FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) - Thursday, Fort Sill was a hot spot for employers looking to hire veterans and active military members.
Hundreds of people filed into the Armed Forces Reserve Center, where more than 50 employers had open jobs they were looking to fill. The fair was open to all veterans, active duty military who will soon transition to civilian life and those with family members in the military.
There was a wide variety of businesses, including several police departments, the City of Lawton, various restaurants and more.
The idea of moving from a life in the military, which for some at this hiring fair is all they've ever known, to a life as a civilian, can bring out a full range of emotions.
"It's exciting, nervous, anxious, and a whole gamut of different feelings," Sfc. Kenneth Davis said.
Master Sgt. Ernesto Dobson will be retiring from the military soon and is looking for employment for the first time in 26 years. He said through programs like Soldiers For Life, the process of processing out of the military has been an easy one.
"They have such great people and talented help that's here helping us process," Dobson said. "It gets us out, we don't go on unemployment, we don't go on all that, we get out and actually get into the workforce, into a career and make a positive civilian asset."
Col. Warren Griffis helped put this event on at Fort Sill and said it is extremely important to help military members make the biggest transition of their lives.
"Going into the civilian sector, it's a little bit different as far as the work setting, the environment," Griffis said. "It might not be quite as structured as the military. So it's just a change from something that's the norms that they've known for a number of years. Could be 3 years, 4 years, it could be 20 years."
Griffis said bringing this hiring fair to Fort Sill also helps connect the employers with qualified candidates.
"I think a lot of the employers are here because they want to give back to the service members and their family members for their service so they want to hire people have worn the uniform," Griffis said.
Spc. Cason Troutman with the Oklahoma National Guard said he has noticed how helpful a military background can be while searching for a job.
"You have that discipline, that drive to do something rather than just sit on the couch playing Xbox all day," Troutman said. "For active duty guys coming out this is definitely a great opportunity. It just gets their name in, active military, it looks perfect on a resume."
The event ran for four hours Thursday and if the businesses were interested, candidates actually had the opportunity to interview on the spot for available jobs.