his right hand from that 2005 attack, which ended his second tour of duty. Read his story »

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