by Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 31, 2012 – Using every avenue open to veterans in their job-seeking endeavors is the key to success, a Navy veteran who served in the Vietnam era said.
Tim Pollard of Boston said he has benefitted from his connections to veterans groups and the Veterans Affairs Department, in addition to employment and housing assistance from the Labor Department’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.The reintegration program is an initiative that strives to get homeless veterans back on their feet and help them find employment through a variety of assistance services. Pollard was able to return to school and become certified in security services. He now is employed as a security guard for AlliedBarton Security Services.
“Utilize all the training programs possible,” Pollard suggested for job-seeking veterans. “If that means going back to school for a couple years for an associate or bachelor’s degree, do it.”
Housing is another benefit of the numerous programs available through the Labor Department and VA to bolster homeless veterans’ lives. Pollard said he recently received a housing voucher so he can find a place of his own, after living for a year at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans.
The programs lead to landing a job, Pollard said, adding that he believes veterans are top candidates for employment because they are disciplined, focused and trained to uphold honor and integrity.
Even though some veterans are struggling to find work, he said, jobs do exist, particularly in cities.
“Within the framework of cities,” he said, “there are better opportunities for veterans to find work, because people come and go all the time.”
Pollard said he’s had many types of jobs since he left the Navy. He has from worked in the Massachusetts forest and parks department and in a museum as well as doing security work. He grew up as a “military brat” and joined the Navy as the Vietnam War was coming to a close in the mid-1970s, and he stays in touch with his military brotherhood.
It’s important, he said, for veterans to stay in touch with other veterans and institutions that provide veterans services.
While some veterans might find it hard to get work, Pollard said, the key is to keep working at it.
“Don’t give up hope. … You have to be persistent,” he said. “The doors will open. It’s not that dark out there. It seems that way, but there will be opportunities.”