Hiring Our Heroes

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More than 9,000 jobs were up for grabs today at the Fort Rucker area job fair.

Michael and Rosa Delaney are not only tied together by marriage, but by a bond from serving our country.

Rosa Delaney said, “I have been in the army for about 17 and a half years now. I am a Blackhawk pilot, and just came out of command so I also have command under my belt.”

Now their retirement is near and transitioning into a civilian lifestyle could be their next assignment.

Rosa Delaney said, “I am very accustomed to military life, I am accustomed to the structure, I am accustomed to the ranking and things of that nature.”

Michael Delaney said, “I get up at 4 o’clock in the morning so if I stop doing that I am not sure what I am going to do. I don’t know what time regular people go to work so this is going to be a different transition.”

But a nationwide campaign to “Hiring Our Heroes” targets our veterans and military spouses, aims to make that transition easier. And the event in Enterprise is just one of hundreds across the country sponsored by the U.S.Chamber of Commerce, to bring to employers to our heroes.

Ernie Lombardi, Southeast U.S. Chamber Of Commerce said, “The veterans sometimes have difficulty explaining to the employer what it is they do, and the employers have difficulty understanding what it is the veteran does. So the great thing about these events is they can actually have a one on one conversation.”

More than 20,000 veterans and military spouses have already landed jobs through the campaign, and they hope to reach their goal of 500,000 by the end of 2014.

Lombardi said, “We are all former military in the H-O-H campaign so the mission, failure is not an option.”

With years of services, comes years of discipline and specialized training. Michael Delaney, 1st Sergeant said, “Discipline, organization, values, character there’s a lot that the military, that people on the outside are not familiar with.”

Skills that The Delaney’s hope will prove useful off the battlefield.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 people were expected to be at today’s job fair. Organizers anticipated a larger crowd because of the mandatory furlough days and tough economic times.