Military Veteran Students from UEI College Deliver Powerful Statements at State Oversight Hearing


Two military veteran students from UEI College- Stockton shared their stories at the Joint Oversight Hearing for Protecting the GI Bill for California Veterans, which took place on May 7, 2019 at the State Capitol in Sacramento. The hearing was presided over by Jaqui Irwin, California State Assembly member of District 44, Thousand Oaks –D.


Larry Goerzen and Gary Plaster, two military veteran students enrolled in the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning program at UEI College- Stockton, spoke during the Public Comments section at the conclusion of the hearing.


A Navy veteran who served from 2000 – 2010, Larry Goerzen described his experience to the assembly:


“After coming home in 2010… my education in the military didn’t transfer over… I felt lost. This trade school has given me an opportunity to get back on my feet, to supply for my family.”


On the possibility of changes to the GI Bill, Goerzen continues:


“I don’t think we should be restricted on where we can go to school or how we go to school. I think that’s a right that we’ve earned, to choose where we go to school and how we go to school… Without UEI, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now.”


Gary Plaster, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, also shared his story:


“Attending UEI definitely changed my life… I have goals and I have a career path now. Getting out of the military, I was having a hard time transitioning due to the fact that a lot of my experience was not transferring over the to the civilian sector … I’m really appreciative of the UEI Program.”