Job fair in SF held for war vets

SAN FRANCISCO Job fair held for war vets There was a big turnout of veterans at a job fair in San Francisco. There was a big turnout of veterans at a job fair in San Francisco which was specifically for them. Many say they served their country honorably, but the job market hasn't treated them honorably. "I was a battlefield medic in the military but none of that means a whole lot," says Jerry Ramos, Iraq Veteran. Ramos joined the Navy when he was only 17. Now he's 24. He's served two tours in Iraq and says it's difficult getting real job. "Actually, with the economy and the recession, I honestly would say yes," says Ramos. Ramos dropped in to the job fair held by the veterans group Swords to Plowshares. About three dozen employers were hiring. "It's all about transitioning back to civilian society and that usually starts with a job," says Michael Blecker, Swords to Plowshares. Many are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, but Robert McLaughlin is a 60-year-old Vietnam vet, who's been homeless and out of work for two years. They're the ones in a never ending vicious cycle. "The difficulty is not having a job history, having to explain your homelessness and no matter what reason you have, it doesn't seem to be enough for most employers." But Rachel Mahimer is bubbly and full of confidence. She was with the National Guard in Iraq. "With my one year of duty in Iraq, I was able to expand my horizon. I realized that things I can't do, I can do." Employers we spoke with say that spirit is what makes veterans good employees. ray mark is with the state employment development dept. "They're disciplined. They know how to do the job. They know how to take orders.," says Ray Mark with the Employment Development Department. But, those traits haven't helped 21-year-old Sean McKeen find a job. He was with the army, clearing minefields in Iraq. McKeen was discharged last fall and he's still looking for his first job. "They just usually never call me back. I don't know. They don't care," says McKeen. He says being homeless makes it even tougher. "Just worrying about where I'm going to stay. Where I'm going to eat and then getting a job on top of that." We thought McKeen would stick around longer, but he had other things to attend to – like finding a place of shelter and figuring out where his next meal was going to come from. New parenting class helps frustrated parent The class teaches strategies to deal with kids that seem out of control. It's been said there's no parenting manual handed out at the birth of a child. Maybe not, but there is a parenting class that is about to start in San Jose and it could be the next best thing. At least, that's what police, schools and many parents are hoping. 17-year-old Randy Garcia Jr. is doing well in his senior year at San Jose's James Lick High School, but he's just come back home. His grades took a dive in the spring and he had moved out to live with relatives for a few months. "Feels good to be back at home with my folks, my family, with my little brother," says 17-year-old Randy. Garcia is back after his parents, Randy Garcia Sr. and Katrina Garcia, completed a program called 'The Parent Project', where they learned invaluable parenting tools. "We found out that we don't have control of our children. We have control of the water, the energy bill, but we don't have control of our children who are going to grow up to be who they are," says Randy Garcia Sr. The Garcia's were in San Jose's pilot parent project this spring. The 12-session, nationally recognized course helps frustrated parents by teaching strategies to deal with kids that seem out of control. It takes on everything from not following house rules to gangs, drugs and alcohol use. "Having a lot of patience. I have a lot of patience. Well, I think I have a lot of patience, but my husband doesn't, so he learned a lot from it," says Katrina Garcia. San Jose decided to bring the program here after seeing the juvenile crime rate rise and hearing from the community. "From young people, we heard 'I want to change, but I don't know how to change'. From parents, we heard 'I need some help,'" says Angel Rios, San Jose Mayors Office. "The communication was a problem between me and my dad. It's better now. He actually listens," says 17-year-old Garcia. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will be running the program. It will be available at five locations in San Jose starting later this month. LINKS: THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE CAME OUT TODAY FOR A PUBLIC MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR 22-YEAR-OLD FAIRFIELD CITY COUNCILMAN MATT GARCIA. 4,000 PEOPLE GATHERED AT THE HIGH SCHOOL WHERE HE GRADUATED IN 2004. OFFICIALS SAY IT MAY BE THE BIGGEST MEMORIAL IN HISTORY. HE WAS THE YOUNGEST COUNCILMAN IN THE CITY S HISTORY. >> I WANT TO ASK HIM FACE-TO-FACE, WHY DID YOU KILL MY GRANDSON? WHY DID YOU DO IT? DID YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE LOVED HIM? WHAT DID HE DO TO YOU? >> THE REWARD FOR INFORMATION INTO THE MURDER LAST MONDAY HAS RISEN FROM 50,000SES TODAY $150,000 THANKS TO CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND THE CITY OF FAIRFIELD. POLICE SAY THEY RE MAKE PROG GRES THOUGH THERE ARE NO SUSPECTS IN THIS CASE.
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