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Veterans' Job Fair Draws Hundreds To Union Station

CHICAGO (CBS) -- About 300 veterans and their family members showed up at Union Station today for a job fair.

"I'm currently in security right now," said veteran Fernando Garcia. "I'm just looking to do something a little different."

Garcia served in the Marines.

"It's sort of difficult," he said. "For me, I'm not sure. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life."


He is 32 years old and he keeps reminding himself 32 is not that old.

"From where my parents are from, in Mexico, it seems like the older you are, the more wiser you are," Garcia said. "But here in the United States it seems like they're looking for more young faces.

"I do kind of feel like it is sort of a challenge because I'm older."

He talks with the people at the Andy Frain booth.

"We try to give you everything we can," says one of the men at the booth, "You've got to take the steps to move forward with it."

"I've got you guys' information," says Garcia.

Chicagoan Victor Winselle served America in the Navy. Now, he's looking for a steady job.

"I'm very disabled. My right arm is paralyzed so it's kind of hard, trying to find something that'll work with disabled veterans," Winselle said. "You have to roll with the punches and deal with the cards you were dealt."

Also checking out the job possibilities, a former Marine Corps medic, came with his service dog stitch. He's a survivor of roadside bombs in Iraq.

"We found a lot of them, but they found us sometimes," said Joe Santos Coy. "You never knew going down to the wire, who would get hit and you knew someone would get hit all the time."

He worked in a hospital emergency room for a while. It was a bad choice and he had panic attacks and flashbacks. Now he looks for stress-free work. It's hard.

"You have a dog with you, they're like, 'oh we don't need a disabled person,' he said. "So it's kind of intimidating."

A spokesman for Fifth Third Bank, one of the hosts of the job fair, says 30 employers were represented at the fair.

Spokesman Andrew Hayes says last year when there 224 veterans at the fair, 11 of them left with job offers. About 300 were at this year's fair.

Hayes says this year, more small businesses were represented at the job fair, which was in the Great Hall of Union Station.

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