Vincent Meno endured war’s most devastating moments in his 23-year career on a military search and rescue team.
“I know what it’s like to visit a mom and dad and tell them that their son or daughter is not coming home,” said the former U.S. Air Force sergeant.
Meno was among veterans who shared their personal stories during a daylong seminar on “Marketing Your Military Service” hosted by Suffolk University.
The program, offered in collaboration with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services helped veterans to maximize the resources available to them as they enter or return to the work force.
“Suffolk has really been a leader in supporting our veterans,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee, formerly of the U.S. Marine Corps, who was joined in making welcoming remarks by Suffolk University Acting President and Provost Barry Brown and Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne F. Goldstein.
“You can’t be shy in promoting your skills when competing for jobs,” Nee advised the audience. “You need to market your set of skills and not your particular trade.”
Meno, 45, who was born in Guam, has lived all over the world. He couldn’t afford to go to college, so he enlisted in the Air Force in 1986, focused on one day reaping the educational benefits of the GI Bill.
He retired from the military in 2009 with a continuing passion to serve. “I wanted to make my living saving a life instead of seeing a life end,” he said.
He worked as a nursing assistant at New England Baptist Hospital during the day, while pursuing an associate’s degree in nursing from Bunker Hill Community College at night. But he recently was laid off.
When Meno heard about Suffolk’s “Marketing Your Military Service” seminar, he jumped at the opportunity to learn more about finding a job. As part of the seminar, he received an individual resume review. Staff from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Suffolk University Human Resources, and Suffolk University’s Office of Career Services assisted with this portion of the program, along with University alumni from both the public and private sector.
“This is a phenomenal event, and we need more of them,” said Meno. “With the unemployment rate at an all-time high and all the troops from Iraq coming back soon, there will be even more of us wanting to be heard and searching for different ways to find work.”