NPR reports that employment for veterans of recent wars remains a stubborn problem, with the jobless rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan sometimes reaching double the national rate. Beyond just trying to find a job, many vets say after the military, they're still looking for a career with a sense of public service.
Veteran Chris Delplato wanted to be a firefighter for a long time.
"Ever since I was a little kid -- [toy] truck and everything," Delplato says. But he only just got his dream job, after first joining the Navy and serving in the Persian Gulf.
He was hired by New Jersey's North Hudson Fire Department, which has brought on 43 veterans this year.
Delplato's fire chief, Frank Montagne, says he's looking to hire 10 to 20 more veterans by the end of the year and into 2014. He says the vets are disciplined and skilled and their military background makes them well suited to the job. The recruits say firefighting gives them the sense of camaraderie and purpose they miss.
"I've always wanted to do it. I've seen the brotherhood. Everyone [has] each other's backs â the camaraderie same as the military," says North Hudson rookie firefighter John Warth, a former Marine.
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