By Britt Moreno
DENVER (CBS4) – Afghanistan War and Iraq War veteran Chance Harlow struggles to cope with civilian life and says a job serving the government could help him find a sense of purpose again in his life.
“My interest today in Border Patrol is to get that feeling, that sense of duty back in my life,” he told CBS4’s Britt Moreno at a job fair at Mile High Stadium, where Border Patrol was recruiting recently.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is conducting one of its most aggressive searches for agents in its history after the Trump administration called for the recruitment of 5,000 agents.
The agency is now holding daily recruitment events across the nation. Border patrol chiefs are hiring for the southern border.
New policy changes have enabled the department to hire new recruits more quickly. Rather than taking months to hire an agent, it now takes a matter of days.
The agency is battling attrition. To combat that and meet the Trump administration’s demands, it is considering offering salary rates, relocation and college tuition incentives and student loan repayments to agents.
Harlow likes the perks, but says there is a deeper reason to join the border patrol. He recently lost a fellow veteran friend who committed suicide after battling PTSD. It’s a fight Harlow is in as well, and he says working on the border could offer him a lifeline.
“It’s hard to go from combat in military to straight being average shmoe. It’s really hard, and unfortunately a lot of guys lose their lives,” Harlow said.
Border patrol officials hold events on college campuses, at military outreach programs and at country concerts. The next event in Colorado happens at country music festival Country Jam in Grand Junction on June 15 and 18.
For more information on jobs with the border patrol, visit www.cbp.gov/careers.