Combat Veteran Dustin Wood completed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Veterans Curation Program in 2019. Joining the paid five month employment and training initiative, says Wood, “is the best decision I have ever made.”

Dustin Wood, combat Veteran and Veterans Curation Program grad, processes historical records at his job with Na Ali'i.

Dustin Wood, Veterans Curation Program grad, processes historical records as an Imaging Specialist with Na Ali’i. Photo by Daniel Zoernig.

Wood and his family were living in Milwaukee, Wisc., when he was accepted into the Veterans Curation Program (VCP). He made the difficult choice to temporarily separate from them to participate at the St. Louis, Mo., location.

Through the VCP, Wood began the journey to receive professional growth and development assistance. That time included instruction for resume building and job searches while learning to process at-risk archaeological collections belonging to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The program also comes with a paycheck.

A New Mission

After successfully finishing the Veterans Curation Program, Wood started a new job with Na Aliʻi, a Nakupuna Foundation company.

Amanda McGuire, Na Ali’i’s deputy project manager in Overland, Mo., is another Marine who has completed the Veterans Curation Program. Hiring other Veterans who are already processing historical artifacts with VCP is a win/win situation for Na Ali’i. Recognizing the potential in Wood and many others who went through the Veterans Curation Program, Na Ali’i employs several Veterans in their offices. Currently, one of Na Ali’i’s projects is processing Veteran records for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. That work includes preserving and organizing files of deceased Veterans, mainly from the WWII and Korean War eras who are classified as KIA (killed in action), MIA (missing in action) or Prisoners of War (POW), is Wood’s new mission.

“It hits a chord with me. You know, we lost guys when I was overseas and I can just imagine how the families of these people are over 50 years later, wondering what happened to their loved ones. The Veterans Curation Program gave me the skills to preserve, photograph and protect these precious items. Being able to digitize and catalog them for the Nation and their families through my job at Na Ali’i means so much to me.” -Dustin Wood, Na Ali’i Imaging Specialist II and combat Veteran

Best Decision Ever

Wood has now been with Na Ali’i for over six months, already earning a promotion and a special award. His family is reunited with him in St. Louis, the kids are loving their new schools, and his fiance found a new job with VA. It all started with an online search for “archaeology for Veterans,” leading Wood to new skills and a new career.

Due to overwhelming response on the last blog, Assistant Lab Manager Kimberly Blanke said the Veterans Curation Program received more qualified applicants than ever before.

The Veterans Curation Program is now hiring

The VCP has four flagship lab locations that are currently hiring (in addition to three additional satellite labs that can be found here):

Veterans can be considered for both part- and full-time employment. Overtime is not permitted and the period of employment by the program is expected to last up to five months. All federal holidays are paid in addition to up to one week of personal time off, which can be used for medical appointments or other purposes.

Hiring is now open for the next training session that begins May 2020.

For more on the Veterans Curation Program and to apply, visit:

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Published on Mar. 3, 2020

Estimated reading time is 3 min.

Views to date: 419


  1. Jameela Watson March 31, 2020 at 2:45 am

    I am a veteran living overseas in United Arab Emirates. I have a question. Why doesn’t the US Embassy in UAE and everywhere else hire veterans? Or give any veteran’s preference?

  2. Robert H. Harvey March 18, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    I’m a Navy veteran in relatively good health. I’m also retired, but I could use the extra income you’re suggesting. I own my own house, and would need to make enough to continue paying for utilities and upkeep, here, even if I am displaced to another location out of state. I have always had a passion for archeology and would love to find work in that field. Thanks for your suggestion.

  3. EC March 6, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    For any questions regarding the Veterans Curation Program, please visit the website for our locations, FAQs, and a link to the application:

    • Golden long March 9, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      Hello Beth
      I was wondering if you where involved in starting this program and if so how would I go about starting something like this in my area any help or advice you could provide would be great I am about to retire and something like this would go over great where I am from these programs have to start somewhere and by someone and I know with a little help I could put something like this together hear in Texas we have All kinds of ancient native American sights that most people don’t even know Exist this would be a great way to Preserve these Sites and help veterans at the same time so if you can send me off in the right direction or help in any way I Would appreciate it thank you

  4. Alison K. March 6, 2020 at 7:25 am

    Do you accept spouses who can claim Veteran’s Preference on behalf of a 100% disabled veteran?

    • Jacob Petrie March 6, 2020 at 1:38 pm

      Alison, due to the nature of the program and the contract requirement only veterans can be accepted. Please see the FAQ section of the website ( for additional information.

  5. Georgia Carter March 5, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    Is there age limit to join this program and if I have to relocate to the nearest program near me which would be Saint Louis is housing provided

  6. Raymond J Crichfield March 5, 2020 at 6:06 pm


    How do I get accepted into the VCP?
    What are the requirements?
    where are the location for the job?
    Is it in one of these places?
    Alexandria, Va.
    Augusta, Ga.
    St. Louis, Mo.
    San Francisco, Calif.


    • Jacob Petrie March 6, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Raymond, most of your questions can be answered on the VCP website FAQ page ( but I can try and cover them here as well:

      Consideration is based on a completed application with included DD-214 Member 4 and then an interview. The best candidates will be highly motivated to pursue their professional goals AND demonstrate a need for learning and honing the entry-level skills that are taught during this program.

      The VCP operates 4 flagship labs in the locations you listed: Alexandria, VA; Augusta GA; St. Louis, MO; and San Francisco, CA. At this time these are the only labs looking to fill spots for the next session.

  7. Joseph John Robles March 5, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    There is no prompt which specifically states click here for an application for V.A. Employment ! ! !

    ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Army ’69-’72

  8. Joseph John Robles March 5, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    At no specific point did I see a bullet point which stated: Click here to fill out an application form for V.A.employment ! ! !

  9. Yolanda E Cunningham Worrell March 5, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    I would be very interested in applying but I was in the Navy as a Hydraulic specalist during peace time. I did 12 years active duty. I now have an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies. I love learning so this is something that I would pretty much be interested in. Is there anyway that I would be considered for this Venture.?

    • EC March 6, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      Yolanda, there is no requirement to have served during war time. Please visit the website to see our FAQs for any further inquiries and a link to the application:

  10. Edwin Green March 5, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Hi, I’m 40% disable what are the requirements? I live in the northeast side of metro Atlanta Georgia.

  11. Andre Sanchez March 5, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Hello, I live in El Paso,Tx. Awesome program. When you guys get more funding, please consider El Paso a location for the program. Thanks. I was blessed with housing through a homeless veteran’s program. I was my father’s and mother’s caregiver before they passed. I know the importance of being taken care off when illness and diesease riddle the body. Thanks

  12. Joseph N. Smerdon March 5, 2020 at 11:48 am

    US Army Technical Escorts Unit – Edgewood Md. 1957-1963 Company Clerk with Top Sec Clear…..
    Available 5 days a week to help assist veterans. Accounting and Real Estate Experience……

  13. Thomas Barnett March 5, 2020 at 11:01 am

    I’m currently 50% disabled from hearing losses incurred in combat operations while serving Yankee Station Vietnam. Desire to earn money for two worthy causes, Shriners Children Hospital and LeBonheur Children Hospital, both very deserving. Each would get 25% pre-tax dollars of earnings. I’m willing to do whatever is required. Note the balance of earnings would go to support my wife that is 100% disabled (3prior lung surgeries) while I was at work. I would continue care for her during none work time.
    Have used: Excel, Word, SAP and many other programs. Preformed many task during working years: cabinet maker, millman, leader, supervisor, manager, project director, vp operations, vp sales.
    Surely you have something I can do for your organization.

  14. Michael Hugh LaVelle March 5, 2020 at 8:45 am

    I’m a USMC veteran (1958 to 1962) mos was 2541, posted to HQMC Communicationith Center Arlington VA, TS Clearance, Hon. Discharge with GCM and now live in Dayton, OH.
    Health very good and I’d like to get a 1 on1 (phone or in-person interview as to how I can contribute.

    Thanks – Michael H. LaVelle

  15. dAVID R. mITCHELL March 5, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Looking forward to working for the VA.

  16. dAVID R. mITCHELL March 5, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Looking forward to connecting with you.

  17. Stephen Edward Berger March 5, 2020 at 6:16 am

    Are you going to bring the program to Temple Tx?

  18. Adelaido Rocha March 5, 2020 at 5:38 am

    Any jobs in houston area for VA?

  19. Cesar Valera March 5, 2020 at 1:30 am


    How do I get accepted into the VCP? What are the requirements?

  20. Cesar Valera March 5, 2020 at 1:27 am


    How do I get accepted into the VCP? What are the requirements?

    Please let me know.

    Thank you,
    Cesar Valera

  21. Robert Alan Thomas March 5, 2020 at 1:16 am

    Sounds like a great program. I read the whole article with interest until I got to the end and saw it doesn’t include Phoenix, Az. Please let me know if it ever does. Thanks.

  22. Bryan Keith Reist March 5, 2020 at 12:34 am

    How about local Veteran like me I would love to work at the VA hospital helping our vets it would be rewarding to me and hopefully to those vets who need to be treated with kindness and respect . I was an SPS in the USAF I’ve always loved helping and protecting people and our country I’m just looking for a chance to get my foot in the door so to speak God bless

  23. Jeremiah March 4, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    The link at the bottom of this article does not work for me.
    This is the broken link:

  24. Hugh Wayne Keel March 4, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    Where do l apply for a job with the VA?

  25. Zena Mitchell March 4, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Are there any other jobs opened to veterans with the VA? Such as aerobics fitness instructor

  26. Lisa Johnson March 4, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    There are a lot of veterans that served during peacetime, and are not eligible for a lot of services. But they served their country and are veterans. Do you a similar program for peacetime veterans ?

  27. Frank March 4, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    This sounds like a pretty nice thing, but the website does not work on 4 separate web browsers.

    • Frank March 4, 2020 at 8:53 pm

      Well it seems to be working fine now so, disregard my last.

  28. Harold Macariola March 4, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    I’m a veteran with ptsd and I am on disability but I have a ticket to work but I can’t make more than $1200.00 a month. I would like to get involved in your program and learn more about your mission. I am available anytime. My name is Harold Macariola and I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Harold Macariola.

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