November 4th, 2016 | Truck Driving, Veterans

Veteran Transitions His Way to the Road“I’m glad I didn’t listen to people who told me to stop going to school and get a job.” ~ Ricardo Mitchell, Phoenix Truck Driving Institute Graduate

Well, Ricardo Mitchell, along with his wife, Marilyn Monroe Mitchell (yes, that’s her real name), are having the time of their lives traveling all over the U.S. (and getting paid for it!)

Ricardo served for over 7 years in the Marines in California and Okinawa. Then when he got out, he, like many other veterans, he had a tough time transitioning into civilian life. So he joined the Army. He figured he could learn different skills.

After serving in Desert Storm and Desert Shield, he left for the Army Reserves ending up in Georgia.

Later, he worked temp job after temp job never landing anything steady until a job at a factory. However, he was laid off when business slowed.

Continuing to struggle, now with a wife, whom he met at a temp job, he was seeking a permanent solution to his problem of not finding steady income.

Ricardo heard about the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment government program for Vets to get funding to go back to school. He and Marilyn relocated to Phoenix and headed first to UTI, which trains automotive mechanics, but when he wanted to work for a specific company, he discovered he needed to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL).

After shopping around for truck driving schools and settled on Phoenix Truck Driving Institute. Why?

Because some of the trainers are veterans and they can relate to other veterans.

Once he got his CDL license, he landed a job with Swift Transportation of Arizona where he has the option to buy the truck that he’s driving and become and independent owner/operator. That is his goal — to own his own business.

This week is National Veterans Small Business Week, it’s sponsored by the Small Business Association (SBA). They have a Boots-to-Business program to help veterans start their own businesses.

Ricardo’s story exemplifies the discipline and diligence that employers are seeking and what it takes to run your own business.

What does Ricardo like most about being a truck driver?

“The travel! I get to see different states and cities and see parts of the country people have never even heard of.”

And wife, Marilyn, who goes along for the ride, has found a “calling”. She ministers and witnesses to girls caught up in sex trafficking at the truck stops. Her faith-driven mission is to be a Good Samaritan and talk one-on-one with these girls and help them regain some self-esteem.

Contact us to find out about the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation opportunities for financial assistance so we can get you on the road to employment, owning your own business and adventure!