IRVING - Military families reunited with loved ones, back from tours of duty overseas, are finding a new battle on the home front - landing a job.
Veterans have some of the highest unemployment rates in the country. And more than 1,000 of them turned out at a job fair in Irving Thursday to meet with 70 vendors.
Some of the vets were struggling to even find part time work. Elizabeth Murphy is having an especially tough time.
"I've gone through several temp agencies and I'm still waiting for employment," she said.
Murphy has been back from Iraq for five months. She now knows she needs to tweak her resume.
"I've learned to target it, so whichever job I know I'm qualified I for, I target my resume," Murphy said. "I thought it would help get a job, but obviously, it still hasn't worked."
Charles Brisco was an auto mechanic when he served in the Air Force in Iraq, Korea and Italy. Since he got out of the military, he's only been able to find similar contract jobs. Brisco wants something more stable.
"I'm finding out that people are looking for people with these skills you don't think you have, leadership skills, time-management, punctuality, things that are instilled in you, that you don't know about," he said.
Former Naval submarine officer Dave LaGassa was once in the same shoes.
"And like many employers that focus on the military, they valued the problem solving, the initiative, the leadership, the things the military does a fantastic job in developing, and they taught me the technical skills," LaGassa said.
He is now a bank vice president, recruiting veterans, who are valuable for much more than a line on their resume. And folks like Charles Brisco are glad.
"It’s giving us a shot in the arm and the feeling that I might come out on top of this," he said.