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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

L.A. County Federation Of Labor Honors Veterans In The Community

Dozens of veterans were treated to free hot plates of food and coffee.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor kicked off Veterans' Day with their first Annual Veterans' Day Breakfast.

Dozens of veterans were treated to free hot plates of food and coffee.

The ceremony was a time to honor more than 150 veterans graduating from the union’s three-month pre-apprenticeship program. The program teaches veterans the skills they need to work a variety of jobs in construction and trade. 

Eric Hillburn is a graduate of the apprenticeship program. He is now an electrician.

"It's teaching me new skills. It's allowing me the opportunity to better myself through education,” said Hillburn.

The civilian transition can be very difficult for most veterans. As a result, many of them are not able to find a job or enroll in school. Programs such as the pre-apprenticeship offer veterans the help they need to make a living. 

“It gives me the means to provide for my three children. I’m a single parent,” said Hillburn.

The transition is especially difficult for young veterans, who make up the majority of homeless veterans in the country. Here at the University of Southern California, student veterans are facing challenges of their own.

Juston Graber is a Cinematic Arts student at USC. He served in the army for eight years, deployed three times in Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

“It could be depressing, it could be hard, it could be difficult in general, but I’m doing okay,” Graber said.

Graber says despite these challenges he manages to get straight A’s.

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