Aboard the retired cruise ship Queen Mary -- a World War II veteran redeployed as a tourist attraction -- former members of the armed services Thursday got an extra ration of employment help.
But, between a sagging economy and years of specialized experience, many veterans say they still can't find decent jobs or feel pigeonholed into low-paying fitness, security or law enforcement positions.
Behind a table spread with brochures and flanked by posters advertising jobs with Military Sealift Command, a civilian military transportation company, recruiter Sarah Little smiled at passing veterans.
But when they moved on, the happy front vanished. Most of the applicants milling around the Long Beach job fair weren't prepared for the rigorous application process for the seafaring positions she had to offer, Little said.