By Dana Forde
After retiring from a three decade-long career as a heating and cooling technician, Craig Troxel immediately began thinking of ways to serve veterans in his local Pennsylvania community.
“I’m not the kind of person who can keep still,” he explained. “I had to keep active.”
Craig, a 64-year-old Vietnam War veteran, first joined a local chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. Then he participated in a Disabled American Veterans group meeting. During that time, he met a fellow veteran who told him about RSVP, a Senior Corps program that is one of the largest volunteer networks in the country for people age 55 and older.
Since joining RSVP of Montgomery County, PA, four years ago, Craig has served as a mentor and advocate for former members of the military. He has also helped recruit volunteers who assist with home-related projects for veterans. Other volunteers like Craig at RSVP of Montgomery County also provide job counseling, and resume and interview preparation for veterans looking to transition into the civilian workforce.
But Craig is most proud to use his background in electrical work—a skillset he acquired while serving in the U.S. Marines Corps—to teach local high school students about electrical wiring and heat pump installation.
“It’s very rewarding working with kids and teaching them a trade. It’s just a win-win situation,” Craig said.
Craig is one of 26,000 veterans who serve in Senior Corps. Through grants and other resources—including the energy and efforts of citizens age 55 and over—Senior Corps helps meet the needs and challenges of America’s communities.