Veterans get wildland fire training to help transition back to civilian life

The Daily Courier
Monday, November 14, 2011

By Joanna Dodder Nellans, This article originally appeared on The Daily Courier

A new program on Arizona’s national forests is trying to help put a dent in the high unemployment rate for young veterans while fostering environmental conservation education.

The Veterans Fire Corps program hired veterans who formed teams of wildland firefighters to help with prescribed burns and brush thinning on the Prescott and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests, with the help of the Student Conservation Association. They’ve also helped build fence and trails.

It’s a perfect transition, the veterans working out of Prescott said.

“It relates to our military history and makes me feel comfortable,” said Chris Stacy, a native of Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska who logged 9,000 miles as a lead vehicle convoy driver delivering supplies in Iraq and continues to serve in the National Guard. “We all integrated really fast.” Continue Reading