Service members prepare for new chapter of life
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Oct. 27, 2016) - - Thirteen participants including Soldiers and Sailors attended a two-day workshop hosted by Hire Heroes, United Service Organizations, Oct 20 and 21 at the Education Center on Camp Zama.
Marcus Shumpert, veteran transition specialist, Hire Heroes, USO, said they are a non-profit organization that offers free services to transitioning service members, veterans and spouses to help them prepare for their transitioning process.
Shumpert said the two-day workshop provided strategic planning classes on what they need to know to prepare for their transitions-- including resume preparation, networking skills, interviewing techniques and one-on-one mock interviews.
Shumpert said their organization works alongside other veteran service agencies, however, they consider themselves to be best-in-class.
"What makes us stand out from the rest is the personal attention that we give (the veterans)," said Shumpert.
He tells veterans that they are going to be working one-on-one specialists who care about their success.
"The success story is what keeps me motivated," said Shumpert.
"I participated in the workshop to boost my chances of landing a job sooner, rather than later after my military career," said 1st Sgt. Darius Lazare, assigned to US Army Aviation Battalion.
Lazare said the workshop provided him with necessary skills and practices that every Solider should take advantage of before getting out of the military, and gave him hope that there are jobs and companies that are willing to take chances on veterans.
"In life, the sooner you prepare, the better your outcome (will be)," said Lazare, "I am looking forward to transitioning."
Sgt. 1st Class David Thorpe, assigned to US Army Japan, said, the workshop made him realize that service members tend to over market themselves based on their military experiences.
Thorpe said he feels that the products that are produced from this class makes him more marketable for Civilian employment.
Thorpe said, he recommends to other veterans to start the transition process as early as their two year mark.
"The military has been my whole life," said Staff Sgt. Denisha Bess, assigned to U.S. Army Medical Department Activities-Japan.
Bess said she has fears of transitioning because she has never had another job besides the military and she even has to figure out what to wear on a day-to-day base.
"The one-on-one mock interview was the most beneficial class for me," said Bess, and it made her more confident in herself after the practice.
"I am looking forward to starting a new chapter of my book," said Bess.
Dan Popowski, another veteran transition specialist, Hire Heroes, USO, said, "A lot of our veteran transition specialists-- we've been through it too," said Popowski, "this is really our way of being able to give back to people."
Popowski wants the participants to know there is somebody there for them to help throughout the entire process.