2024 VetsWork: Joshua Leventhal

by | Field Notes, VW 2024, VW Display

I grew up in Salem, Oregon, with my brother, mother, and stepfather. I lived in Salem until I joined the U.S. Navy, where I served as a Hospital Corpsman (Medic) for eight years in various locales/environments. Most of that time was spent with the U. S. Marine Corps, attached to multiple infantry units. We spent a lot of time outside and in the field. I remember this time fondly, as I’ve always loved the outdoors and its solace. I enjoy kayaking, fishing, camping, and backpacking. My favorite is backpacking because of its austere simplicity. I enjoy being in nature with everything I need on my back and a long trail in front of me. I work at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in Portland, OR. I’ve worked at this location for 11 years and have performed various administrative functions. While I have enjoyed my career there, I’ve always felt like something was missing.

For this reason, I recently decided to seek opportunities that are more closely aligned with my interests. Once I decided to transition, I stumbled upon a posting for the VetsWork program and immediately became interested in pursuing it. The potential it offers for growth, personal development, and service to my community is precisely what I feel I’ve been missing since my time in military service. I’m excited to explore all this program has to offer and to have the opportunity to explore potential career paths that would otherwise be inaccessible. Additionally, I look forward to meeting new people who share my interests and commitment to giving back, in some way, to the environment/ natural lands that have provided me with so much comfort over the years.