November 8 at 12:17am

Interfaith Helps Marine Veteran Return to Self-Sufficiency

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A Marines Corps veteran, Chad moved out to San Diego when he was sent to bootcamp at Camp Pendleton.  Working in finance, he was stationed in Japan for four years before honorably discharging and moving back to San Diego. He worked for Supershuttle for many years, however when ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft drastically reduced business, Chad began looking for a way out of the company.

Looking to go back to school, Chad realized that because ten years had passed since he had left the Marines, he was no longer able to use funds from the G.I. bill to pay for his education.  Interested in attending trucking school, Chad discovered that it cost $4,600 to complete the program – a sum of money that he simply did not have access to. After trying to work with a few different organizations in San Diego, Chad came across Interfaith’s veteran employment program and met with a case manager at our Veterans Service Center.

“When I left after that first day at Interfaith, I was so happy,” said Chad. “I actually got choked up leaving – it was too good to be true. Then literally on my drive home I got the word that I received the funding and would be starting school that weekend – it was just amazing.”

After learning the Interfaith could help him pay for the entirety of his schooling, Chad began an 8-week certification program in September, taking classes every Saturday and Sunday in 10-hour blocks. The program started in the classroom, teaching Chad and his classmates trucking safety precautions, traffic skills, engine functions, what to do an case of an emergency on the road, how to drive in inclement weather, and more. From there, the group got into the trucks to learn how to park, back-up, shift gears, and ultimately drive on the road.

After completing the program earlier this month, Chad took the DMV test to get his truck drivers license last Friday – and he passed! He is currently in the process of securing a job with a local oil tanker trucking company and is looking forward to getting out on the road.

“I still just amazed that everything happened so quickly,” said Chad. “And even after helping pay for my classes, Interfaith stayed in touch and was so supportive in making sure I was getting everything done. I’m just very thankful.”