#12VetsOfChristmas Day Nine: Navy Veteran Michael PDecember 20, 2021
#12VetsOfChristmas Day Eleven: Navy Veteran BiancaDecember 20, 2021
This story is part of HVAF’s annual tradition: 12 Vets of Christmas, where each day we are featuring a veteran whose life has been positively changed because of the essential services and programs HVAF provided in 2021.
Life after war
After Lucas received his honorable discharge from the United States Air Force, he didn’t find life easy.
“Over the years, it’s been hard finding my place in what I wanted to do,” Lucas said. “I’ve done everything from truck driving, manager, bartender, security guard, etc.”
While in the military, Lucas broke his wrist. He didn’t have the opportunity to receive surgery for it until 2020. Once he received surgery, he now doesn’t have a lot of movement in his hand – making it very difficult to find a job.
After becoming homeless, then moving into his mom’s house and reflecting, he decided to learn coding. In order to attend school, he needed help with tuition as well as his own laptop. Indiana’s Veterans Affairs pointed him to HVAF – where the Employment Team helped him with both.
Lucas graduated from Kenzie Academy in July 2021, and now has an internship with GenSpark. He said it is like a “temp agency for coders” where they train the intern in a specific career field, long with providing a weekly stipend. After training, they help you with interviews, building up your LinkedIn, and connect you with companies all across the country.”
A new direction
Lucas graduated from Kenzie Academy in July 2021, and now has an internship with GenSpark. He said it is like a “temp agency for coders” where they train the intern in a specific career field, long with providing a weekly stipend. After training, they help you with interviews, building up your LinkedIn, and connect you with companies all across the country.
“I’m learning and I’m being groomed for a fortune 500 company called Cognizant, and I’m pretty proud of that,” Lucas said. “The journey is still there, I’m still working at it – but it’s getting there.”
HVAF wouldn’t have been able to serve Lucas without the NFL-BWF Healthy Lifestyles and Creating Community grant. This grant helps veterans with training and education by supporting them to become more marketable to employers.
In addition to school & employment help, HVAF also helped Lucas receive hygiene items from the pantry.
Lucas’ future goals include buying a home, car, and new clothes. He hopes to work until he is 65 years old.
“It’s really simple. I don’t need a whole lot,” Lucas said. “I just want to be able to survive, and that’s it.”
YOUR continued support ensures that other veterans like Lucas receive the life-changing help they need. Will you make a tax-deductible donation today to support those veterans?