News: Reintegration program helps Oregon Soldiers link with local employers
Story by Spc. Cory Grogan
OREGON CITY, Ore. – Soldiers from the Oregon National Guard’s 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team attended a Yellow Ribbon Career and Benefits Fair June 26, at Clackamas Community College.
The event, held at the Gregory Forum on the campus, is part of a series of reintegration programs, designed to assist Oregon Soldiers following a year-long deployment to Iraq.
Over 100 employers, numerous support services, and academic institutions attended the event. Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said the event was an unprecedented recognition drive to connect the state’s guard members with jobs.
“These men and women are bringing home a toolbox of skills that employers will find helpful after they have put their lives on the line,” he said.
At the event, Los Angeles California filmmaker Suzanne DeLaurentiis was honored with an award rarely bestowed to civilians when Oregon’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, presented her with the Oregon National Guard Commendation Medal, for her work with Soldiers from the Oregon National Guard.
DeLaurentiis said she is truly humbled by the recognition. She was also thankful her work has raised awareness of the sacrifices some make to protect and serve.
Oregon State Senator Martha Schrader, D-District 20, said, “I am proud the largest ever pro-veteran legislation has been passed in the great state of Oregon.”
The event was hosted by Team Clackamas, which includes Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard and Clackamas Community College Dean Bill Zelke.
During his presentation Bernard said that as a small business owner he is going to commit hiring a veteran.
Pfc. Michael Mager of Forest Grove was looking for a job as a paramedic. He said military experience often helps potential service members in the civilian workforce.
He cited his own experience as an example—extensive military training and seven scenarios helping the wounded in Iraq—which have taught him to never hesitate to help someone.
“I know what to do and have confidence without fear,” said Mager.