Struggling Veteran Gets Help, Secures Job
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 27, 2012 When Corey Wynn was struggling with a lengthy job search and a bout with unemployment, a group of veterans’ organizations helped him in a variety of ways.
Corey Wynn struggled after he left the military, but got help through the Labor Department’s Gold Card Initiative. Labor Department photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Wynn, an Alabama Army National Guardsman from Stevensville, Ala., was a military policeman in Iraq from 2009-2010. Once he came home from active duty, he worked at a string of odd jobs, but none lasted very long, and he had to draw unemployment, he said. He finally found a job with a security company, but after a month, he was laid off.
Wynn said he “really struggled” during that time. The key that began to open doors for him is when a veteran friend’s advice prompted him to call all the veteran-related organizations and agencies he could find.
The guardsman qualified for the Labor Department’s Gold Card Initiative -- in which service members receive intensive career guidance and help with their job search, according to department officials.
Bob Gossett, who works with the Alabama Disabled Veterans Outreach Program as part of his duties with the Alabama Department of Labor, came to Wynn’s aid.
Wynn learned how to apply for unemployment, and was given resources such as donated cell phone minutes to help him in his job search.
“They paid my rent, donated food, gave us Christmas presents and gift cards -- and even put gas in my car,” Wynn said. Gossett drove him places where he could apply for jobs, and told Wynn to list him as a reference, the veteran said.
Wynn credits that gesture as leading to the job he wanted the most -- making sheet rock for the U.S. Gypsum Co., which gave him the on-the-job training he needed to learn his new craft.
“If [veterans] are having trouble finding a job, they need to contact all the organizations that help out veterans,” Wynn advised, “because they really will help you.”