Career Fair Connects Military Spouses and Severely Injured Service Members to Jobs

An IRS criminal investigator speaks to Marines, sailors and families about job opportunities as a special agent during a Hiring Heroes Career Fair at Camp Pendleton.
An IRS criminal investigator (special agent) speaks to Marines, sailors and families about job opportunities as a special agent during a Hiring Heroes Career Fair at Camp Pendleton's Pacific Views Event Center ballroom, June 6, 2012. (Lance Cpl. Trevon Peracca/U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Vince Patton is's director of community outreach and a Hiring Heroes conference attendee.

There are two important talent pools businesses often overlook: disabled veterans and military spouses. Some businesses may feel uncomfortable recruiting and accommodating disabled veterans. And some employers may not hire a military spouse who could relocate at any time.

But a few enterprising businesses are actively looking to hire disabled veterans and military spouses because of their skills, work ethic and "can-do" attitudes. The trick is to connect employers with these job seekers. Fortunately, the Hiring Heroes Career Fair, held in Fort Bragg, N.C., on Jan. 30 -- helped unite employers to veterans and spouses.

Employers from the federal government and private sector came to the Hiring Heroes Career Fair to meet military spouses and severely injured job seekers looking for work outside of the military.

"The goal is to get soldiers to make contacts with companies in the area and outside of the state," said Cherry Thompson, an employment readiness program manager at Fort Bragg.

"[And service members] were given the opportunity to network with employers that were looking for specialized skills that soldiers obtain during their time of service," said Trisha Thurston, an installation family member program coordinator.

The career fair featured companies from all over the country, such as Lockheed Martin, Re/Max, Ceridian/Military OneSource and IBM, just to name a few. Three hundred attendees participated in the fair, and nearly half the attendees were soldiers.

The fair exemplifies the Department of Defense, and's commitment to further service members' job prospects and networking opportunities once they leave the military.

"Employers were contacted about appearing at the conference, and that shows that there are employers that will hire severely injured service members," Thompson said.

It's important to note that severely injured service members should not be discouraged by a disability. Most employers still search for talented, experienced veterans, and a disability should not factor into the employer's decision.

"Life doesn't end after the military, and if you were injured during the service, life doesn't end there, either," Thompson said.

Employment opportunities exist for disabled veterans and military spouses. Employers just need to connect with this talented pool of job seekers.

For networking opportunities or to search for employment, visit's veteran jobs board. Military spouses can find employment opportunities, job hunting tips and much more at

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