Servicemen, women facing different battle at home

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - When our servicemen and women come home, they face another war: trying to find a new career in this tough economic climate.

However, there are lots of resources across East Texas many vets and their families don't know about. Even more employers are trying to help.

After serving in the Marine Corps, Cole Eason found a new calling. With the Texas Workforce Commission, he helps fellow vets adjust back to a normal life which is a whole other battle.

"Reality really hits you in the face when you get back to this area and you realize how tough it is," said Eason. "It was for me."

Just in the past few weeks, Eason has seen dozens of veterans home from Iraq, seeking his help.

"The main issue we see now is employment," said Eason. "Of course, they come to me looking for employment which is tough but there are employers out there that are veteran friendly."

One of those he says is DFE Tech in Tyler. It is one of the few public drilling fluids career schools in the country.

"This is not a local job," said Michael Rowden, with DFE Tech. "It's world-wide, country wide. We have students from all over to come here."

While it is open to everyone, Rowden encourages veterans to apply because their G.I. Bill could cover all training and housing costs which was just approved.

"The government's helping and we appreciate that," said Rowden. "Veterans generally have good training, good character and they're not afraid of work and this line of work is perfect."

After seven weeks of training, he says students leave certified.

"They start out anywhere between $40,000 and $60,000 a year," said Rowden. "The companies they go to work for give them a vehicle, all the equipment they're going to be using on the rig, computer, calculator, 401 K, benefits and the rest of it."

"It's a booming industry," said Eason. "It always will be, natural gas and oil. The earlier you get into it, the more money you'll make in the long run."

It is just one of many opportunities opening up to our veterans. DFE says the first class veterans can take advantage of starts in January but they should start applying now.

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