Student Success: Seven-Tour Veteran Helps Keep the Lights On

Nate: Apprentice Lineman
Nate: Apprentice Lineman

Nate isn’t just strong-minded, he’s physically imposing, too. He served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 25th Infantry Division, and was medically retired from Joint Forces Special Operations, TRADOC. After making his return to civilian life, Nate was looking for something that gave him the same sense of brotherhood as the military. He found it in the Power Line Worker program at Southside Virginia Community College.

“For me, it’s the brotherhood and the camaraderie that goes along with the job. Working together with a group and being a member of a team. You depend on the person to the left and right of you, and when the storm hits the fan and everyone is left in the dark, the lineman is who everyone depends on to get the lights back on.”

While his doctor at the VA advised against enrolling in the program due to the trauma his body endured in service, Nate politely disagreed. He knew this was the right move for him and for his career.

Nate’s out-of-pocket costs for tuition were completely covered thanks to the FastForward grant and additional assistance. After completing the program and getting a full-time job within the month, Nate’s only out-of-pocket costs were for his boots and his belt. Not bad for a rewarding career, a sense of daily accomplishment, and a brotherhood that’ll continue in his civilian life.

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