Ever since I was a kid growing up near Mt. Hood in Oregon, I’ve loved the outdoors and have wanted to work with the Forest Service to take care of the land I grew up on. When I was struggling to find a fulfilling job after ten years in the military, I came across Mt. Adams Institute’s VetsWork Environment program. Joining this AmeriCorps program was the perfect fit for my love of the outdoors and my military experience. In addition, it was a way to get a foot in the door with a federal agency that protects and supports our environment. I am currently serving on the Siuslaw National Forest on the Oregon Coast. My duties include maintaining public access areas and educating the community on best practices for recreating on the dunes. Being a part of this apprenticeship program and having access to my G.I Bill funds has helped significantly, especially in an area where there are not many affordable housing opportunities. It also supplements my monthly income since supporting a family of four can be hard on an AmeriCorps stipend. I hope to get hired on to this location, to start my career with the Forest Service. But no matter what the outcome is, this program has given me excellent work experience and allowed me to network with many different agencies to ensure I have a great career opportunity in my future.