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Recently I watched an old episode of “Last Man Standing” called “The Gift of the Mike Guy” – a play on “The Gift of the Magi” by O’Henry about giving in a way. selfless a perfect gift. While this was a Christmas-themed program, the party that broke out for me is approaching this week: Veterans Day.

Laura Byrne

Career source

The story involved Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) attempting to give his friend, mentor, and Outdoor Man store co-founder Ed Alzate (Hector Elizondo) a perfect Christmas present. Suffice to say that his effort fell flat. Highligths.

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You see, Ed had left Outdoor Man because he no longer felt needed; Mike didn’t notice his friend’s growing boredom because he was busy looking for new hires to expand the business nationwide.

Hoping to find out why his giveaway was an epic failure, Mike confronted Ed running the bar at the local VFW lodge. At first Mike didn’t understand.

“Do you know why I like running the bar here?” Because I like to talk to vets, ”Ed explained, then pointed out one of the vets. “Take Billy: he ran an ammunition depot, a huge warehouse, moved ordinances all over the Middle East. Now he’s driving an Uber. Until he finds a place that can use his unique skills. We all have hope.

Returning home, where the Baxter family had gathered to decorate the tree, Outdoor Man Security Chief Chuck Larabee showed up to hand deliver his staffing report.

“Boy, you military guys really do the job,” Mike told him.

“When you ask a Marine to do meticulous work, it’s like asking the Pope to go to church, you know he’s going to stay for all of Mass,” Chuck replied, prompting his boss to say : “I wish we had more guys like you.”

Eureka! Struck with inspiration, Mike grabbed the stack of staff reports and rushed to the lodge to deliver a gift that continues to give: a sense of hope for veterans in need of a helping hand and not of a gift, and a sense of purpose for Ed.

“I know exactly the kind of people I want for (our) jobs,” Mike told his puzzled friend. “I want people to be looking for a place to apply their unique skills … and someone who knows their specific skills so they can match them to the right job.”


CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion salutes the courageous men and women who served our country as well as those who served their own tour of duty as members of military families. For us, Veterans Day is not just a day of the year.

If you’re a veteran looking for ways to apply your unique skills to civilian employment, we offer you and your eligible family members free priority of service year round.

And this Wednesday, veterans have early access to the ninth annual Patriots Paychecks Career Fair starting at 10 a.m. with open access to all general job seekers at 11 a.m. time.

Registering for the virtual event is straightforward and takes approximately 60 seconds. For free assistance and / or access to computers to attend the career fair, visit our Career Center at 683 S. Adolph Point in Lecanto.

At last count, nearly 20 companies – all with multiple and immediate jobs to fill – are planning to participate: Allstate Insurance Company, ANCORP, AutoZone, Florida Express Environmental, CEM Solutions, Chariot Eagle, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, City of Ocala, CoreCivic Citrus County Detention Center, FedEx Ground, Florida Department of Corrections, JR Plastics Corp., Marion County Board of County Commissioners, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Optimum RV, Phoenix House, RealTruck, UPS, and Winco Mfg.

These are among the businesses in the region who understand the ‘unique skills’ veterans bring to the table and are eager to hire heroes because they know veterans lead with integrity, know the meaning of hard work, and function. well under pressure.

In other words, the veterans are doing the job.

To register for the Virtual Career Fair, go to and click on the blue bar at the top of any page or visit our calendar of events. For more information, you can also call us at 352-249-3278 or 800-434-JOBS (5627).

Laura Byrnes, Director of Communications for CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, is a Certified Public Relations, Certified Public Relations Consultant and Certified Workforce Professional in Florida. Contact her at 352-291-9559, 800-434-5627, ext. 1234, or [email protected]

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