NM veterans pegged for seasonal firefighter jobs

Posted at: 03/31/2013 11:13 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

With fire season just around the corner in New Mexico, war veterans looking for work might not have to look any farther.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned Governor Susana Martinez will introduce a new program Monday aimed at hiring vets as seasonal firefighters.

One veteran applauds the new program and told KOB it’s time to get veterans back to work. Coming back from war can be extremely difficult.

“You’re really sitting there struggling like, what’s my identity? What type of person am I? What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to live?” said Jim Stanek, who’s served 3 tours in the military.

Stanek’s transition was hard, and said this program could be a game changer or those returning home.

“This might just open a door for a veteran who is searching that can work, that can do a job and, you know, what I guarantee you, we’re going to see veterans shine through this program,” added Stanek.

Stanek said the fire department could be the structure war vets need.

“You have to get up in the morning. You’re on call. Your trucks have to be clean. Your uniforms have to be squared away, make sure the gear is good because if the gear isn’t good, you’re going to be in trouble and it’s back to brotherhood,” said Stanek.

Data shows that more than 12 percent of vets in New Mexico are unemployed.

Governor Martinez will announce Monday how many vets this program could put to work.