Missouri Honors Businesses Hiring Veterans

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COLUMBIA - The Show-Me State honored eight local businesses with awards for their participation in the Show-Me Heroes program Tuesday morning.

The Show-Me Heroes program encourages businesses to sign a document that states businesses will consider hiring veterans when positions become available.

Kim Wischmeyer works for Midway Electric as a master electrician. Working as an electrician for more than 38 years in mid-Missouri, Wischmeyer entered his trade after fighting in the Vietnam War. He can relate to veterans who have trouble finding a job.

"There's no de-briefing. We're just turned loose. That's why you have so many homeless veterans and troops with PTSD. Nobody looks to hire a veteran," said Wischmeyer.

Wischmeyer described his experience when he arrived home from Vietnam. "It was tramautic. We were called all types of filthy names and spit on," he added.

The Vietnam veteran then praised the Show-Me Heroes program. "It's awesome. It's like saying, 'Welcome home. Let me help you get your life back.'"

Businesses that participated in the program received Flags of Freedom awards. The award itself is a plaque featuring an American Flag patch from the combat uniform of a Missouri National Guard member worn during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Program director Alan Rohlfing said the program is expanding and always looking for businesses that want to participate. He said the Show-Me Heroes program creates a connection between employers and employees.

"We try several things to get veterans hired," said Rohlfing. "One would be to reach out to those employers, heighten their awareness and help them connect with those veteran job seekers. Veterans come with skills like dedication and commitment to service, which are useful in any job," Rohlfing added.

Midway Electric, University of Missouri Healthcare, Mortgage Research Center, Reality House Programs, First Student of Columbia, MBS Textbook Exchange, Harry S. Truman Hospital and OCCI received awards for their participation in the Show-Me Heroes program.

If interested in becoming involved with Show-Me Heroes, click here.