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So what changed? I needed a steady job, that’s what. I went to my local recruiting office, joined, and four months later I was in basic training. I racked up three decades as a Communication Research Operator in the Army. I was responsible for intercepting and analyzing electronic transmissions from hostile forces. It’s a crucial task in warfare and peacekeeping.

A career of service

During my 30 years of service, I was posted in Ottawa, Kingston, Gander and Alert. I took part in an exchange program in the United States. I deployed to Bosnia and Afghanistan. When I released from military service in 2017, I looked into public service jobs in Ottawa since my last posting was in the capital as a member of Joint Operations Command. My wife, however, suggested we consider moving to Prince Edward Island—where I grew up—and retiring there one day. VAC hired me as a Veterans advisor in the Public Service Unit. Now I’m a senior business analyst with My VAC Account.

I was drawn to VAC because of its location, but even more so because of the positive experiences I had with the Department as a Veteran. I took advantage of Career Transition Services. I received a Disability Award and the Education and Training Benefit. This assistance is important, but what made the greatest impression on me is that whenever I called for information or support, a very polite person was always on the other end of the line.

Preparing for transition

As a Veteran and now a VAC employee, I have a certain perspective on the needs of Veterans and the services and support available to them. My advice to Forces members and Veterans is to get financial counselling if they qualify for any large award from the Department. Also, attend a Second Career Assistance Network seminar. These sessions give serving members information to prepare them to make the transition to life after service.

Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to VAC for support. Anytime. The Department offers plenty of programs and services and the people here truly want you to get the highest level of support possible. I should know - I’m one of them.

Date published: 2020-02-20

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