Troops still safeguarding future after military service

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The 20th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted a Troops to Teachers seminar here Feb. 17.

Troops to Teachers seminars are designed to provide resources to military members who wish to transition their military skills into the civilian world as educators.

The seminars offer an opportunity to sign up for the Troops to Teachers program, which affords members counseling and referral services. The program is not a stand-alone program, but rather an avenue in which to pursue a teaching career.

“Troops to Teachers assists veterans in transitioning from the military into careers in teaching,” said retired U.S. Army Maj. Rick Wise, Troops to Teachers South Carolina program manager. From flying, fighting, and winning, to educating the future generations of the U.S., many service members separating from Shaw have gone on to educate in the Sumter community.

“You don’t do this for the pay,” said retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Eric Avery, Crestwood High School Sumter, South Carolina, advanced aerospace science instructor. “Just like you don’t wear the uniform for the pay. You do it because you have a higher calling or dedication. I think that’s why the match is so good for teachers and military people because it’s a commitment and a work ethic that just go hand-in-hand with each other.”

Approximately 25 people a year in the region use the Troops to Teachers program to continue to safeguard the future of the nation even after their military career.

“Teachers make an impact in kids' lives,” said Wise. “Folks coming from the military make dynamic role models and are successful in the classroom.”

The Troops to Teachers seminars are scheduled to continue throughout the year on the third Wednesday of each month. For more information on Troops to Teachers contact the AFRC at (803)-895-1253.