Veterans Day

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Norma Strecker’s birthday comes just three days before Veterans Day, and this year, she’s turning 92.

Seven decades have passed since she was serving in the U.S. Army, drawing maps of France to be used by Allied troops in the coming invasion. She spent five months in London, under nightly bombing by the Germans during the so-called “Little Blitz.”

“We would put an overcoat on and go down one block to the Mayflower Hotel, down in their basement. And we’d come up and see blocks burning. But as long as ours was there, well, we went back,” Strecker said.

In five years, more than a million members of the armed forces are expected to leave the military and return to civilian life.  Many will be looking for jobs in what’s likely to remain a difficult job market.

Owen McCurty knows firsthand what it’s like to look for a job after a military career.