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Q&A with Mike Moriatis

Mike Moriatis
Meet Mike Moriatis, the on-set photographer for our latest PSA video “What to Wear.” Mike served in the military for 20 years which eventually led to work behind the lense. Read more on Mike's life in the military and how it prepared him for civilian life today.

Q: When did you serve in the military?

A: I was on active duty in the Air Force from 1989 to 1995 with my first duty assignment  in Wiesbaden, Germany, working with Long Roll Aerial Reconnaissance. I immediately signed up for a German language class but the Gulf War kicked off and my work hours increased and was not able to complete the class. I did learn enough to order a beer though.  I was then transferred to R.A.F. Alconbury for two years with my final assignment at Vandenberg A.F.B, California before switching to the Navy Reserve where I stayed to complete my military career in 2009.

Q: What work did you do in the military and how did it translate into civilian life?

A: I was an imagery production specialist in the Air Force. In the Navy, I worked as an aircrew photographer and with public affairs. I became a set photographer in 2008. I still shoot some of the VFT (Veterans in Film and Television) meetings, and I even worked on Easterseals' previous military PSA with Kyle Stokes, who co-founded VFT.

Q: What skills did you gain in the military that have helped you at work in your civilian life?

A: In the military, I had to be very self-motivated.  For instance, for my flight crew training, I had to complete a certain amount of flight time in 18 months, and it was all up to me to make that happen. I finished it in 12 months. In the film industry, I have to hustle just the same to get things done for myself. I need to be self-motivated to find my next job. I need to always be willing to learn, grow and get better at my career.

When I get a call for a photography job, I get the call and go. I show up. In the military and in civilian life, my jobs have been fast-paced.

Q: Could you relate to the character in Easterseals latest PSA starring our mystery celebrity and a cast and crew of veterans?

A: Oh yes. When I transferred into the Reserves and into civilian life, it was a huge transition. When you’re in the military, your living accommodations and food are all taken care of, and you have a uniform so you don’t have to think about what to wear as much. When I returned to civilian life, I had no plan and needed to start looking for a job right away. I remember trying to figure out what to wear to my first job interview. It wasn’t easy!

See all of the videos in our PSA series promoting veteran employment today.

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