Group Helps Veterans Suit Up for Interviews

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver introduces veterans who are participating in the "suiting warriors" program. (Published Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014)

    As veterans transition to civilian life, they have to adjust to many changes.

    Among them, trading in the uniforms for a whole new style; it's not cheap.

    Star Lotta's "Suiting Warriors" worked to help veterans 'suit up' Tuesday. The group fits veterans needing interview-ready clothing in donated suits. Lotta started the organization after her cousin, a Marine, died of a heart attack. He had just left the military.

    "This helps them transition into the workforce or into a new job," Lotta said. "What I'm doing is giving back for everything that they have given to us."

    Army veteran James Gray and his wife Vickie attended Tuesday's event at Tyson's The Tailored Man.

    Gray laughed and said he wanted to get fitted "to see if I can look better than what I've been looking."

    "They're used to uniforms, when they put on the suit it helps them to go onto a different level," Vickie Gray said.

    Lotta and The Tailored Man staff found Gray the right blazer and will mail him the fitted slacks.

    "It means a whole lot," Gray said. "It really helps build you to feel that people care for you."

    "If I provide this suit for one person and they took the opportunity to advance, and I inspired them to take the next step than I feel rewarded," Lotta said.