Duty Calls; Afghanistan war veteran does double duty

Duty Calls; Afghanistan war veteran does double duty

Duty Calls; Afghanistan war veteran does double duty

Four months after Christopher Frazer of Latham graduated from Shaker High School in 2009, he enlisted in the Marine Corps to become a mechanic.

But the Marine Corps had different plans for him.

Frazer was trained in aircraft rescue and firefighting. He spent the remainder of his four-year enlistment serving with the 272nd Marine Wing Support Squadron at Marine Corps Air Station, River Jackson, N.C.

He deployed with the unit to Afghanistan in 2011 and served at Forward Operating Base Del Aram II, which came under numerous enemy mortar attacks.

Frazer earned a Navy Unit Commendation, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, two Certificates of Appreciation, two Letters of Appreciation and a Meritorious Mast.

He said he enjoyed helping fellow Marines with personal and other challenges. But Frazer, son of Melinda Frazer of Latham and Arthur Frazer of Epping, N.H., never gave up his pursuit of becoming a mechanic.

“I always had a passion for working on cars,” he said.

Last fall, as Frazer was about to be honorably discharged, a Universal Technical Institute(http://www.uti.edu) recruiter steered him into an automotive mechanic training program in Norwood, Mass. Now, the Marine veteran does double duty as a student and a veterans advocate.

“Frazer, like many war veterans, gained great skills and experience during his years of service, but needed support to transition from the military to a successful civilian career,” said Joan DeCoste, a UTI spokeswoman.

“I was looking for opportunities that would give me not just a job, but a fulfilling career,” said Frazer, who expects to graduate in November.



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