Wounded Warrior Regiment sponsors job fair
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —
The Wounded Warrior Regiment sponsored a job fair Monday at The Clubs at Quantico for four hours, where representatives from dozens of companies were waiting to receive resumes from and maybe even hire wounded and retired Marines.
3/8/2008 By Lance Cpl. Jimmy Serena Jr., Marine Corps Base Quantico
‘‘Whether injured, retired, or active duty, Marines are hard workers and that’s who we are looking to hire,” explained retired Col. Michael Quinlan, assistant vice president of Alion Science and Technology.
The Clubs’ ballroom was packed early as Marines, both retired and wounded, roamed around to find out what the different companies had to offer.
An atmosphere filled with chatter and laughter made it easy to forget the first hour before the doors officially opened was dedicated solely to wounded Marines. The only reminder of this grim fact was the appearance of the occasional wheelchair and walking cane.
Wounded Warrior Regiment is dedicated to helping wounded Marines make the transition from military to civilian life — a transition that can be difficult at times, especially when the injured or retired Marine has been in the service for a long time.
The regiment understands the needs of these Marines, and events such as this job fair are planned to help ease the minds of these leathernecks.
"This program really helps a lot," said Cpl. Josef Lopez, an injured Marine currently at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. ‘‘I didn’t know there were so many companies out there willing to help Marines.”
Representatives from many of the companies said their organizations understand what benefits a Marine can bring to the table. They are willing to seek out these individuals and recruit them.
"This program has made it a lot easier for Marines because they can come into one building and see over 60 companies," said Quinlan. "It’s worth it to come out here. Marines are hard workers."
Quinlan expressed that these companies do not hire Marines because they feel sorry for them. They want to hire Marines because of the Corps’ reputation of cultivating men and women who possess strong work ethics, morals, and show they responsibile that they display on and off duty, he added.
"A Marine doesn’t lose his honor, courage, or his commitment when he takes off his uniform. That’s why we want to hire them," said retired 1st. Sgt. Richard Waller, the Wounded Warrior Regiment transition coordinator.
"The Job Fair is a win-win situation for the companies and for the transitioning Marines," said Dominique Perry, a retired corporal. "It was such a hard transition for me from the Marines to being a civilian. This program is really helping service members."
According to organizers, the program was a success. Of the anticipated 40 to 60 companies, 62 companies showed up, and the Job Fair did what it was meant to do.
It gave injured and retired Marines a chance to meet with possible employers. More importantly, organizers believe it helped simplify the transition from military to civilian life.