DENVER (CBS4) – Hundreds of thousands of veterans are among those looking for work. They came home from serving the country only to join the unemployment lines.
Some companies are trying to hire veterans and they joined and impressive job expo held in Denver on Thursday.
Forty companies were looking to hire. There were companies like Lockheed Martin, Verizon and Raytheon at the expo. But nobody had an offer like Chuck Gaertner had. He didn’t have a booth, but he did have an opening at his carpet cleaning business in Steamboat Springs. So he stood outside and handed out a letter explaining that after 25 years, he was retiring.
“I’m looking for a successor,” Gaertner said.
Someone had helped him get his start and now he said it was his turn.
“I want to pick someone who has fire in their belly,” he said.
He wanted a veteran.
“Because I think they deserve it.”
And they need it.
At the job expo they showed up by the hundreds. They were veterans like James Sarles, who served 13 years in the Navy.
“Starting over; hitting the reset button in life,” Sarles said.
But civilian life is a different world. Justin Tolbert enlisted 12 years ago.
“When I joined it was, if you wanted job you could go out there and get it,” Tolbert said. “Now it’s like if you want a job you have to wait and wait.”
That’s why Recruit Military was founded. It’s an organization that hosts job fairs just for veterans.
“We know the challenges they face so we’re here to help bridge the gap,” a Recruit Military official said.
“It makes me feel like there’s somebody on our side, someone willing to give us a chance,” Sarles said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more but a chance.”
It’s a chance Chuck Gaertner says all veterans deserve.