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Military veteran and TSTC Diesel Equipment Technology graduate refuses to ‘just get by’ – The Gilmer Mirror

Robert DeWare worked for several mining companies after graduating from TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program. (Photo courtesy of Robert DeWare.)

(MARSHALL, TX) – After becoming disabled in 2008 after serving in Iraq, U.S. Army veteran Robert DeWare, from Jefferson, had difficulty adjusting to civilian life.

“I had nothing; I was struggling to survive and didn’t know which way to turn,” DeWare said recently. “I remember losing my house and having my truck impounded. I had no place to live. I tried to stay with family or friends.”

While doing odd jobs in Marshall, DeWare came across Texas State Technical College. With help from the university’s Veteran Services department, DeWare enrolled in TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program in 2011. He said that’s where he started to excel.

“It was such a wonderful experience,” DeWare said. “I felt so much self-worth and achievement after years of trying to figure out where I was going.”

Taking the credits he earned during his military service, DeWare graduated from TSTC in 2012 with his Associate of Applied Science degree.

He then earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from the University of Texas Permian Basin while working in maintenance for a mining company.

Throughout his career, DeWare has been a maintenance manager for several mining sites in Texas. He now lives in Belton and works as a Maintenance Excellence Manager for Lhoist North America, a supplier of lime, limestone and other mineral products.

“A lot of veterans get out and just get by,” DeWare said. “I was determined and determined not to just get by – I was determined to get ahead.”

Fernanda Lozano, a reliability engineer for Lhoist North America, said DeWare is refreshing to work with.

“Even though he is a well-prepared person who has been in the industry for a long time, he is super open to other people’s opinions,” she said. “It creates a very accessible working environment.”

DeWare hopes to become a plant manager or national maintenance manager in the future. He said he is grateful he came into TSTC in 2011.

“It was probably the biggest stepping stone I’ve ever had in my life,” DeWare said.

TSTC offers Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificates of completion in Diesel Equipment Technology at its Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco locations.

Diesel Equipment Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC with money-back guarantees. For more information, visit tstc.edu/mbg.

For more information about veterans services at TSTC, visit tstc.edu/admissions/veterans. Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

About TSTC

With 11 locations across the state, Texas State Technical College helps build the high-quality workforce in Texas skilled, technically competent graduates. Working according to a unique financing model based on student employment With the results, the college celebrated 55 years of service to the state of Texas in 2020. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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