WACO, Texas (KWTX) Veterans come away from their military service with incredible skills like leadership, organization and discipline.
But even with all that and more, it can still be difficult to find work.
The Veterans One Stop is trying to make the whole process as easy as possible.
Caleb Duty has one food truck set up at the Magnolia Market in Waco and another that he takes to different spots around Central Texas.
The business is doing well.
But when he left active duty in the Marines in 2009, Duty couldn’t imagine owning his own business.
In fact, finding a job at all proved very difficult.
“Your military experiences are really hard to convert into real world, private company experiences. I mean I managed seven people and millions of dollars of equipment. And no one here really understands that,” he said, “I couldn’t get online, didn’t know how to apply for school, nobody ever tells you those things when you get out.”
He got help from the McLennan County veteran service officer and before he knew it he was driving trucks for McLennan County.
Fast forward to 2018 and you’ll find a county veteran service officer at the Veterans One Stop in Waco, along with a host of job search tools.
“Not everybody knows what resources are available so they have counselors here who support that,” said Dennis DeGraff.
DeGraff, a veteran himself, is one of the volunteers helping with resumes.
He knows how to translate military skills into those called for in the civilian workforce.
“Infantrymen, we don’t have infantrymen in the civilian world, but there’s leadership, there’s small group tactics, there’s team skills that are built, all of those things that are admirable qualities that an employer may be looking for,” DeGraff explained.
And you’ll also find something called the CIA at the One Stop.
That stands for Careers in Action.
There you’ll find a computer station for creating resumes, job hunting, and filling out applications.
“They can get access to the different job sites, they can get links to the VA website, they can get links to the Texas Veterans Commission,” DeGraff told us.
And if you’re not sure what to wear, check out the career closet.
It’s stocked with donated professional clothes.
Rachel Mims struggled when she got out of the military too.
“10 months and I’m looking with a Bachelor’s degree and I also had my Master’s and I still had that much trouble finding a job,” she told us.
Now she’s the veteran program administrator at TSTC and makes sure students come to the One Stop if they need help.
“This is important because without someone to guide you, therre’s so many different avenues you can take,” she said, “it’s a lot to know, and without help you kind of feel overwhelmed and lost.”
Duty wants people to know as hard as the transition is, there is somewhere to go, and there are people to help.
And he wishes everyone had access to an organization like the Veterans One Stop.
“I’d love to see a one stop in every town,” Duty said.