Advancing National Service

Bridging the Civilian-Military Divide Through a Service Year

September 26, 2018
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Bridging the Civilian-Military Divide Through a Service Year
Thomas Shomaker
At Pocahontas State Park, a service year has helped a veteran and a civilian find a common cause.

Nathan Moser and Alyssa Menard both grew up in rural areas and spent most of their childhoods outdoors. But until recently, their similarities ended there.

Menard stayed close to home to attend college, where she never quite figured out what she wanted to pursue after graduation. And Moser joined the Marines, serving for a time overseas. Once both were finished — Menard with school and Moser with the armed forces — they found themselves wondering what to do next.

In 2015, Menard began her first service year at Virginia’s Pocahontas State Park after applying to a number of AmeriCorps park programs. She also participated in Service Year Alliance’s career development program, which is designed to give its members the basis for finding employment in their chosen field.

After Moser came back stateside, he began searching for a career path where he could work outdoors and as part of a team. Now he is completing his first service year at Pocahontas, where he’s worked closely with Menard and has come to view her as a mentor.

For Menard’s part, she recognizes the drive and skills Moser brings to the table.

“He is ready to do things,” Menard says. “He isn’t afraid to take the initiative, take the lead. He goes for it. And I like that because it helps get things done.”

Watch the video above to follow along as Menard and Moser complete their training and prepare for jobs in the state park system.

NationSwell asks you to join our partnership with Service Year Alliance. Watch the video above and learn more about how a service year is truly for everyone. Together, we can lead a national movement to give young Americans the opportunity to help bridge the divides in our country.
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