Veterans of the armed forces often have a difficult time transitioning back into society after serving in the military. A veteran in southern California is now making it his personal mission to help other veterans do just that.
"There wasn't a whole lot of choices," said Armando Delgado about his experience after leaving the U.S. Marines Corps. "We weren't educated. We weren't really helped out. It was more 'Thank you for your service' and send you on your way."
Delgado joined the Marine Corps in 1998. But after leaving the service, he said a downhill spiral ensued. And he said he was not alone.
"We had a lot of friends who had a difficult time transitioning back into society. They no longer felt they had a task or purpose and they struggled. Their demons caught up with him, and my best friend took his own life.
"That's when I decided make a change and help other veterans."
Delgado is now a special representative with the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. He said his goal is not only to help other veterans find work, but to make them successful in their jobs.
"I made it my personal mission to hire as many veterans as I could to help them assist their transition periods and to help them into our apprenticeship programs so they'd have something to do."
Delgado said he's helped countless veterans over the years. Recently, he helped veteran Jose Barientos get a job with Trademark Concrete.
"My life changed after that," said Barientos. "I'm working good hours and with good pay."
Delgado stresses that he's not giving away handouts. He's simply trying to help as many veterans as he can.
"We swore an oath to this country. And now we're giving back to our heroes."
Marine Corps veteran's 'personal mission': helping fellow vets transition to civilian life through job placement