Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer visited the Classic Expo as part of his support for Hiring Our Heroes. The aim of the program is helping veterans enter the workforce after their military service.
“B.A.S.S. and Toyota are so supportive of the military, and it’s just a great program to spread the word about,” said Meyer, a U.S. Marine who received the honor for his actions in 2009 while on a mission in Afghanistan.
Meyer recalled a Hiring Our Heroes success story about a Marine in California who found work at a Toyota dealership.
“He was down and out, living under an overpass, and went to the dealership about a job,” said Meyer. “He was hired and worked as a valet, showing up early, staying late, working hard.”
After a few months the Marine received a raise and expressed his thanks to the dealer.
“He told him that he finally got a place to live and was grateful for the opportunity.”
The dealer went on to learn the marine was living under the bridge, went to a nearby YMCA each day for a shower, and reported to work, two blocks away.
Meyer added, “I got out in 2010 as a sniper and back home there aren’t any civilian jobs for that, obviously. So, what the program does for men and women is helps us transfer our military skills into those we can use back home.”
Since 2011, Toyota North America has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes. A decade ago, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces any time after September 2001 was 12.1%. The jobless rate for all veterans was 8.3%.