As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a hero – from “soaring” around my house as a child with a blanket-turned-cape to practicing ninja-like stealth on my unsuspecting sister. Joining the United State Marine Corps at the age of 17, came as a surprise to few. The pride I felt while raising my right hand and solemnly swearing my oath of enlistment is a memory that will never fade. Like so many Service Members and Veterans who step up to serve in times of need, there is something inherent inside us that leads to thoughtless sacrifice for the betterment of the whole.
Now as my uniforms and medals are collecting dust, three years separated from Active Duty, the desire to serve still beats strong at the core of me. Everyday unemployment and homelessness rates are rising, especially amongst Veterans. We are returning home to a land we don’t recognize, and – sadly – a land that doesn’t recognize us. The specialized nature of the tools and skill-sets learned in the armed forces translates poorly to the civilian sector. Many of us are unable to find our place in society, and are losing hope.
With a failing economy that shifts from recession to depression, more and more Americans are realizing that our practices both nationally and individually, only push us deeper in this financial pit. Transitioning to a sustainable way of living not only alleviates much of the financial burdens on our families, but creates jobs and boosts our economy. I look around at the issues effecting the inhabitants of this nation and my fellow Veterans and I am overwhelmed with that familiar urge to step up where I can be of the most service. I see Veterans Green Jobs as a multi-faceted solution to this crisis, which is why I have signed up to participate in their first Veterans Green Jobs Training Program, beginning in April.
Veterans Green Jobs Academy arms Veterans with new training and skill-sets that put us on a career path to continue serving country by restoring our environment, our economy, and our communities. The term “Semper Fidelis” applies now to me, more than ever… Always Faithful!