Melissa Gattrell

by | VetsWork

Growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania instilled in me strong respect and understanding of the importance of taking care of the land. That respect and love for natural things grew when I moved to California at 18 to become an adventure guide. I took groups backpacking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. My playground has always been mountains, rivers, and the ocean, and I feel great importance in helping others see wild places’ value.

I attended Appalachian Bible College and studied recreation management. After college, I worked in outdoor education and adventure guiding until I joined the Coast Guard in 2013. My military experience was a great way to learn more about the ocean and serve the community through search and rescue. I had always been interested in the Forest Service, and after my time in the military, I wanted to get back into the recreation industry. The VetsWork program seemed like the perfect fit. I’m excited about how this internship will open doors for me into a Forest Service career. I will be serving in my second term with VetsWork at Land Between the Lakes in Golden Pond, KY.