Hope Replaces Anxiety for Transitioning Soldier at Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair

Lt. Col. Wenceslao Angulo, Communications Director, Soldier for Life

Sgt. First Class Travis Snook was devastated when, 10 days after arriving at his new duty station, he was informed that he would be medically retired. His plan of serving at least 20 years screeched to a halt and, with no concrete job opportunities for a career after the Army, anxiety clung to him like a new uniform.

Soldier at Career Fair

“These job fairs let you know that you have options,” said Sgt. First Class Travis Snook as he looked across the rows of employers eager to hire Veterans. “It gives me hope to see it.” Snook attended the Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair at Fort Benning, Georgia on March 12, 2015. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Soldier for Life/Released)

“You wear the green suit for so long. You be the best you can possible be at your job,” said Snook of his 15-year career dedicated to his roles as a tank commander and platoon sergeant.

Unsure of next steps, Snook attended classes at his Soldier for Life Center. He learned about tailoring his resume to the job he wants, interview skills and leveraging his network of mentors who had transitioned before him. A phone call from a battle buddy a few weeks prior to the Hiring Fair was the fuel he needed to gas up the car and drive 18 hours from Fort Hood, Texas to Fort Benning, Georgia, to attend the Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair March 11-13, 2015.

Eighteen hours later, hope replaced anxiety.

“These job fairs let you know that you have options,” said Snook as he looked across the rows of employers eager to hire Veterans. “It gives me hope to see it.”

Snook came prepared. Dressed professionally and equipped with numerous copies of his resume, he spoke with many of the nearly 100 major corporations in attendance. Organizations that were adamant about working with Veterans and who wanted to keep in touch regardless of whether they offered a job on the spot stuck out. He looked for organizations that, like the military, fostered camaraderie, dedication and values.

More than anything, Snook wants to make an impact. “I want to leave an organization better than I found it,” he said. His strategy: thinking outside his military occupational specialty (MOS).  “Don’t sell yourself short by thinking your MOS is all you can do. If you have a dream, then go for it,” he advises his fellow transitioning service members.

With support from his Family, his network of mentors and the Army, Snook is primed for a successful transition. “This is a team effort. There is lots of stress and anxiety, but a cohesive team makes it easier,” he said.

A Soldier is a Soldier for Life. Soldiers, Retired Soldiers, Veterans and Families can always find support, resources and opportunities throughout their military career throughout transition and after in the Army’s Soldier for Life program.