Soldier for Life event help service members with career after military

Updated: Mar. 23, 2017 at 6:05 PM CDT
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(Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO)

FORT SILL, OK (KSWO)- Today Fort Sill held its 4th annual "Soldier for Life" hiring event and education fair to help service members who are seeking careers after the military.

There were over 90 businesses and 30 colleges from the local, state, and national level at the event.

The fair gave soldiers the opportunity to learn more about companies who hire service members and their families transitioning out of the military.

Employers were looking to help soldiers find jobs, seek higher education, gain technical skills, or start their own business.
The soldiers said  they're thankful to be able to attend an event that provided so much information and will help them with their futures.

Sergeant First Class Aaron Smiley has served in the Army for 21 years and will retire in August. Smiley said the fair was a good opportunity to see what's available. He said he is open to moving and  will consider different jobs to support his family but his goal is to open up his own business.

"My dream job is to open up my own bicycle shop. and run my own store selling and servicing bicycles," Smiley said.

And those dreams can become a reality for Smiley after he completes his business degree from Upper Iowa University next spring.  Smiley said he used the skills he learned from school like writing, speaking, and preparing his resume to help him apply for jobs and speak to companies at today's fair.

"If you can't say the words on paper and the hiring manager is looking at your resume. If it doesn't make sense your not going to get selected to the next round," Smiley said.

Sergeant Christopher Jordan is retiring from the Army after injuring his shoulder. He said along with the skills he's taken from the Army and what he's now gained from today's Soldier for Life Event, he hopes to return to his hometown of Florida and do something he's always been passionate about.

"I want to own my own lawn business! That was the best thing I ever did back in Florida. It's easy, I feel good making people's yard look better as simple as that sounds it's just what makes me happy," said Jordan.

Jane Cunningham helped organized today's event and says it means a lot to be able to help soldiers.

"It makes me feel great because I don't want any soldier getting out of the Army that doesn't have a plan, that doesn't have to worry when their next pay check is coming because if they did, this transition as best they could they would have a job before they got out the Army," Cunningham said.

Some of the local businesses at today's event included Bar-S, Lawton Public Schools and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, but there were also some large employers from across the country like The Dallas Police and Fire Departments as well as Pepsi and UPS.

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