Los Angeles veteran now helping fellow vets find jobs

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- When Manny Lopez came home from the Persian Gulf on the USS Bunker Hill, he knew he wanted to continue serving.

Today, Lopez works in L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's Office of Public Engagement helping other veterans find work.

"We want veterans to have the highest success rate to transition back into our communities, and that's through employment." Lopez said.

They've accomplished the goal of their "10,000 strong" hiring initiative, but Lopez says it's more than just finding jobs.

"Our purpose is to encourage employers to hire veterans, and not only just 'hey come hire veterans' but let us collectively teach you about the military culture, let's make you understand the experiences of service members and how that can actually be a benefit to your organization," he said.

While homelessness is a constant challenge, it's one that continues to be a priority.

So far, their office has been able to help find housing for 7,000 veterans, but the work continues for Lopez.

"As a sailor, as someone who took that oath, that oath doesn't end the minute that I'm discharged," he said. "I still have a duty to my country -- I have a duty to my sisters and brothers in arms, and while I can do that and push that through my position here in the mayor's office, I'm going to continue marching forward with that."
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