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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.

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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.

2 / 5

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.

3 / 5

Mark Haake: The Aviation Tech

Age 24
Marines, 5 years

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. You may not know that the people around you are veterans; this list of famous people who have served will surprise you.

4 / 5

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.

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Andrew Steiner: The Squad Leader

Age 29
Marines, 4 years

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.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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