LAS VEGAS -- As the wars overseas wind down, U.S. veterans are coming home to face a different kind of battle. They are trying to find work in a tough economy.
U.S. Vets in downtown Las Vegas is packed everyday with vets from all backgrounds looking for help transitioning from military to civilian life. One of their main concerns is finding work. According to a survey done in May by Monster Worldwide Inc., the number of vets confident about finding suitable work fell from 44 to 29 percent in a six-month period.
"It's hard to find a job. You can't get anybody to call you back, especially in the aviation field," said 28-year-old Michael Verrette. He spent 11 years in the U.S. Air Force and has been on a job hunt since leaving the service last year.
New government numbers show the unemployment rate for the youngest veterans, those who enlisted after 9/11 is now close to 10 percent.
"They have skills but sometimes transitioning those skills from the military world to civilian life is tough for them," said Larry Williams, U.S. Vets program manager.
Aside from career assistance, the non-profit U.S. Vets is also helping to educate veterans on new federal programs that provide everything from free education to work training.
Major corporations like MGM Resorts is also stepping up to help vets with a program called "Boots to Business." It launched earlier this year and gives former military personnel, like Jonathan Wei, real work experience in hotel management.
"I am just honored to be in this program. It's a great opportunity for me," said Wie, a Navy veteran.
"I guess the best way to honor a vet is to hire a vet. They were an asset to us in the military, they will be an even greater asset in the civilian world," Williams said.