Teachers’ military experience inspires Career


Over the course of one’s life, many goals are accomplished. Graduating high school, graduating college, and finally having a successful career. However, there are few who have the military on their list. Only few have served America, living their life in a whole different lifestyle and culture: immersing themselves in the military. The question is: Who are these people? Well, they are everywhere; living a normal life but with the lessons learned in the military affecting their lives to this day. In fact, there are high school teachers who have served in the military. Some of which have not yet been recognized and because of their integrity and bravery they deserve to be acknowledged.

Pamela Valentine, an art teacher at Redlands East Valley, has served in the military for 13 years. Valentine diligently worked in maintenance on the ejection seats for the Air Force for nine years. Because of her experience in studying art throughout high school, mechanical and electrical work proved to be her strength both on the ASVAB and in her daily life. When Valentine was questioned of her reasoning for joining the Air Force, she stated that it was for, “educational purposes,” and explained that she “wanted a college education.”. She stated that she “wanted to travel to Florida as a first choice and…ended up being able to move stations to Florida.” After Valentine’s experience in the Air Force, she switched from Active Duty to the Reserve, serving with the Air National Guard for another four years. After this, Valentine decided to leave the military in order to become a mother and have a family with her husband. With this decision came the beginning of her new family and finally teaching what she loves most: Art. Pamela Valentine stated that what the military has taught her as a person was how to be self-disciplined and to follow her dreams.Another teacher who has yet to be recognized is Robert Harshberger, an ROP medical teacher at Citrus Valley High School, who has served in the Army. Harshberger stated that his reasoning for joining the military was that,  “there weren’t a lot of job opportunities”. His job in the Army was a “combat medical specialist and then a medical NCO.” The reason for his departing was that he, “was medically retired.” When Harshbarger was asked of what the military has taught him, he stated that it gave him “an outlook on life” and that he knows “precious and short life can be,” and not to “stress over the little things.” Harshbarger stated that he is very proud of himself for having served and that the Army helped him learn how to help people and save lives. Today, Harshbarger teaches students ROP medical classes, taking what he learned in the military and teaching the young future people of society. 

Nathan Goodland, a World History and AP US History teacher at Citrus Valley High school has served in the Marine Corps for thirteen years and now continues to serve in Reserves. Goodland decided to join the Marines because his “family had a long tradition of serving in the Military.” Goodland served in the Marines as a Motor Vehicle Operator and continues to this day. He left Active Duty in order to finish his education and become a teacher. As Goodland reflects back on his time in the Marines, he states that he “learned a lot about hard work, discipline and loyalty.” He elaborates that he is very proud he served in the military, continuing on with his family’s tradition. He further informs that he encourages “any young man or woman to explore the options that the military has to offer” being that it is a “great experience.” As Goodland continues teaching yet another year and also continues serving his country yet again, students and people in his life can see that he continues to apply what he has learned in the military to the way he lives his life.

There are many who have accomplished great goals in their lives, but to take on the military is to dive into a whole other world. To this day, Goodland serves and what Valentine and Harshbarger have learned in the military stuck to them. It was the basis of their career. The military is such a big part of who they have become and it shows in their commitment to teaching more and more students every day. Because of this accomplishment, they live their lives proud, confident and to the fullest.


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