Hometown Patriot - July 31, 2013 - Dwayne Phelps - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Hometown Patriot - July 31, 2013 - Dwayne Phelps

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Army Staff Sergeant Dwayne Phelps is spending a few months on the U.S.S Orleck, after being hired through the Hiring our Heroes program. Phelps has served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea and Bosnia. He's currently in the National Guard's combat search and rescue Medivac.

"I do general maintenance on aircraft," said Phelps. "I maintain our medical evacuation birds. Anytime anyone gets hurt, we get them."

Phelps is employed by the Orleck, until his next deployment to Kosovo, expected sometime this fall. He has several jobs that include anything from hosting birthday and laser tag parties to welding. 

"I spent last month on the front end of the ship, painting. You name it, I pretty much get my hands in on it," he said.

Orleck Executive Director Ron Williams says he knew hiring Phelps was a solid move.

"He knows where everything is on the ship for supplies," said Orleck Executive Director Ron Williams. "He knows all the safety issues from what he's done in the military as well as being familiar with the ship. Folks are kept safe when they are out here working or actually doing laser tag on the ship."

Phelps believes hiring veterans is a great idea.

"We are very disciplined. When given a goal, we will do whatever it takes to reach that goal," he said.

The Hiring Our Heroes goal is to employ a half-million veterans and military spouses by the end of next year.

For more information on the U.S.S. Orleck, go to www.orleck.org

For information on Hiring Our Heroes, go to www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes

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