Ft. Jackson holds military job fair, some for employment in Iraq - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Ft. Jackson holds military job fair, some for employment in Iraq

(Ft. Jackson) Oct. 28, 2004 - William Cedarstaff served five years as a Marine and 19 years in the Army, "I enjoyed all my tours overseas. I was in Korea, Germany, France, Africa."

The retired soldier now wants to do it all over again, but this time as a civilian and this time in Iraq, "Because I believe they want a better life and in some small itty-bitty way I can help out and make it happen. I need at least two weeks to give my boss. Other than that, I'm ready to rock and roll. I've got my passport and everything."

He admits part of it is salary, "The money is better," but another part is time, "I'm getting older. I want to go when I still enjoy it."

He calls reports of hostage-taking an issue he'll consider, but it won't be a deciding factor, "It concerns me, but not to the point where I'm afraid. I'm concerned, but I'm well-aware I'm not afraid to do this job."

It's a job he says his family has plenty of experience dealing with, "They're used to me being deployed all the time. It's just another deployment for dad."

Sandra McCrea worked in food service for the Air National Guard for 22 years. She retired last year after tours of duty in Desert Storm and most recently Oman, "I got to meet a lot of people different from us. So yes, it was very interesting."

She wasn't sure she's was ready to head back after she talked to a recruiter about job opportunities in Iraq, "He said, 'Well, you know it's not here in Columbia. it's overseas.' And I was like, 'Oh, really, I don't know if I want to do that.' He said, 'Well, you need to go home then.'" So she did.

Randy Schenewerk with Kellogg, Brown & Root, "We don't candy coat anything. It's what it is. It's a war zone."

Sandra came back after a few minutes, "I was actually at the door, something kept nagging at me. You never know, you may be able to change things over there. You never know."

Sandra also considers her safety, but she also says it won't be a deciding factor, "You can get hurt as much here as there. So it's really no difference to me."

The job would last a year.

By midday, recruiters at the booth of Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, said they'd talked to about 50 people about job opportunities in everything from cooking to welding to carpentry in the Middle East. One recruiter says some are simply looking for "decent employment."

It's the first job fair of its size at the fort in about a decade.

By Heather Brown
Updated 6:42pm by BrettWitt

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