Over the many years that I have been the Director of the Troops to Truckers, and Troops to Careers, and recently Troops to Heavy Equipment programs, one thing that I see occurring over and over again, is the military veteran waiting a little too long before realizing what will really bring money into the household.
Time after time, we get an email or an application for services from a soldier or Marine or other service veteran that reaches us when they are at the point of maximum frustration. The typical story is that they were encouraged to attend some online college program, a four year program, and had initial plans of living off of education money while getting their degree.
And further, the plan was that they would get a degree then land that perfect job that would bring in good money to start. They would begin saving for a home, pay for family expenses, and live happily ever after. Well that is not what is happening in a significant number of cases.
By the time they enter our process, they have done the college thing for a while, have realized the shortfalls and challenges of a distance education, or have even received an Associate’s degree or more, and can’t make enough money to keep the lights on, the rent paid, and the kids in shoes and other necessities.
So yes, they apply, we get them into the proper training based on their needs profile, and in 4-5 weeks they are earning a decent salary with benefits. And what they say over and over again is, “God, I wish I would have started with this.” And we wish they would have also.
For many soldiers, Marines, sailors, airman, or guardsman, the better choice would have been to quickly, within four to five weeks, gotten some technical training and been on the job earning $35-$45,000 minimum to start, THEN attend the distance education college if they choose. The difference in the economics of their family, whether they are alone or have a spouse and children, would be radically different.
Instead of struggling to make ends meet, they would be working and earning and paying bills and saving for that house. They would not be harnessed by late bills, late charges, lack of proper housing, etc. But how do we get to them sooner?
We need your help. We need all of you out there, military and civilian, to at least make our transitioning service men and women aware that there are rapid training and employment programs, like those we assist veterans with and others, that will get them earning NOW and keep them from entering the economic downward spiral of attempting to live off of education funding.
Is everyone cut out for driving a commercial vehicle? No. Is everyone cut out to be a heavy equipment operator, running a bulldozer or backhoe? No. But for the love of Pete, there is a huge number of men and women who would benefit from going the rapid technical training and rapid employment at a great wage FIRST, then exploring the other options.
Please spread the word. All the military member or military veteran has to do is to visit TroopsToTruckers.com or TroopsToHeavyEquipment.com and complete the form there. We will take it from there and run with it to assist them in getting trained and employed ASAP. And if they want to just discuss career options, they can visit TroopsToCareers.com. They can also contact me directly at Director@TroopsToCareers.com if they want some guidance in starting and running their own business of to get some overall career advice.