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US Marine transitioning to civilian life. Options
Posted: Sunday, April 05, 2009 5:38:58 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/5/2009
Posts: 0
Location: San Diego, Ca
I am a U.S. Marine, do to retire medically after 4 yrs of honorable service. My name is Alex, I am 23 yrs old, and while in the corps I served as a Military Police officer. I have one tour in 05-06 in Al Taqaddum as EOD security. I lost my MSGT, SSGT, and my best friend. It took about 6 months before my friends and family finally convinced that I had been changed. After losing rank, and my wife of three yrs. It was time for me to swollow my pride and ask for help. In July 2007 I was dianosed with chronic PTSD. After 2 yrs of treatment, the corps and the navy finally desided they didnt need me as a Marine any longer.
Because of this decession I can no longer be the person I wanted to be in life, a police officer. So I desided to dig into my past and find the person I used to be. I loved that person and loved the things I did. My father is a fine wood craftsmen, as well as a cabnet maker. My experience in the wood craft field is limited, but I have always enjoyed this field of work as a youth. The Marines taught and showed me another love in life, that I never knew I had... teaching. I would love the chance to do what these shop teachers have. I just need some Guideness in the right direction. In how to become certified for the job. All I know is the corps anymore and forgotten much if not all of my resource granted to me. I know I have the GI bill. Can some one point me in the right direction. I live in San Diego, off of rancho mission rd.

Thank you for your time...
Posted: Sunday, April 05, 2009 7:20:04 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 3/5/2007
Posts: 0
Location: Albany, ny
First of all thanks for your service. I would suggest that you call some of the schools in your area that still offer wood working programs. Contact the wood working teachers at the area schools, they will know what certifications and colleges offer Industrial degree options for you in Cali. Good luck.
Posted: Sunday, April 05, 2009 8:44:12 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/22/2007
Posts: 0
Location: Mission Viejo/Calif.
Alex, You will need to get registered at Cal. State University San Diego. take your time as the economy will not turn around for about 5 more years. You will need to see the councelors there and tell them you want to be a teacher. Regular ed courses first and tech. core classes one at a time. It takes about 3 years of full time classes 12-15 units at a time. Always take 1 class during the summer. that way you will get out 1/2 a year early. The corps. and student grants and loans will get you through. Try to find a part time job with a school district as soon as you can. believe it or not getting on as a custodian part time at first and then full time will do two things. 1 you'll be earning easy money and getting medical insurance. 2 you will be building time and connections in a diistrict. Which is worth all the demeaning work when you finally get your credential. Once you get enough units you can move within the district to a substitute possition. This senario will do 2 more things for you. Classified personel pay into the pars retirement fund and when you become a teacher you can elect to continue to pay into it and not into the pers retirement fund. The 2nd and biggest thing is that you can collect any social security money you are entitled to as well. Teachers paying into the pers fund CAN NOT COLLECT SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY!!!!. i WORKED FOR 20 YEARS AND CANNOT COLLECT MY SOCIAL SECURITY WHEN i RETIRE. lesson number one. Don't makethe same mistake. Good Luck
Posted: Monday, April 06, 2009 12:50:35 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/30/2007
Posts: 0
Location: Commerce, CA
Hi Alex,

In addition to the great suggestion above for SDSU, check out National University in La Jolla - it has a Vocational Ed Credential program. Also, if you're interested in starting out in a community college and transferring these are a bit far for you in North County, but Palomar College has a (recognized) woodworking program and Mira Costa College has a CTE teacher AA program.

Best of luck with your new career venture!

Best Regards,

Adria Torrez
Assistant Education Director, AWFS
Joe Barry
Posted: Monday, April 06, 2009 6:04:27 PM
Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Member, Moderator

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Randolph,Vermont

I'm former Army EOD and a former shop teacher. I currently work for the VA as an Occupational Therapist. If I can help in any way contact me directly at

The advice that I wish I had when I gotten when I got out of the service was to talk to as many people in the field as possible and visit their shops. Pick their brains. People are willing to share especially if you ask them what they wished they'd done or would have done differently.

Both the corps and PTSD will make it a challenge to deal with the political correctness you will encounter in education. I was the only veteran in every school I ever taught in and the directness and no-nonsense attitude of the military is not welcomed or rewarded. The good news is that you can play that card for additional support from Vocational Rehabilitation in making the transition.
Posted: Monday, April 06, 2009 7:54:15 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut

I have no advice to offer you beyound what has already been said here, but I would like to offer you my heart felt thanks and my best wishes.

Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
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