Woodland Heights veterans use military experience on the job

Woodland Heights veterans use military experience on the job
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After serving our country many veterans return home in hopes to find a job that'll match their skill sets.

"I was a machinist mate so I worked with all the large equipment from air condition to galley maintenance," Woodland Heights plant operations coordinator, Katherine Emerson said.

Emerson's service in the Navy gave her the skills she needed to become the only female plant worker at Woodland Heights.

"We keep the hospital going pretty much," Emerson said.

She now fixes things throughout the hospital and the outer clinics.

"You do a lot of maintenance on the equipment, daily maintenance, monthly maintenance, and annual maintenance," Emerson said. "By the description of what the person called about you can tell what is wrong, and I learned all that from the military."

Ronald King is another veteran at Woodland who notes his time in the military as the best life teacher.

"The air force not only taught me how to be a lab tech, they also taught me how to manage a lavatory," medical laboratory specialist, King said. "I've used those skills throughout my career."

Working in a medical laboratory wasn't always his passion.

"When I went to the recruiter station I was looking to get the G.I. bill to help me pay for college," King said. "They're the ones that encouraged me to be in the medical field. It gave me a very diverse background. I'm able to talk and deal with most of my employees on a one to one bias pretty well."

Although their career paths weren't their first choice, both veterans said they wouldn't change their decisions for the world.

"When the military is trying to select a profession, it might be a good thing to listen to them, at least give it a try," King said.

"I can do some of my own repairs at home now, thanks to that training," Emerson said. "I'm a girl and I know how to do the mechanical side of things."

Recent reports show that nationally the unemployment rate for veterans has declined by to 1.4% over the year.

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