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Press Release
September 23, 2007
Hundreds of Oregon NG Soldiers and their families turn out for a military job and benefit fair.
Kelly Toney, a soldier with the Oregon National Guard, came to the Medford Armory Sunday expecting a regular drill weekend, but she quickly learned this day would be anything but ordinary.

"This is great," said Toney.

Toney and hundreds of other soldiers arrived at the armory on Sunday, September 23, 2007 to find dozens of employers, representatives from local colleges, and members of veteran service organizations ready to talk about everything from jobs to health care.

"I think it is very beneficial to soldiers who are in my situation that are trying to look for work," said Toney. "There are some good paying jobs out there."

Some soldiers brought their spouses who also learned about employment opportunities.

"I'm checking into college courses here to go into phlebotomy," said Linda Hawkins, wife of Oregon National Guard Soldier Dale Hawkins.

The Military Job and Benefit fair in Southern Oregon is the first of a series of fairs that will take place throughout the state aimed at helping soldiers reintegrate into civilian life after a deployment.

"It's so important to show soldiers what career options are available to them," said Sgt. Vinni Jacques, Reintegration Manager for the Oregon National Guard Reintegration Team.

Many employers said the soldiers have important attributes they are looking for.

"The men and women of the Oregon National Guard have a lot of training, communication skills, and they know how to work the chain of command, said Mike Miles Training Officer for the Medford Police Department. "It's fantastic."

For Toney the day ended with a job lead she's always been looking for. After talking with Miles she plans on pursuing her dream of becoming a dispatcher.

"He helped me out and gave me some numbers and asked me if I would like to sit along with the dispatcher before I apply," said Toney. "I'm looking forward to it."

The Military Job and Benefit Fair was sponsored by the Oregon National Guard Reintegration Team. National Guard Bureau recently recognized the team as one of the top reintegration teams in the nation.
Contact Info:
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office