Navy Vet Continues Service With AmeriCorps VISTA
As a hospital corpsman who constructed facial prosthetics in the U.S. Navy, Tyler Wright helped wounded, ill, and injured service members reclaim a part of their identities that was lost during their journeys abroad. And when he returned to civilian life last year, Wright looked for something that would aid his own reentrance to his community.
Less than 15 days after leaving the Navy, the AmeriCorps VISTA program offered him the type of opportunity he had imagined.
“I was looking for a way to assimilate back into society without losing the valuable experience of the Navy that I left behind,” said Wright. “I thought it was one way to give back to those service members less fortunate than I was. So I turned in my Navy blue for VISTA black.”
As an outreach and communications coordinator with Student Veterans of America, Wright connects nearly 1,000 veterans-focused student organizations across the country to grant and funding sources. This effort ultimately helps strengthen these organizations so they can serve more former service members.
The military, Wright added, fosters a unique service-minded perspective that is an asset to civilian life.
“The vast majority of the folks I met in the service are mission driven,” the California native said. “We do recognize that military members come from all walks of life...but there is a common thread and that’s to give to something bigger than yourself.”
But Wright is certain that his commitment to service will not end with AmeriCorps VISTA.
With future plans to pursue biomedical research and teaching in higher education, Wright is currently in a master’s degree program in therapeutic herbalism: the study of the properties of plant medicine.
His current academic pursuits, Navy credentials, and national service experience all provide him with a lens through which to examine the plight of America’s veterans.
“As I help out other vets, I learn more about myself,” said Wright. “It just seems like it was somehow planned out that way for me to be here and I’m very thankful for it.”
March has been designated Healthy Futures month for the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary celebration. To learn more about the celebration, visit the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary portal.