Like many people, Joe Perez had little clue what he wanted to do for a career, but he knew he did not want to work in an office and sit behind a desk every day.
Kyle Lamon loved the Army, but it got to the point where it was getting monotonous. He wanted freedom. “When you’re 26 and have to ask permission to leave for a weekend, it gets old,” he said. “I had a rodeo scholarship. At Fort Bragg, I started riding bulls at a small operation. I used to ride the Professional Rodeo Association (PRA) rodeos. I have the broken bones to show for it. When I was transitioning out, I felt like I didn’t have a lot of options. My buddy told me about the VIP welding program at Fort Campbell. I applied and got in.”
For United Association (UA) Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program graduate and Army Specialist Tyler Simms, the UA VIP Program was only the beginning of what has turned out to be a successful career thus far. Simms, a journeyman welder, has made a name for himself within UA Local 776, quickly climbing the ranks.