In today’s episode, Erin talks with Will Orr, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired. Will and Erin had an open and honest conversation about Will’s life.
In his own words:
“I grew up in a very precarious environment; having been born to two high-school dropouts, we struggled as a family to make ends meet. A blended family of 6, we moved often and were homeless at one point. At 14, my bed was a 3-way folding lawn-chair in the dining room of my grandparents' home. I lived with friends; sought guidance from their mothers and fathers; and was adamant that I must break this cycle. I began working to buy my own school clothes and supplies. I wasn't the best-behaved kid and I certainly lacked social-skills, but I would be the first member of my family to graduate high-school.
In 1993, just two days after graduating high-school, I entered the U.S. Marine Corps via MCRD San Diego, CA. I would spend 21 years in this institution, where I honed the leadership skills I possess today. I was a Tank Commander; an Embassy Guard; and a Chem/Bio specialist before I would retire in 2014. There weren't many tanks to operate in the private sector, and I had likely used up my '9 lives in the previous 21 years, so I had to pursue something a little safer; something that I was passionate about. “
Will admits he was naïve when it came to separating from the military and didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do. He was also diagnosed with a mental illness and started treatment in 2012, although had been suffering since 2005. Due to a service-connected disability, Will was eligible for Ch. 31, Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E), Formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services. He was also eligible for Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VetTec). By using these two benefits, Will completed his graduate degree, earned several IT certificates, and received counseling.
Will’s story is one of pushing forward, even when you aren’t sure what lies ahead. It’s about finding resources, asking for help, and paying it forward. It’s about not letting your beginnings determine your future.
To connect with Will Orr:
To connect with Erin:
Life After the Uniform Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeaftertheuniform
Life After the Uniform Facebook Podcast Page: https://www.facebook.com/ErinSilverPodcast