September 04, 2012
Paul Jordan, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, won a job with KISS as part of TODAY's Hiring our Heroes series. He's writing dispatches about his experience for

By Paul Jordan, KISS roadie

It's a dream job, but traveling as a KISS roadie is not all fun and games. It requires a lot of hard work, long bus rides and little sleep.

I was put into the carpentry team knowing next to nothing about that field. My education started immediately. On show days, my mentor and I set up and place various pieces of equipment on the stage. During performances, my workplace is between the barricade and the singers.

I also assist with some of Gene Simmons’ theatrical effects. And if anything goes wrong during the show, I'm one of the guys scrambling to fix the issue.

Backstage is a professional environment where the band prepares to give fans the greatest show they've ever seen. The band members are friendly guys who stop and say hello.

One big roadie benefit: I have the best seat in the house every night. I still mouth the lyrics to my favorite songs when there's a free moment. I've also met some celebrities, including pitching great Randy Johnson, members of Pearl Jam, and "American Idol" contestant James Durbin. Vinnie Paul of the heavy metal band Pantera sat 5 feet away from me at the Dallas show.

I've been given the nickname “Hollywood” since joining the crew. It started when we were in DC, and I was asked to do an interview for a local TV station. One interview turned into four, and the nickname was born. Since then I've been on TV five times, radio once more, and featured on various Internet sites.

Despite my coworkers' gentle teasing, I like talking with the press because it gives me a platform to spread the word about veteran unemployment.

I feel lucky: I get to travel the country, help produce the best rock show on the planet, rub elbows with celebrities, spread the word about veteran issues -- and get paid for that work. I have the greatest job in the world!