For Kevin Pidcock, the fact that he already had an Automotive Technology Associate De- gree made automotive technology seem like the logical place to start when it came time for him to make plans to transition out of the Army. However, he felt as if he wanted to work in the construction industry. Sitting behind a desk, he said, was not for him. He was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO, and one of his sergeants told him about the VIP Welding program run out of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 58 in Colorado Springs, CO. “I went to an in- formation session where the program’s instructors, Bowie and Aaron, described the program, and that sealed the deal,” Kevin said. Kevin was accepted and found that the program was both competitive and difficult. He said, “When I got in, I felt that things were going my way. I found it pretty easy, up until we started welding on pipe—then it was a whole different ani- mal.” Kevin stated he left the program with three welding certifications, but he spent a lot of his off time going in and practicing to “keep his skillsets sharp.” Being from southern California, when it was time to pick where he would like to continue with his apprenticeship, Kevin said he wanted California. “Originally, I asked about the Santa Cruz/Monterey area, but they were worried about the amount of work that would be available there and said that in California, San Jose was where the work was, so I opted for that. I was getting calls for work before I even left Fort Carson. It’s worked out well,” Kevin said. Kevin said he would accept whatever jobs came his way, and he was currently working as a plumber. “I’m not going to deny any work. I’m learning from a lot of great guys here right now. I think it’s important to learn as much as you can. I was over at the LinkedIn project, and now I’m at this data center doing plumbing work. So far, I’ve worked with great journeymen. I’m quick to learn, and I’m not going to argue with anyone. Everyone is helpful. They know I’ve been in the Army for eight years. I’ve had a couple of minor mishaps, and they’ve been patient and helpful through it all.” With a new baby girl in the family, Kevin and his wife chose to live in Capitola, closer to Kevin’s family near the beach. “I’m making great money,” he said. “I would highly recom- mend the program. It’s the best way to move seamlessly from the military life to the civilian life. I feel like the acclimation has taken minimal effort. As long as you pay attention in class and try—the payoff is fantastic!” Career Opportunities in Piping for Transitioning Veterans | Fall/Winter 2017 11 Kevin Pidcock Today, Patrick is classified as a pipefitter/plumber, and he is going to school to obtain his Master Plumbing license through the UA.