Local News

A number of veterans returning home to Southern Colorado face unemployment

Unemployed veterans

Colorado Springs, Colo. - Fort Carson has hosted a number of homecomings in the last two weeks. Almost 1,500 soldiers are now back on American soil.

Each time, some of those returning soldiers are faced with looking for work as a civilian.

Keith Murchison, 26, did two tours in Iraq in 2008 and 2009.

After seeing combat, he spent four years as a Navy medic overseas.

Today, Murchison is unemployed.

"I am trying to get out of your normal, everyday working to I'm in the civilian world, now it's time to find a job," Murchison said. "It's a tough transition."

The current unemployment rate in El Paso County is 6.7 percent.

Pikes Peak Workforce Center employment specialist, Bill Spindler, who works daily with veterans, knows that number is higher for the men and women just out of the military.

"Before they become vets, before they become civilians, they are very much focused on helping their team succeed," Spindler said. They are not thinking individually how do I have to find a career after the service. That's not part of their mindset.

For Keith Murchison, the search continues from a position he's very unfamiliar with.

"You're used to being on the other side, giving people a hand," Murchison said. "Now you're reaching up trying to get help for yourself. It's different."

Murchison plans to go to Pikes Peak Community College next January, studying to become a medical technician.

If you're a veteran looking for work, we've posted a link to help your search under "the Hot Button" on KRDO.com

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