My name is Paul Jordan and I work for KISS. It is my dream job. But how did it all happen? Why KISS, and why hire me?
It all started in 1975, when I was 4 years old. A kid who lived near me came over to my house and asked if I could play. My mom sent him to my room. He was a few years older than me and not nearly as sheltered. He walked into my room wearing a down vest and acting very sneaky.
He pulled a record out of the vest and we played it on my little plastic record player. He said to keep it quiet; it had a curse word in it. In 1975, that was a big deal and fairly unheard of.
As the song “Black Diamond” started, we heard the word “bitch” and covered our mouths in amusement and disbelief. I grabbed the album cover to get a closer look at these crazy guys in costumes and face paint. The album was “Alive!” by KISS. I was hooked for life and have been a fan ever since.
In 1989, I saw a video on Army Rangers in a recruiting office and joined the Army as an infantryman. During my almost 21 years of service, I have been all over the world, including two peacekeeping missions in the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Kosovo) and combat tours in the Middle East (twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan).
I retired in November 2010. Since then, the only jobs I could find were through temp agencies working in manufacturing and production. I have sent my resume out to countless companies, only to receive e-mails stating that they have filled the position but would keep my resume on file (when I heard back from them at all). It was very frustrating.
One day in March, a Facebook friend posted me an article that said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Hiring Our Heroes, NBC News’ initiative to put military veterans back in the workforce, had joined forces with KISS to hire a veteran as a roadie for the band’s 45-city tour across the U.S. this summer with Motley Crue. I said to myself: “That’s me!!!”
I submitted my resume and started a Facebook event to get people to write letters of recommendation on my behalf. I was very active, but I never thought I would get chosen. Then I got the call from James Cunningham at Hiring Our Heroes. He asked if I was still interested, interviewed me, and asked if I could fly to New York to be on the TODAY show as one of three finalists.
So on live TV, with millions watching across the country, Gene Simmons announced me as the winner. I never imagined that I would be working for KISS.
And so the adventure begins....
Watch the Hiring Our Heroes blog for updates on Paul Jordan’s adventures as a KISS roadie. For details on the more than 400 job fairs being held across the country throughout the year, click here.