Inside the event in Culver City, giant U.S. and British flags hung behind a stage where the smiling duke addressed a cheering crowd.
“All the companies and employers taking part today are providing opportunities which mean something very immediate and personal to us,” said William, who is a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot for the British military. “Catherine and I both have friends back in Britain who could benefit from a brilliant initiative like this.”
Kelly York, a 23-year Air Force veteran, came to the fair hoping to find a job that will allow her to remain in the Los Angeles area when she retires next year.
“I’m sure that they had 50 million places they could go and see,” York said. “The fact that they even take five minutes to stop here and say something to the veterans, that’s huge.”
The duke and duchess met for about 15 minutes with the Fraijo family, which includes three generations of Marine Corps veterans. Steve Fraijo said William, who is a search-and-rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force, seemed committed to veterans issues.
“He knows what war is about,” said Fraijo, 48.
After speaking with veterans, the duke and duchess helped prepare care packages for children of deployed service members. Their flight to London departed shortly after 4 p.m.
“As this is my last opportunity before we leave this afternoon, I would just say, on behalf of us both, how grateful we are to have been welcomed so warmly in the Golden State and the City of Angels,” the duke said. “Thank you so much.”
Associated Press writer Thomas Watkins contributed to this report.
Follow McCartney at http://twitter.com/CelebrityDocket
Follow Hoag at http://www.twitter.com/christinahoag