Chabot Veteran’s profile
Charles Vital, a 33-year-old Louisiana native who resides in Hayward, is a Chabot College student and a military veteran.
Vital enlisted in the United States Army from March 1999 to 2005 as a 91 Whiskey, which is a combat medic. After completing boot camp and advanced training he was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, where he went on to reach the rank of E-4, (corporal). During Vital’s enlistment he deployed to Japan and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, which carries on to this day.
When asked about how he thought his service benefited him, he said “The military taught me discipline, better planning skills, and made me more organized. It also made me grow up and taught me responsibility. On a deeper level, seeing what I have seen I also learned when to have compassion and when not too.”
Vital’s choice to go to school began during his service while stationed at Fort Polk, Vital said “I was stationed 45 minutes away from home and they say when it’s like that you don’t change from your old ways, so at that time I wasn’t too serious about school. When Vital was discharged he soon found steady warehouse work here in Hayward, “I was so used to getting paid on the first and fifteenth, but after a while I got fired and I needed something that would stick, so I thought a college degree would stick.”
Vital is a Psychology major who wants to go to grad school and is interested in becoming a counselor, but he says things have been difficult. “I’m older than some of these young people and realize the advantage they have over me. I graduated in 95, for six years I focused on nothing but military issues and for most of these young people their high school information is still fresh, especially English and Math.”