Henry Santos graduated from the VIP sprinkler fitter program at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. He had been in the Army for four years, working in cargo transportation. As Santos was preparing to transition from the military, he heard about the VIP sprinkler fitting program. He was familiar with this career path as one of his friends was a sprinkler fitter. Today, Santos is a second-year apprentice with Sprinkler Fitters Local 709 in Los Angeles, CA. He has five daughters and is ecstatic about his career choice. They are his motivation, he said.
Santos stated, “The transition was easy for me. Coming from the Army, I never had an issue getting anywhere on time. I’m very trainable. I listen and can easily complete the tasks assigned. These were things the Army trains into you.” Santos said that currently, he is working on installing the fire suppression system at a company that makes aerospace parts. It’s challenging, he noted, and he loves
working with his hands.
Santos said he still keeps in touch with his VIP sprinkler fitting instructor, Curtis Amos. “I spoke to him recently,” he added, and I said, “‘Man, I appreciate you. I wouldn’t be able to take care of my family if it wasn’t for this program.’ The UA is like the Army. If you take advantage of everything that comes your way—the certifications and the training—the sky is the limit of what you can accomplish."
This story originally appeared in the Fall/Winter edition of the United Association Veterans In Piping (VIP) Program's CareerOps: Career Opportunities in Piping for Transitioning Veterans.