Kenneth, Army Veteran, Welding 1 and 2 Graduate

by | Aug 4, 2023 | 2023, Blog, News & Media, Student Stories

“The whole environment at Workshops for Warriors is set up for your success.”

Raised in a family with a strong military legacy, Kenneth always knew that the military would be a part of his future. After graduating high school in 2010, he wasted no time and joined the Army, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

Kenneth’s journey in the military was filled with challenges and experiences that shaped him as a person. From basic Airborne School to being deployed to Afghanistan as a 240 Bravo gunner, he faced the realities of combat. After returning to San Diego in 2013, life took an uncertain turn, and he struggled to find his footing.

“I had nowhere to go,” Kenneth said. He moved back in with his family but found himself job-hopping and battling addiction. “I had no self-worth and no plan or hope for the future.”

His pursuit of finding stability led him to Mammoth Mountain, where he lived with his sister for a while. Despite working multiple jobs, Kenneth felt like something was missing, and he grappled with personal losses and trauma from his time in the military.

Veteran and welder Kenneth wearing helmet and welding in booth at Workshops for WarriorsIn 2016, the passing of his brother pushed him into a downward spiral of alcohol and substance abuse. He found himself at the Veterans Village of San Diego, where he received the support he needed to address his addictions and begin the journey to recovery.

“I was so rundown and so tired. I knew I wanted to change my life and be sober,” Kenneth shared. “I took initiative at the VA and got treated for PTSD. I did all the programs I could. I started surfing and rock climbing.”

It was during his time at the Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) that Kenneth discovered Workshops for Warriors.

“I met a fellow veteran at VVSD who was enrolled in the CNC course at Workshops for Warriors. He spoke highly of the school and what they offered, so I decided to give it a shot,” Kenneth said.

He enrolled in the Welding 1 program at Workshops for Warriors and found himself surrounded by fellow veterans who understood the unique challenges many of them face.

Nearing the end of his first semester training with WFW, Kenneth decided to continue with the school’s intermediate and advanced welding courses. He even spent one semester training with Workshops for Warriors’ Machining 1 program. His hard work and dedication paid off as he excelled at WFW, forming lasting friendships and receiving multiple job offers from reputable companies.

As Kenneth’s time at Workshops for Warriors draws to a close, he envisions a bright future. “In ten years, I see myself with a stable career, a home, a dog, and a loving family. I see myself in a position to give back what I’ve been given. Now I have my own apartment and a fiancé who I love.”

To other veterans considering Workshops for Warriors, Kenneth says: “Do you want to improve your future? From the job fairs Workshops for Warriors provides, to the instructors and staff – they don’t leave a lot to chance. They provide a very clear path from being in the military to credential training to a respectable well-paying career. Give it a shot, and you can change your life. It’s not just a slogan.”

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