Gregory veteran makes transition from Military chef to civilian truck driver: “I adore it.”

Gregory veteran makes transition from Army chef to civilian truck driver: “I love it.”

2022-11-24 16:46:42

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Life after navy generally is a difficult street for veterans attempting to navigate into the civilian world.

Ashley Leiva from Gregory is a type of veterans.

Life as a trucker is an open street as of late for Ashley Leiva. Nevertheless it wasn’t precisely the trail she thought she would finally take.

But, being a girl in a male-dominated subject comes naturally for her.

Ashley served 15 years of navy service as a Sergeant First Class in
Senior Culinary Administration. Her service included two fight excursions of obligation in Iraq.

Military life offered Ashley — a single mother of 5-year-old Olivia — a gradual paycheck and stability.

“I respect it,” Ashley mentioned. “It taught me a lot. to understand the little issues, I had.”

However a bump within the street would power Ashley to shift gears when her mom, Noemi, handed away in February 2021.

Ashley instantly ended her navy service six months earlier than she deliberate.

“She was the whole lot to me,” mentioned Ashley of Noemi, additionally a single mother. “There was by no means a time we had been with out as a result of she was all the time — she was all the time working.”

Noemi Leiva hoped to retire after driving for her personal trucking firm for 20 years. Whereas most cancers could have ended Noemi’s street journey, it was simply the beginning of Ashley’s new profession.

She and her brother Johnny turned to Del Mar Faculty. She took a class for veterans who’re altering lanes to civilian life and obtained her industrial driver’s license.

“She got here in with a objective and he or she fulfilled her objective, and now she’s fulfilling one in all her goals,” mentioned Juan Soto, navy veteran and teacher at Del Mar Faculty’s Transportation Coaching Companies

“I adore it. It is one thing I will do for the remainder of my life,” smiled Ashley.

Ashley is now behind the wheel of her mother’s enterprise. To honor her mother, she and her brother modified the corporate’s title from Leiva Trucking, to Noemi Trucking.

“Simply having that title stick round — it simply means so much,” Ashley mentioned.

And there may be some thrilling information for Ashley: Del Mar Faculty nominated her for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Transition Trucking Driving for Excellence Award program.

Ashley is one in all 11 and the one feminine finalist with an opportunity to win a $155,000 Kenworth T680 Subsequent Gen Truck, absolutely outfitted rig.

Her choice was based mostly on varied standards together with a profitable transition from
navy into civilian life as a truck driver, and their deal with security within the occupation.

The Transition Trucking initiative started in 2016 and is a part of the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce Basis’s Rent Our Heroes Program.

Ashley will discover out Dec. 16 if she wins.

Extra Veterans In Focus tales can be found right here, together with assets for native veterans.

Contact Veterans In Focus reporter Pat Simon at

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