Tireak Tulloch enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 2000 as a data network systems specialist and served two tours in Iraq. Today, he works as a network engineer for the Long Island Rail Road.
Tulloch had trouble finding work when he returned from his second tour of duty in 2005. He said employers were apprehensive to offer him a job because he was still enlisted in the Reserves. Frustrated but hopeful, he took an entry-level position at Long Island Bus—a position both Tulloch and the person who hired him knew he was overqualified for based on his experience in the military. In fact, he earned two promotions in three years before leaving to take a job as a network engineer with the LIRR.
Tulloch says he knows “firsthand what it’s like to transition home” and about the challenges veterans face finding gainful employment. “We need to do everything we can” to help them, he said. “We need to continue the investment. We spend millions of dollars training us when we’re in combat, why not continue that investment so that when we do leave the military, we can continue to be productive members of society.”
President Obama believe that no veteran that fought for our country should have to fight to find a job once they come home. He's challenged private sector employers to hire or train 100,000 veterans, and his Administration has introduced a host of initiatives to help connect veterans with job listings and career support. And, the Senate has already passed two key pieces of the American Jobs Act, the Wounded Warriors and Returning Heroes tax credits, which will provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.
Despite the fact that our veterans have unique skills and experiences that make them excellent hires for any civilian business, their unemployment rate tops 12 percent. Read the stories of veterans like Tireak who have struggled to transition their skills into new careers and find out why fighting for these heroes is a priority for the Obama Administration.