FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — More than 60 organizations participated in a job fair at Farmindale State College Friday to let veterans know what employment and services were at their disposal.

“The unemployment rate in this country is 8.2 percent. For post-9/11 veterans it’s 12.4 percent. That is a national shame,” said Congressman Steve Israel.

After 24 years as an Army nurse, Marie Houanche of Freeport has been unemployed since July. She’s hoping to start her own business, one that helps her fellow veterans.

“I have a lot of faith. I think something will come through,” she told CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock. “That’s my heart. I know what they’ve been through.”

And she says the resources are here today to guide her entrepreneurial spirit. For veterans willing to wrok for another. Businesses here want to hire you…

“We’d like to give the opportunity to those who served our country,” said Michael Wallace of Continental Home Loans.

Some organizations want to help prepare veterans for the workforce, like the Beacon House.

“There’s someone here that cares for them that will help them get into the workforce,” said Tim Scherer.

He lost his son, Corporal Christopher Scherer in Iraq four and half years ago. His loss inspired him to reach out to veterans.

“Help them rewrite resumes, maybe interview. If they don’t have a lot of money we can get them clothes, transport them to the interview,” he said.

“When we come back it’s almost like we’re out of sync with what’s going in the real world,” said Henry Rojas, Jr. of Lindenhurst.

The Desert Storm veteran said the fair was a good stepping stone to get veterans back on track.

More than 120 veterans registered for the event, but there were jobs left over. Some looking to hire said the turnout was disappointing and might have benefited from more promotion.

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  1. Lieut Dan's Aunt says:

    Good Luck to all the vets. You have served your country, put yourselves in harm’s way, and just ask for the chance to provide for yourselves and your family’s now that you are home. It has not been easy, and you have my thanks, and support. A nephew served 2 Iraq tours, other relatives and friends also served in the armed forces. Dad (USN WW2) went to college on the GI Bill. Hope today proves fruitful, and there are happier days ahead.

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