West Virginia Department of Commerce Marching home to careers

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Marching home to careers



Sgt. David Hunter, WV National Guard

By Leslie Fitzwater

Drive through any city, town or unincorporated area in West Virginia and you will see them: American flags hanging from front porches, patriotic bumper stickers endorsing all branches of the armed forces and yellow ribbons signifying the hope of quick and safe homecomings.

West Virginia’s mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, sons and daughters send their soldiers off to foreign lands with hugs, kisses and tearful goodbyes. All the while they keep them close in their hearts, never forgetting those who are fighting for our freedoms and national security. And when the joyful day of homecoming arrives, families and friends welcome back our troops with open arms.

So does the state of West Virginia, which has opportunities for soldiers who wish to continue their careers in military support and homeland security or choose to serve their country in other, more unique ways. This growing military support cluster is allowing returning soldiers to continue to support their fellow troops, protect our nation and serve their country, all while raising families and living the good life in the comfort and safety of the West Virginia hills.

Troops to Teachers

West Virginia’s Troops to Teachers’ logo says it all: Proud to Serve Again. This program helps eligible military personnel use their experience and education to transition into new careers as school teachers, at the same time recruiting much-needed, qualified teachers for the state’s school system.

Fort West Virginia

The first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 introduced the American public to a previously unthinkable reality: Terrorism was not limited to America’s overseas interests; we could be attacked on our own soil. This event, combined with other terrorist acts during the turbulent 1990s, led West Virginia National Guard officials to take a hard look at their program.

"Our customers are our soldiers..."

The Eleanor facility where Roop works has two primary objectives: maintain equipment for all the National Guard units in West Virginia, and repair or refurbish damaged equipment coming back from the wars.

Life is Good Here

Job opportunities are important to returning veterans, but so is a high quality of life.

Lt. Col Peal, WV National Guard
"The work we do here is important because our customers are our soldiers who are depending  on the equipment we supply them with to work properly."

Joe Peal, Lt. Col.
WV National Guard