Volunteers collecting suits for vets

Posted at 8:54 AM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 08:54:08-05

Richard Merrigan remembers how hard it was looking for jobs after serving in the United States Air Force for six years.

"I didn't have a suit and a matter of fact I had very few civilian clothes," said Merrigan, who's now the American Legion Commander in Holt. "So it was kind of a handicap when we first went out for interviews."

He had to borrow a suit, shirt, and tie from a friend. But it still took him six months to finally get the job.

"There's no one to tell you what to do, so you got to do it all on your own," said Merrigan.

That's why he's working with local groups and businesses to make sure veterans in the area don't have to do it alone.

"This will give them something they can be proud to wear," said Merrigan.

They've collected more than 50 suits in two weeks.

"Donated from citizens in the community," said John Hayhoe with Holt Kiwanis. "We're getting it together. We have a tailor lined up from Lansing who will adjust the suits for free for the veterans."

That tailor is also a veteran. Bill Mc Donald served in the Air Force from 1964 to 1968. He now owns his own tailoring business in Lansing.

"I think people when they have an interview, they should look good," said Mc Donald. "I've been doing this for 30 years, and I think I know how to make people look good."

A good look that leads to a good feeling, that'll hopefully lead to a good interview.

"Feel more confident in themselves going in for a job interview," said Rep. Tom Barrett, R- Eaton County. "Hopefully land a great job that'll keep them here in Michigan and establish a career for them and support their family as well."

Something Merrigan is proud of since retiring last year.

"We want to see that they can be successful once they get out of the military," said Merrigan.

And it all starts with dressing for the job you want.