can live off of that. I think that, when anyone any- time transitions out of the military, it is an adjust- ment, and they have to make sure their personal life is solid enough to be able to handle that transi- tion. In construction, the concept of that consis- tent paycheck varies, so you have to be prepared for that and plan accordingly. Journeymen and women who become assets for their companies stay em- ployed, so if I’m out of work, I’ll get into a class and upgrade my skills. at is what I’ll do.” e benefits that come along with being a mem- ber of a union have been helpful for Kristian’s fam- ily. He said, “My son has a permanent hearing loss. He can only hear a little bit. Our local union mem- ber advocate, Nancy Ferguson, has helped us get second opinions for his diagnosis, and she has steered us to the right specialists. In any other job, no one would be helping me. I am truly thankful I got in through the VIP program.” Career Opportunities in Piping for Transitioning Veterans | Fall/Winter 2017 9 “I’m not to the point of laying out systems yet, but right now I’m working with the head welder from our shop, and we’re installing a high-pressure steam pipe at Northrup Grumman. I’ve worked alongside the same journeyman the entire time.” – Kristian Miller