Hi, my name is Darren. It has taken me a long time to get used to saying that again. I used to be First Sergeant Sherrard or “Top” to some. But today, I am Darren, and I have the best job in the country. I serve Veterans and I do it as if serving my Dad, Grandfather, Great-Uncles, cousins, brother-in-law, neighbors, friends and brothers and sisters from 20 years of service; because I am. Like some of you, I am a service-connected disabled Veteran. If you read Alex Horton’s recent blog post; you won’t ask me why… On a lighter note, I am from Waco, TX/ Lovington, NM and a die-hard Dallas Cowboy fan living in New Orleans; Go Hornets! What I love most about my job, is I “get” to make a difference in the lives of Veterans. My job is to reach out to those that want to do the same thing…provide awesome service and care to Veterans.

My role at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is nothing but simple – identify, recruit and assist qualified professionals, like you, to start a career at VA. Our office works with recruitment staff across the nation in an effort to find the best talent to help us fulfill a promise that President Lincoln set forth in his second inaugural address, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.” Please follow the link and read the story, it’s worth it.

At times recruitment is a challenge. With Health care occupations among the most difficult to recruit, they comprise the majority of our positions in VA. It takes a lot of Doctors and Nurses to provide quality care to over 6 million Vets each year. Like me, some Veterans want to work for VA and do not understand why VA is not 100% Veterans. The big reason is most Veterans are not health care providers. As a 13F Forward Observer in my former life, I had to find another skill to translate into a civilian career. There just was not enough demand for me to blow things up out here. That’s where experience and education are critical. So if you’re using the GI Bill you earned, think Health care!

A lot has changed about the ways we find jobs over the years. Today, if you’re interested in learning more, or applying for a position with VA, the best resource is our website: www.vacareers.va.gov. The website contains detailed information on what its like to work at VA, links for applying for positions online and much, much more.

In the last year or so, VA Careers has also established a presence on Facebook and Twitter. You can find us on both sites as “VA Careers.” While both sites highlight some of the content from our website, you’ll also find news about VA, career events in your area and “hot job” listings as they develop. You will even see me sharing live from certain events and sharing relevant articles, so make sure you “Follow” or “Like” our pages.

This blog will be focused on providing you information about how you can join our team. Together with our website (www.VAcareers.va.gov) and our social media efforts, our hope is to give you the best possible glimpse into life as an employee at VA.
That said, there is always room for improvement – and we welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. Tell us about why you love your career with VA or your success stories. Please remember this is a community forum, so if you have a specific concern or complaint, please direct them here. Check back often as we’ll be posting details on how you – casual readers, VA employees, Veterans, etc. – can join the conversation.

These are unique times for our Nation and VA. I thank every Veteran for your service; and if you or someone you know has a desire to serve our returning Heroes – I hope you’ll come back often, find a position you’re qualified for and APPLY TODAY!


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Published on Jul. 22, 2011

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