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Veteran's Administration Honors U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southeast Region


July 3, 2002

Jim Rothschild, FWS, 404/679-7291, Cell-770/310-2304

The Southeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently received the “Putting Veterans First Award” from the Department of Veteran Affair’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Division (VR&E). The award is given to organizations, private and public, that “demonstrate their commitment to recruiting and hiring from America’s greatest human resource – veterans.”

The Service was recognized by Veteran’s Affairs headquarters in an Atlanta VR&E Leadership Conference ceremony for hiring Chapter 31 (vocational rehabilitation) job ready applicants and providing entry-level positions that can lead to career promotions. Jim Nee of Human Resources accepted the award on behalf of the Service.

“It is an honor to be recognized, but we see hiring disabled veterans as a win-win-win situation,” said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director. “We get highly motivated people with a fine work ethic. Vocational Rehabilitation has a willing employer, and the veterans have the opportunity to find meaningful careers.”

Since 1998, the mailroom of the Southeast Regional office has served as a springboard for VR&E alumni. Cuthbert Christophe and Lewis Brown were promoted from entry-level mailroom jobs to positions in Human Resources that are similar to what both men did in the Army.

The mailroom opening next went to Lawrence “Mac” McCoy, a 20-year Air Force veteran who served an Operations Manager. He retired as a Sergeant and received a disability rating of 30 percent.

“Some people think that the title “disabled” would mean you’re hindered in some way,” said Mac. “For us, it means we have greater tenacity. The military taught us to overcome obstacles.”

“The VR&E Division of Veterans Affairs is delighted to have established a strong partnership with the Fish and Wildlife Service in Atlanta,” said Jenn Kler, Employment Specialist with VR&E. “We are proud to be a part of this collaborative employment effort.”

The three Service disabled veterans are featured in a videotape produced by VR&E and distributed to potential employers nationwide.

“Although we have an affirmative requirement to hire disabled vets, we need to have managers buy in to Vocational Rehabilitation, said Jim Nee, a 24-year veteran of the Naval Reserve. “We’ve found that the more they see what the vets can do, the more interested they become in hiring them.”

The featured speaker at the Leadership Conference was Carl Brashear whose inspirational life was the basis of Men of Honor, a motion picture starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.

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NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at Our national home page is at:

Atlanta, GA 30345

Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

2001 News Releases

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