WALLACE, Idaho — It’s been a cold and long winter for former Army Sgt. Roy Gomez. Separated from the military for nearly five years now, his transition into civilian life has taken a little longer than he expected.
“I figured with a DD-214 and an associates degree, I’d have no issues finding a job,” says Roy as he sits in his recliner positioned nicely in the corner of his trailer home. “But I’ve only found seasonal work most years.”
Although many veterans experience a similar scenario upon leaving the military, Roy has a unique way of keeping his head up about it all.
“I’m really close with the guys down at the American Legion. My one buddy Joe Peterson is former Army as well and rarely has a job,” explained Roy as he cracked open his last Milwaukee Best and took a sip. “I know he had an interview this week at some type of call center over in Oregon. I haven’t heard back from him which means he probably didn’t get it. I feel bad for him to be honest with you.”
Roy says that for the most part he is a happy guy with a nice fish tank and just enough VA disability to keep beer in the fridge and the cable and internet bill paid.
“Joe likes to come over here and hang out a lot. I think he feels like I’m living the dream or something. I have to admit I enjoy his company and giving him advice on his situation. It’s tough out there for a lot of veterans, you know.”
Roy says he’ll probably go back to the lumber mill for his 30 hours a week once winter breaks. Until then it’s just about staying positive and not comparing himself to his old Air Force buddy who makes $150,000 a year out in Silicon Valley.