The Bob Hope Veterans Support Program at Easter Seals Southern California, a group aimed at helping military veterans, has reached an important milestone.
"A lot of the times, in the military, we don't want to show our wounds openly," said retired Marine Master Sgt. Willie Moreland.
Moreland maintained a tough front, and he explained, "My daughter was in the ICU."
His daughter, Elle-Yeah, has a bone disorder and had to have several high-risk surgeries, like a skull expansion.
"She made a little bracelet, and the bracelet said, 'I love my Daddy,'" he said, but then broke down in tears.
Moreland had to leave her hospital room and head out on his sixth combat deployment. He did not want to leave, but he took an oath to protect his country.
After 25 years in the Marine Corps, Moreland retired and earned an accounting degree.
"I was applying, but I wasn't getting anywhere," Moreland said.
As a fellow veteran, John Funk knew the feeling, so he helped start the program in 2014.
He wants people to offer more than a simple "thank you for your service."
"The real thing I'd love to hear people say is, 'I appreciate what you did. I appreciate your sacrifices. How can I help you achieve your next opportunity?'" Funk said.
At no cost, the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program helped Moreland market his skills better and connected him with openings like the lead accounting job he landed at Custom Engineered Openings.
They also want companies to reach out to them to learn more about hiring vets.
Moreland is urging veterans to show their wounds and ask for help.
"If nobody knows you need help, how will you ever get it?" Moreland said.
The Bob Hope Veterans Support Program has served 500 local veterans.
Click here to learn more.