Most military personnel would likely look forward to hanging up their uniform after a 20-year commitment. For David Oliver, two decades was just not enough.
He has 34 years of combined active and reserve army service, and continues to assist America’s finest at RIT. But there were very personal road bumps Oliver had to endure to get to where he is today.
As many veterans know, military life away from home can come with a high personal cost. David Oliver has spent years on the other side of the world, deployed. His wife left him during his second tour in Afghanistan, and he subsequently lost his job with the Town of Henrietta.
“That was a rough time. It actually made me into a better person and a better leader,” he said.
After three combat tours and personal costs on the home front, you might figure David Oliver had solid reasons for giving up. Yet, he took those experiences, re-invented himself, and continues to serve.
Oliver is now the Outreach Specialist for Veterans Upward Bound, making the road for former military troops transitioning to college a bit easier, offering counseling, courses, and academic support. During the often confusing time after a servicemember’s discharge, Oliver creates a path, assuaging nerves and giving veterans purpose in their new life.
Oliver tells us, “But really the most rewarding thing is knowing that you’re saving lives to a certain degree, and you’re helping folks out.”
Oliver has helped hundreds of veterans segue into RIT and other colleges, and there are no signs of him slowing down. His 34-year career marches forward.
If you are a veteran considering going back to school, you can contact David Oliver and his team at the Veterans Outreach Center. If you are a veteran considering going back to school, you can contact David Oliver and his team at the Veterans Outreach Center. (More info here)