HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Life after the military isn't always easy. In our continuing series called "Hire a Hero", one former Marine is living out of his van - as he looks for full-time employment. And he's trying new ways to reinvent himself for the job market.
35 year old Karmeci Hayle doesn't fit the stereotype of someone who's homeless. "It's emotional, but other than that, I'm coping, yeah, I'm coping."
He's actually just one, solid paycheck away from landing right back on his feet. "I need a job. I will be dependable. I will be reliable. I WILL work for you!" Hayle says emphatically.
Hayle is a hands-on guy. In the military, he took computers apart and put them back together. He can do the same for cars - after attending school for automotive sciences.
He explains, "Just basically, break something, fix it. Figure out how to fix it."
Hayle spent eight years in the Marines where, he says, he matured and learned strong communication skills. It's also how he first came to Hawaii. After the Lance Corporal was honorably discharged, he stayed in the islands, but the job search has been challenging.
"Maybe three times a week, I'm going to an interview and out of that three times, I'm putting in, maybe, 15 applications and hoping for the best each week. By today, Friday, I'm just like, 'Please, let me get something.'"
Hayle HAS been pro-active - getting his certification so he can install solar-powered panels in a growing green industry. He says, "I thought that it might be an opportunity to better myself in a field that I know is progressing here on Oahu."
If you can help Karmeci Hayle with employment, please contact Noe Foster from Power Up Hawaii – a group working with the U.S. Department of Labor to help veterans find jobs. email@example.com or (808) 753-7223.
Veterans looking for work will have an opportunity to chat with potential employers - next Wednesday, January 18th, at the Blaisdell. The "Job Quest Hire a Hero" job fair will feature 150 employers. It runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.