Posted at: 07/21/2012 9:30 PM
Updated at: 07/21/2012 10:47 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Session Helps National Guard Members Find Jobs
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- More than 600 Minnesota National Guard service members went to the Mayo Civic Center Saturday for their 30-day reintegration session. This time around there was more help for veterans looking for jobs.
After the happy homecoming, returning soldiers say it’s great to be home, but it’s not the easiest transition.
"It was rocky for a few weeks," said Sergeant Jason Rath.
After three deployments with the Minnesota National Guard Jennifer and Jason Rath know the challenges that come with the homecoming.
"I'm a platoon sergeant so I'm used to having guys do everything I say whenever I say it, and coming home just seeing how she's done things," said Rath.
But for soldiers looking for work, like Brian Rinehart there are even more obstacles.
"I've just been looking for part time work to act like a buffer," he said.
After this recent deployment the Minnesota National Guard is ramping up their efforts to find jobs for veterans.
"We recognized that is a need this time, that we didn't have as much last time," said Lieutenant James Johnson.
The Workforce Development Center’s Randy Johnson helped organize a job fair at the 30-day reintegration session. Offering the soldiers a chance to talk with area employers.
"They are the best trained fighting force in the world but they are also the best trained vocationally, so they have great skills," said Johnson.
Another thing they did at the session is teach soldiers to use social media to network. They set up stations to take professional pictures for the guardsmen to use for their accounts.
Rinehart plans to start school in the fall for the first time and hopes to go into law enforcement.
"It's bringing a source for everyone at one location, and just having that one on one talk with people is just what we need," said Rinehart
The hope is sessions like this one will make the transition for Rinehart and others into a career a little more smooth.
In August another reintegration session will take place again, at the Mayo Civic Center.