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Walmart vows to put veterans to work
Putting veterans to work.
A Walmart store in Pace is doing just that.
It employs 37 former service members.
The company will soon be hiring many more veterans nationwide.
Walmart's CEO says hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make.
Employees we spoke with agree with him.
Darlene Cline, Veteran/Walmart Employee: "I take orders and give orders."
Darlene Cline has been working here for 26 years.
She says every day she uses the same skills she learned working with patients and medics in the army.
One of those skills is knowing how to laugh.
Darlene Cline, Veteran/Walmart Employee: "I take care of people associates, customers."
Donald Cowart, Veteran/Walmart Employee: "This is my 22nd year."
Loyalty seems to be a common trait among veterans working at the Pace Walmart, which has a total of about 450 employees.
Donald Cowart, a clerk in the gardening department, was in the Navy for nearly three decades.
When asked why he's been at Walmart so long he answers quickly.
Donald Cowart, Veteran/Walmart Employee: "Working with people and enjoying working with people and helping people."
Stephen Williams, the manager of the store, served as an officer in the Marine Corps in the Iraq War in 2003.
Stephen Williams, Store Manager, Walmart: There's a lot of similarities. Whether you're in the Marine Corps or in Walmart, people wanna be appreciated. They wanna understand their job, understand their mission."
More veterans will soon be working at many Walmart stores.
Starting on Memorial Day, the company will hire any honorably discharged veteran who applies for a job within a year of leaving the service.
Sally Cary, Customer: "That is awesome!"
Customers we spoke with are big fans of the idea.
Lauren Kunz, Customer: It's good that there are actually people that are willing to hire them over someone that might not need it as much...or deserve it as much."
Walmart expects to hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years.