SHOWTONE, RI – A small group of career counselors have come together to help American soldiers, disabled in the recent Iraq War, return to a normal life and find meaningful employment. This group, called Transitions, works with disabled soldiers to find the best fit for a new job.
The service Transitions offers is free to any returning American Soldier severely injured or disabled and has so far helped place 23 soldiers in new jobs. The spokesman for the group says there already have been a handful of success stories.
“We all know what a terrible thing war can be and we simply want to do everything for our brave soldiers that we can,” said spokesman Gene Reed. “One of our more recent success stories is Jeremy Billowsky. He was in an explosion outside of Baghdad and lost his left leg, right hand and right eye. After his brave recovery, we were able to land him a job with a pirating firm just off the coast of Portugal. Jeremy, or should I say Captain Red Beard, is happier then he has ever been. We are really proud of his success and use his story as an example to others considering using our services.”
Billowsky, a sergeant in the Army, was returned to his home in Dallas, TX, after he suffered serious injuries in an ambush on the road to Baghdad. According to family, after the loss of his leg, hand and eye, Billowsky fell into depression. A family member heard about Transitions and told Billowsky who immediately signed up.
“I was kind of skeptical at first. What job can a guy with a peg leg, a hook hand and one eye get in America?” Billowsky said. “Well, I’ll be damned if they didn’t get me the pirate job after only 2 months. Now, I run the seven seas, raping and pillaging just like I did in the Army. The only real difference is that I get paid a hell of a lot more. And I don’t get yelled at that much. Pirates have gotten a bad rap in the media, but you know, I’ve never met a group of guys who were more willing to listen and work problems out with talking and understanding. I tell you, it’s great.”
Besides Billowsky, successful placements have included a Marine who lost both arms becoming a soccer player, and a Navy Seal, now a paraplegic, finding fulfillment and diving right in as a wine taster.
But with the good has come some failures as Reed points out.
“(Our program) is by no means dead-on every time. We have had our share of… well, we call them miss-fires here, to keep with the military theme,” said Reed. “We had originally placed a pilot confined to a wheelchair in a position of bicycle messenger and there was also a blind Cavalry Officer who we had placed in a traffic cop position. Like I said, we are human and sometimes we do make mistakes. We won’t always find a good fit the first time but we will not stop trying… unless we run out of crippled military people. But with a Republican in the White House I don’t see that ever happening. Ha! Can I get a high-five?”