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After completing my class course work, and then studying non-stop for many, many days, I passed my CompTIA Security+ computer certification test this afternoon.  This is a pretty big deal for a computer geek.  For anyone who doubts the VA can do good for veterans, I'm living proof - my VA Vocational Rehab and Employment counselor had faith in me, which translated to the faith in myself that I could pass this challenge.

And.

Got a message earlier today that I've called in for a second round interview for a state university IT administrator position.

I've been working very hard for this.  There have been a lot of failures along the way.  Only one person hasn't lost faith in me.  Me.

It's hard to climb back uphill when you're getting a bit long in the tooth, and you've been kicked down the hill so many fucking times that the pain doesn't even register anymore.

Sometimes, by the grace of the universe, you've made the effort that was required.  But there's a bit more to the story - maybe a "pay it forward" scenario, if you will.

A fellow vet was at the end of her rope the other day; no gas to drive into class, begging a consignment shop for $18 for her sold goods when the shop had a $20 minimum to issue her a check.  I gave her some advice on how to get some money for her and her kids to get her through before her VA benefits fully kicked in.  I didn't want to lose her as a student in the same program I'm in simply because she couldn't afford gas money to get to class, and I know how important the program has been for me.

It worked out, at least for now.  She actually made the contacts that I referred her to; she's now got the gas money, and even a bit extra for groceries.  Most importantly (to me) she was in class tonight.  More important than her thanks to me was the knowledge that she was committed enough to her and her kids to do whatever is necessary to make a better tomorrow for her family.

I've long thought that sometimes I get put in a place where I'm supposed to be at a particular moment in time.  That's the best explanation for my being in a place where I could hear the need for help, and point a fellow veteran in the right direction to get the help that she needed.  Sometimes, it's only a matter of knowing the right access points.

Maybe my Security+ certification today was the reward for the good deed.  Or maybe it was just the result of my own commitment and resolve to myself.

Either way, it was a good day.

You take the small victories as they come.

Got my fingers crossed for that second round interview with the university.

Originally posted to All Spin Zone on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:00 PM PST.

Also republished by DKos Military Veterans and Unemployment Chronicles.

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