ABILENE, Texas -

Job fairs were held across Texas on Thursday to help U.S. military veterans combat unemployment.

Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas, Texas Veterans Commission and Texas Medical Center joined forces at the Abilene Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help veterans connect with employers.

"We need to support those folks that we ask them to put their lives on the line and serve our country oversees and be separated from their families," said Robert Puls with Workforce Solutions.

Nearly 60 employers came out to recruit.

"I like to hire them [veterans] because I know that they're going to be those hard workers, that they're going to have that loyalty, that integrity," said Ben White, representing Lowe's Home Improvement. "They're the people that are going to want to be 'long-termers,' that are going to want to stay with the company."

Tina Darby, an Army veteran who is now serving with The National Guard, said she fits that bill.

"I'm working a part-time job right now and need something a little more full time -- more stable, more benefits," Darby said. "I talk to a lot of veterans who have difficulty finding jobs."

The job fair was also open to family members of veterans as well as soon-to-be discharged military members.

As of September, the unemployment rate for all veterans was 6.7 percent--just below the national average of 7.9 percent. Though the unemployment rate declined for post-9/11 veterans, it is still rather high at 9.7 percent.