Veteran Mission | Brooklyn, NY
New York native Wilfride Dextra was raised in Brooklyn, where he graduated from High School and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy, aboard the USS Sullivan’s, a Fletcher Class Destroyer.
Commissioned in 1992, the Sullivan’s was the second U.S. Naval ship to be posthumously named after the five Sullivan brothers, who tragically lost their lives when serving together aboard the USS Juneau, a light cruiser that sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the winter of 1942.
The brothers’ personal motto; “We Stick Together” became the ship’s official motto. In its 26 years, The USS Sullivan’s has completed several tours of duty abroad, and survived an Al-Qaeda bombing in 2000.
Like many deployed veterans, Dextra returned to civilian life unsure of what came next for him. Civilian reintegration proved difficult at first, but Dextra was committed to starting a new chapter in his life, and applied himself to learn a skilled trade. In 2017, he enrolled in the Berk Trade and Business School located in the borough of Queens, NY.
An accredited institution, Berk Trade provides students with professional, hands-on training in a variety of state certified occupations, in the electrical and plumbing trades. While at Berk Trade, Dextra studied to become a licensed plumber, and graduated in the Summer of 2018. He was awarded Most Improved Student, for having not only completed his state certified training, but having thrived in them as well.
VRL assisted Dextra in registering his military education benefits for his training, a system that helps veterans such as Dextra prepare for the next stage of their life. Knowing that there was more in store for him, VRL provided Dextra the necessary funding required for his OSHA 500 (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Training course in Brooklyn, which allows him to legally work in any professional trade, nationwide.
Dextra’s family has stood by him through the transitional period in his life and are proud to see the direction in which he is moving. We wish him and his family all the best, and will continue to help veterans like Dextra, find their calling in life.