'Hiring Our Heroes' event hopes to find work for local veterans - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

'Hiring Our Heroes' event hopes to find work for local veterans

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - New May numbers reveal a rise in unemployment in the state of Tennessee. Many of those looking for work are our veterans.

A nationwide program called "Hiring our Heroes" made a stop in Memphis in an effort to put those who risked their lives for our freedom back to work. The unique job fair took place at the Kroc Center Thursday morning.

The veterans who showed up at the event have served in all branches of the military.

"I served in Iraq from February 2006 to November 2006," said Eric Donaldson.

"I served in South Korea, also Arizona," said Gil Carter.

Sponsored by NBC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the event aims at serving the men and women who served our country.

"Our veterans should be some of our most employable people in our society and yet they often have a hard time finding employment," said Captain Jonathan Rich, Salvation Army.

The unemployment rate spiked to 8.3 percent during the month of May in Tennessee.

"We feel like we got a lot of good potential here," said Derrick Lennox, recruiter. "I'm seeing a lot of good individuals, good clients."

Thousands of veterans have been lining up for the help across the country.

"I have a job interview with Liberty National Insurance Company on Monday at 2 p.m.," said Carter.

Hiring Our Heroes' next mission is to hire 500,000 veterans. The good news is that around 20,000 employers have already signed up to participate.

For the veterans looking for work, the goal is to take the discipline and leadership learned in the military and put it to work in their communities.

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