Onslow County Veterans Job Fair from the view point of our law firm

I think the job fair was a great success.  Most of the veterans that stopped to speak with us were not only looking for work but needed some form of guidance on their own claim for benefits.  We were able to speak with a diverse group of individuals from veterans, dependents and to active duty service members transitioning into the civilian sector.  We found that despite all of these claims being at different phases of the claims process, all the individuals were eager for one thing; answers!  You could see first-hand how poorly and uninformed the transition from the military has been for these veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs did not step in and resolve any of this growing uncertainty.

With Onslow County hosting this Veterans' Event, we really saw an interest in Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims.  You may be surprised to hear that not all interested in our assistance were veterans and their dependents.  We found civilians who had worked on Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987, the same timeframe that chemicals were found to be present in the post's drinking water, are now suffering from countless disabilities believed to be caused by exposure to this contaminated water.  They, too, deserve compensation for their disabilities and answers to their questions.

At one point David Russotto, Kristen Swinson and I were completely inundated with job seekers and questions about individual claims.  We were able to do an initial intakes right there on the spot or leave the veteran with resources to answer their questions.  We also found the job fair as a great resource of our own.  Not only did we meet and talk with several qualified candidates but we were able to set up three interviews for the very next day.  One Navy sergeant stood out above the rest, Fredrick Lacy, and was offered a position within the MRSB family.  He is in the process of discharging from service and will start with us in April!

The added bonus of attending the job fair was connecting with so many other Onslow County community organizations that are just as passionate about assisting veterans as we are.  While there, we were sure to thank our hosts, the DAV and speak with the Chapter 16 Commander about working together in the future.  We were also able to speak with the new to Jacksonville Vet Center and learn all about their free counseling services for combat veterans.  We were thrilled to hear they have several locations including Fayetteville North Carolina! These were just a few among the many that showed up in full force.

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