A Day in the Life: DAVID
Looking back, I can still see the festive red, white, and blue banner proclaiming “Welcome Home, David” blowing in the breeze as my family ran to greet me at the airport four months ago.
Since then, things have not exactly gone according to plan. What I thought were flexible, employable skills acquired during my time in the military, I am coming to find out are not transferable to current job openings. Not that there are that many out there to begin with it.
After spending the past four years of my life defending our country in Afghanistan, I am finding it harder than I imagined to get back into the routine of normal life. My world view has changed. I have changed.
In high school, I was an average student, but excelled once I joined the Marines after graduation. While there I learned how to drive tanks and acquired skills for sharp-shooting and handheld radar usage in the field. I was exposed to some of the most cutting edge technology available to man today. I even worked in the office helping with bookkeeping and accounting.
But, who cares. Look where it’s gotten me now that I am back home on American soil – exactly nowhere.
Talk about going from hero to zero, huh?
To add to the pressure I am constantly putting on myself to “find something to do “I am going to be a father soon. My wife, Stephanie is pregnant with our first child. While in the Marines I had steady pay and benefits. Now, I need to be at home with my growing family. I am glad to be home, don’t get me wrong. But, I need to be able to work and to earn family-sustaining wages, too.
Sitting on the fold-out couch my wife and I are currently occupying in my mother’s basement, I realize I need to find a job sooner rather than later. I have nine months, give or take, before the baby arrives. My wife can hold down her job as a beautician for a little while longer, but then it will all be up to me. Fast-track training with guaranteed job opportunities waiting for me when I finish is exactly what I need.
Unfortunately, I just don’t know where to start looking. I hear a lot of talk about the new types of jobs coming to our region, and I know that there are Veteran’s Benefits out there for guys like me to go back to school, but I am at loose ends as to where to go from here.
The next evening, over Chinese take-out, Stephanie suggests I stop by the local CareerLink office for information on job openings and training opportunities.
With nothing better to do to fill my days, the next morning I head off to CareerLink where a sign in the window announces information sessions for an upcoming welding training program at Community College of Beaver County.
I open the door, step inside and ask the lady behind the desk, “Where do I sign up?”
I think I just found my road to my future. . . . .