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For Veterans, A Plan to Transition to Civilian Life While Active Duty

Serving his country was very important to Staff Sergeant Marvin Thompson, so important that he dedicated 15 years of his life to the Army, which equated to three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the course of those 15 years, he served in a variety of roles, from the 759th Military Police Brigade to the reserves. When the time came to retire from the army, Staff Sergeant Thompson knew he needed to provide ample time to search for a job and demonstrate how his military skills transitioned into civilian employment.  

Enter the collaborative work between Easterseals Dixon Center, ABF Freight, PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. and the Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP). These organizations are making it possible for transitioning veterans, like Sgt. Thompson, to leave the military with a meaningful career that delivers great benefits to support their families.

PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. donated $1.2 million dollars to fund job training programs that transitioning veterans participate in before they exit the military. TMAP, along with ABF Freight, offers the job training and placements while Easterseals Dixon Center provides the veteran and their families with financial assistance, caregiver training, respite services, health and wellness programs, and advocacy and education.

Sgt. Thompson participated in this program at Fort Carson, Colorado, six weeks prior to his exit from the military. What caught his attention to this particular job-training program was it offered immediate job security and medical benefits for his wife and kids.

“I’ve been in the military for 15 years and just knowing I didn’t have to worry about finding a job on my own has made all the difference and given me peace of mind,” said Sgt. Thompson. “My family and I are supported in more ways than I can count through this program and I get to continue to contribute to society through a meaningful career.”

The service men and women who participate in this program log over 200 hours of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program. After completing the six week program, they obtain a CDL, and a job placement with ABF Freight in the region of their choosing.

“For anyone else out there looking to transition - start early,” said Sgt. Thompson. “You need to plan at least a year-and-a-half before you exit the military. This is especially important when you have a family and the need for medical benefits is imperative. My biggest piece of advice is to prepare and plan ahead.”

TMAP has a 99% graduation rate. The program plans to expand to nine military installations across the nation. To date, TMAP has graduated 1,700 veterans into meaningful employment.  

To find out more about the assistance program or the community resources in your local area please visit Easterseals.com

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