VetsWork: The Long and Winding Trail

I met Staff Sergeant Robert Paul in the cab of a dusty 998 model Humvee near Baghdad, Iraq in 2004. I had just joined up with a new forward operating civil affairs team as a driver and a gunner. It was March 3…it was 98 degrees; Ramadan had ended the month prior and tensions were high. Continue Reading…

VetsWork: Finding your Way

Serving through AmeriCorps on the Mark Twain National Forest I have gained numerous experiences and knowledge that I will be able to apply furthermore into a career position with the Forest Service. Continue Reading…

VetsWork: A Moment in Time

I have learned working in natural resources through the VetsWork program that there is a great deal of responsibility and pride that goes into preserving some of these hidden treasures of history among recreation sites. Continue Reading…

VetsWork: Jumpstart Your Career Options

As I reflect on my last thirty-eight days spent working on the Mark Twain National Forest (MTNF), I am genuinely taken aback at how much I have learned. The staff at my district have been exceptionally hospitable. As a VetsWork AmeriCorps intern I’m not only learning about the inner workings of the United States Forest Service (USFS), but I am acquiring invaluable information that will aid me in deciding on what career I will ultimately choose. Continue Reading…

VetsWork: Springing into Action


There are many reasons for why I joined the VetsWork AmeriCorps program. At a time in my life where I was struggling to find myself after my release from the Air Force, three things kept me motivated mentally and goal driven. I wanted to be a part of a community/organization that shared common goals and interests. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself where I could have the opportunity to give back in some way shape or form and to have a fulfilling purpose and sense of place. I wanted to know that whatever I was doing no matter how small of an action that I was making a difference in the environment and an impact on the community.

There are many things to do in order to make the most out of this internship. Finding any reason to stay motivated is important. With your heart already in the right place, stay open minded to things that may make you feel uncomfortable. Whenever you feel as though you are outside your comfort zone let that be an opportunity to learn new things and grow. Ask questions; there is no such thing as a silly question. Seek training opportunities whether it is something that will benefit you short term or long term. Remember to always put your best foot forward!

Here are some photos that I have captured from my experience so far!

The Narrows is a canoe access area for visitors on the Mark Twain National Forest

Endangered Blind Cave Fish

“The Gulf” or “Blue Hole”is a hidden jewel in a small town called Mill Springs, where the endangered blind cave fish resides