Father of seven lands on solid ground during uncertain times: Christian Arredondo’s Story

Christian Arredondo served for 20 years in the Air Force and in the Wisconsin Guard

Success doesn’t come without hard work, and Christian Arredondo is a prime example of that.

As an Air Force and Wisconsin Guard veteran, Christian is an energetic and determined natural leader. As a father of seven, he is patient and personable, with several qualities that make him marketable in the workforce, but that didn’t mean finding a job after retiring was an easy task.

I thought [transitioning] would be easier, and it was not,

Christian says.

That’s where HOPE and the Warrior’s Compass program came in, which he learned about through his veteran sister-in-law. In early November, he connected with HOPE Career Transition Manager/Scholarship Program Manager Kristy Warren, and together, they got the ball rolling. “Once I sat down with Kristy, she gave me a good understanding of what I needed to do,” Christian says.

She put the ball in my court to do the work.

Christian Arredondo with his family

With a retirement date set for December 1st, the clock was ticking for the sole breadwinner and provider for the family of eight.

Thanks to Warrior’s Compass, he had even more tools and resources at his disposal after conducting mock interviews and adjusting the layout of his resume. There were wins and losses after he started putting in applications in late November, and Kristy was always there as his cheerleader.

“She celebrated when I had a great interview, and she supported me when I didn’t get the callback or got the news I didn’t want,” Christian says. Even when the news wasn’t ideal, he did what he does best: put in the work.

“One thing about Christian that always impressed me was his drive and overall motivation during this time,” Kristy says. “I knew that his finding a job and finding the right place to work would not be an issue because of his magnetic personality and skill set.”

One of Christian’s skills is networking. “He has a lot of community connections,” Kristy says. So, he used that strength to his advantage by reaching out to professional contacts and putting his name out there in his community. Going through that process helped him learn about himself and “understand his value.” It wasn’t easy, but hard work never is.

Christian Arredondo with his wife, Mary

“It was much more difficult than I expected emotionally and mentally,” Christian said. Going through the lows and “no’s” made finding his new job as a service manager at a swimming pool company one to truly soak in.

“At the end of the day, it’s a phenomenal opportunity,” Christian says. Kristy was thrilled to hear the news. “When he told me that he found a job, I was ecstatic for him.”

Christian has always wanted to serve people, which is why he joined the Air Force in the first place. Now he gets to do that on the civilian side. “At the end of the day, it was always about serving other people, and that’s carried on to this position.”

As someone who was weary about asking for help, Christian is so glad that he reached out to HOPE and hopes that other veterans will follow suit.

“For any transitioning veteran, we make the mistake of thinking we have to go at it alone,” Christian says. “When you ask for help, you end up meeting some pretty awesome people.”


Get Connected

Are you interested in starting your career journey today? HOPE is here to support all the job seekers out there who are motivated and ready to take the next step. Click here to connect to services and find your place in the civilian workforce!

For employers looking to hire veterans, please email warriorscompass@hopeforthewarriors.org to get started.