'Find Your Passion and Put in the Work'

'The VFW believed in my dreams ... then, it allowed me to work hard to achieve them'

For other veterans considering an education, Devin Deckert has this advice, “Discover your passion, put in the work and find the path to achieve your dreams.”

Passion is what drove Deckert, 25, of Canyon Lake, California, to enlist in the Navy Reserves in 2014. Joining out of high school, he was eager to serve alongside others to support a greater cause.

Today, he is earning his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. Once he graduates, he plans to continue to serve, this time as a provider in the civilian health care system.

Navy Reserve veteran Devin DeckertAs with military service, Deckert is passionate about exercise, rehabilitation and wellness. A career in health care was an easy decision for him, but he was not always sure it was possible.

When Deckert was applying to college, he was concerned his goals were out of reach because of high tuition fees. As he was searching for aid, he came across the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program and applied.

Since receiving it, the assistance has been a daily source of hope, inspiration and motivation for Deckert, and he is grateful to those who made it possible.

“I want to thank the donors for their thoughtfulness and generosity,” said Deckert. “They have relieved so much financial burden.”

Realizing the impact education is making in his own life, Deckert encourages other veterans to commit to their goals, too. He insists, that although it may seem difficult, there are tools and organizations that can help.

“The VFW believed in my dreams,” he said. “Then, it allowed me to work hard to achieve them.”