PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Ahead of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, FOX43 is highlighting local veterans and their lives after service.
James Cornwell is the owner of Nine Pines Farm in York County.
Cornwell was a nuclear machinist mate in the Navy's nuclear power program for nine years.
The machinist-turned-farmer says the resourcefulness he learned in the Navy was a skill he uses regularly in his new profession.
"Working with what you have is definitely one of the most important things I've learned I mean in submarines sometimes where you, you're out at sea for a very long time," said Cornwell. "Things break and you have to get creative. That's always appealed to my nature and I think just kind of accentuated it towards our method of farming."
The skills he learned on the job weren't the only thing that helped Cornwell succeed after leaving the Navy, however. Cornwell graduated from York College with a Master of Business Administration two years ago.
"I used my GI bill for that. I think that's one of the most beneficial things that has contributed to our success here at Nine Pines."
Jon Zurinskas is the owner of DTC Legal Group.
Zurinskas was with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard while going to law school.
"On a daily basis I do a lot of writing and research, I talk to clients, update them on what's going on with their case," said Zurinskas. "When I was working full-time at the Pennsylvania Army National Guard the closest law school was Widener University. It's the Commonwealth Law School. I actually went there part-time for three years."
Zurinskas said part of what helped him afford law school was support from the military.
"I used the tuition assistance program. It was held over in the Carlisle barracks," said Zurinskas. "Our business DTC Legal Group is a group of lawyers. We have a case manager and we have some medical consultants and we focus and specialize in DUI and traffic citations.
Zurinskas said the program isn't just for entrepreneurs, but anyone who could from VA benefits.
"I would definitely recommend going through these programs even if you're not trying to start a small business or anything like that. Just learning a lot about the VA benefits is very beneficial to a lot of people."
Joe Yurick is the owner of JDog Junk Removal & Hauling Lancaster.
Yurick was in the Army as part of the Air Defense Artillery, working with the Patriot Missile system, and was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
"When I did the military to civilian transition. It was pretty rough and this was back in 2004. There wasn't a lot of support from the VA, not like there is today."
JDog Junk Removal & Hauling is now a national franchise, whose crews are local veterans. Yurick says part of what helped him be successful was his time in the Army.
"My military experience one hundred percent prepped me for this industry because when I was in the army you have to have a lot of intestinal fortitude to complete the mission," said Yurick. "There's a lot of jobs we show up to and as soon as you walk in the house you're ready to gag because it just smells and we just adapt, we overcome, we look at mission first and we just knock it out. That's something that was instilled in me in the military."