SHARECOMMENTMORE

Tampa, Florida -- "Hello, my name is Chris," said 28-year-old Christopher Peral as he reached out for a confident handshake with a potential employer.

The US Army veteran says he got out of the military aftereight years of service, only to encounter an icy return on the job front.

"I've been doing contract work in Kuwait whenever I can," he explained. His most recent contract ended early, leaving him without a paycheck.

"I have no income. I actually don't have a house right now,"
he said.

Peral was among the 500 veterans who attended the Recruit Military job fair at Raymond James stadium.

Click: Recruit Military

Thesingle father of a 2-year-old says he's been struggling to find a consistent, full-time job for the last year. He's hoping to find a job in IT.

Like tens of millions of other Americans, Peral watched last night's debate looking for the the man who has the plan to get his family back on track.

"Personally, I'm in between both. I'm middle of the road. I like some of the stuff Romney is talking about and I like some of the stuff Obama is taking about," said Peral.

He's middle of the road, but he's also decided who is going to get his vote, asof right now.

"It's not just Obama that makes all the decisions, it's also Congress... so I mean, I'm gonna vote for Obama," said Peral.

Matthew Smith, who served two years with the US Navy, is also a single father and a full time student looking for full time work.

He is also a decided voter, "As far as who is going to do what's best for myself and my daughter, I'm going to stick with Barack Obama. I was really rooting for Ron Paul to win, but Romney beat him out."

Every person at the Recruit Military job fair has served their country and many of them have found the transition into the civilian workforce a tough one. They have the work ethic and the discipline, it's the skills they acquired in the military that don't necessarily translate into civilian life.

Robert Walker with Recruit Military understands to predicament.

"I wasa veteran when I got out in 1996. It was tough because sometimes you don't know how to transition your skills to the current workforce or you're coming from overseas and you go, now what's next," said Walker.

The US Bureau of Labor statistics puts the latest unemployment rate for veterans at 6.6%, lower than the national rate of 8.1%. However, the numbers are more distressing for young veterans like Peral and Smith, at a 10.9%.

"As far as the infantry, that's the biggest part of the military, most people that are in the infantry and combat arms and there may not be any transferable skills, it's just finding out how can I be a match for another company" said Walker.

This is where Recruit Military is hoping to help. This year, the organization is hosting 63 job fairs in37 cities.

Each of the 48 companies taking part in Tampa's job fair has an opening they are looking to fill.

Capital One was among them.

George Snyder, Director of Operations for Capital One says the company has made a $4.5 million investment through 2014 to hire 500,000 veterans and their spouses nationwide.

"They bring so many skills that we can use in our business," said Snyder, "For example, leadership, communications, problem solving and let's not forget those service members have worked under great pressure, those skills fit real well in the private sector."

The veterans are hopeful they'll find a good match, as for which candidate they'll vote for in November...some are still on the fence.

"I'm leaning toward Romney, but I'm still undecided," said Windy Meredith, a military spouse.

Recruit Military will be holding another job fair in Tampa on January 17th.

SHARECOMMENTMORE