HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A lot of our men and women who serve in our armed forces will agree with Dorothy’s line, “There’s no place like home” in the “Wizard of Oz.” Sometimes getting there is a journey in itself. We found a Navy veteran who had a few detours on his return to sweet home Alabama.
36 year old Will Tumlin was born and raised in Alabama. But his journey home was anything but sweet. While serving in Kuwait, Will says his wife just took off abandoning their two children. His family took care of them until he returned but then the navy deployed him to Afghanistan.After 10 years, his service ended because he didn’t have anyone to take care of his children. Will realized his son Mikal and daughter Sophia needed him more than the navy.
The single father moved to New Hope with hopes of finding a job. Tumlin says, “A lot of the time when you come out of the military, you`re thinking my time in the military, you come out and what you`ve learned in the military, you can just transition into civilian life. But it`s just not that easy.”
Things just weren’t working in Will’s favor. “The income was going away and the bank account was being dwindled,” he says. “I had to do something.” That feeling of hope soon turned to hopelessness. “They’re always talking about unemployment, jobs, jobs, jobs,” says Tumlin. “Well, I fell into that category thinking I was going to have something and here I come and it just wasn`t working out.”
That’s when Will turned to Still Serving Veterans, a local non-profit that helps those who have served our country make the journey from military to civilian life. An SSV worker met with will to help him with his resume and make him more marketable. With a grin on his face, Tumlin says, “Mitch Williams was able to, with a smile, tell me what I was doing wrong and how to correct it.” And it worked. After a two and a half hour interview, Will had a job with Cinram. He started immediately. He couldn’t believe it himself saying, “I’m a movie buff. This is my eye candy and I get to work on the machines? Are you kidding me? “
Still Serving Veterans may have helped Will Tumlin get his foot in the door but he had to sell himself to his new employer. And he says it feels good to know, he’s got his kids and a paycheck. “I can finally wipe my brow and the sweat doesn`t return so it`s a really good feeling,” says Tumlin. “I can actually sleep with a smile on my face at night and it`s been a long time since I`ve been able to do that.”
If you know of a veteran who needs help with finding a job, benefits or just making the transition from military to civilian life, tell them to contact Still Serving Veterans.