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Local non-profit helps servicemembers transitioning out of the military

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Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 04, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Getting out of the military is a reality a lot of military families are facing.

Zero8hundred is helping thousands of veterans tailor their unique journeys after retirement.

Sitting in front of the accomplishments of his 23-year career in the Navy is Michael Camac.

"I was a sonar technician on submarines, which I did for about 19 years. We were the eyes and ears of the submarines to make sure the submarine doesn't hit anything while it's in the middle of the water," he explained.

For the final years of his career, he was a career counselor and recruiter. Then he decided it was time to retire from the career that he said saved his life.

His first thought.

"I don't know what's going to happen. It was a little scary," Camac said.

The feeling was no different for his high school sweetheart and wife, Ashley Camac, who has been along for the journey since the day he enlisted in Philly.

"It's not exactly a loss of the community because you still have your friends who were along on the journey with you, but it definitely feels like your entire world has shifted," said Ashley Camac.

The long-time sailor had a master's degree in business administration and thought he wanted a job in human resources.

"I hated every minute of it. It was just not for me," he said.

So, he turned to zero8hundred, the non-profit his wife runs.

"It helps when you have an expert in the field, but it's also a lot of pressure," he said.

He was able to take advantage of the services it offers, like resume writing and interview skills.

But it's not just about landing employment at the non-profit.

"We have five pillars of service, which are education, employment, health and wellness, social community connections and basic need," she said. "Our social workers very quickly start to establish goals with them and since every person is very individual- it depends on what they need and what their priories are."

For the Camac family, the transition has been successful overall.

Michael now has a job he loves working on submarines.

Carnac's advice to those getting ready to leave the military is to plan early.

"Plan to fail. It's okay to fail. Sometimes everything does go the way you expected it," he said.

You can find information to enroll here.