CAMROSE, AB, Nov. 9 /CNW/ - For most, war is an ugly condition viewed through the news and it happens somewhere else. Our experiences of veterans may be a small genealogical branch or wartime photograph. Our references have been sanitized for all those except the ones who served this country and who continue to serve this country on our Day of Remembrance.
"My name is Andrew Christoffersen. I gave the military my life on November 19, 1989. Seven months earlier, not having a clue what to expect I walked into the recruiting office, where a tall individual dressed in his full dress uniform asked me… how can I help you? I am here to join but don't know where to start. With a smirk on his face he asked me if I liked camping and spending time outdoors. I said that sounds like fun to me. I have just the job for you he said with a smirk on his face. Off to the infantry I went.
Basic training was 12 weeks in cold, wet Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. There you learned the basics of how and what the military is. From there you were split up depending on what you signed on the dotted line for, combat, air-force and navy. I and 19 others headed off to Wainwright AB for another 18 weeks of infantry training.
The 2 years I spent growing and training was a good base but nothing like putting it all to use for real. I was sent overseas to Yugoslavia in the Medac Pocket. Those seven months changed me forever, good and bad. After another 12 years of fast fun and hard work (if you can call it that), I started a family and was released. With the help of the Lord and my family it took 5 years to readjust to civilian life.
Needing retraining, I decided to pick heavy equipment because I was a combat driver in the military and when you are good at something you stick to it, plus it reminds me of my Tonka toys! So with the help of the instructors at High Velocity Equipment Training I will be able to manipulate a chunk of steel to do fine work and that is a worthwhile challenge. That is why I was put on this earth."
Andrew Christoffersen is a Veteran and new student of the High Velocity Equipment Training's certified multi-equipment operators program based in Camrose AB. "With the very same resilience and attitude that Andrew demonstrated in Yugoslavia he will be learning new skills and abilities to serve companies in the Alberta oil-sands or major pipeline projects like Enbridge.
Christoffersen may choose to stay close to home and build the roads, subdivisions, highways and other public infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing economy and population in Alberta and help expand the skilled workforce who will improve the sustainability of Canada's economy" says Shayne Bonnough, CEO of High Velocity Equipment Training.
Funding for Christofferson's vocational training was provided by CanVet VR Services, a joint venture of three vocational rehabilitation providers: WCG International HR Solutions, Innovative Rehabilitation Consultants and March of Dimes Canada. CanVet VR Services brings together a national network of well-respected service providers like High Velocity Equipment Training of Camrose Alberta to ensure the best support for Veterans and their families.
"There is a lot worth remembering" says Bonnough "Andrew really sends a wake-up call to our staff and students that we are really fortunate to have what we have, because of someone else's service. We are inspired everyday by Andrew's attitude. With 12 weeks of training Andrew can start at $70K per year. With so many equipment operators retiring now, we have employers asking for life experience, Andrew sure has that. With our job-placement rates for grads over 80% it won't take any time at all to help Andrew get a great job (in his new career) because of his service… that's worth remembering!"
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