Veterans turn to IT to ease transition from military to civilian life
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As an instructor at MyComputerCareer, Anthony Queen teaches hundreds of people the ins and outs of IT, and about a quarter of his students are veterans.
“I decided to become an artillery firefinder radar operator,” said Army veteran Robert Felvus.
Felvus spent a year in Afghanistan. While there, he struggled with his mental health, and when he returned, he was lost.
“After leaving the military I had lost my identity,” Felvus said. “I didn’t feel like I was anybody or anybody important.”
The VA suggested he check out a program at MyComputerCareer, where many veterans found success–including Queen himself.
“You feel kinda lost, like a goldfish in the ocean,” Queen said of his immediate transition from military service.
After spending five years in the Marine Corps, Queen’s move to civilian life was difficult. He went from a strict, detail-oriented lifestyle to having to fend for himself without any certifications.
“It was frustrating,” Queen said. “It was frustrating to come into that.”
Queen heard from another veteran about an IT training program. Since he did tech work in the military, it seemed like a perfect fit. He quickly found similarities.
“IT can be very very detail-oriented. the smallest change in a configuration can greatly affect how something actually operates,” Queen said. “Coming from the military, everything is detail-oriented.”
Queen got his certification and quickly found a job in IT to support his wife and newborn. Now he’s back where it began, helping other veterans like Felvus, who now has a full-time job.
“I like having this routine,” Felvus said. “It helps me stay focused, it gets me out and talking to people.”
Both veterans say with help from the Post 9/11 GI Bill, they were able to attend the program at no cost.
MyComputerCareer has a 30-week program for day classes and a 42-week program for night classes.