Troops to teachers helps veterans transition from military to classroom

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — On Veterans Day, we celebrate the service of the men and women in our armed forces.

For many, the call to serve that drew them to the military doesn’t stop when they separate or retire.

Now, a program based in Williamsburg can help them find another way to answer that call.

Troops to Teachers helps service members and veterans transition from the military to higher education and eventually, their own classroom.

Charlie Foster serves as the veteran liaison for Troops to Teachers Virginia Center, which opened in June, thanks to a grant he helped secure.

After four years in the Marine Corps, Foster’s idea was to get his master’s degree at William & Mary and become a school administrator.

Instead, with the grant secured, he decided to stay on and help other veterans do what he did: successfully transition from military service to civilian life.

He’s on another mission to solve Virginia’s teacher shortage.

“Veterans, we hope, are a great solution to that problem,” Foster said. “They do a whole lot of training and teaching as part of their jobs, and so we found that it translates when we go into classrooms.”

Foster also believes that anyone who’s gotten through the military has motivation, discipline and perseverance to pass along to the students they teach.

“We want veterans to absolutely have the recognition they deserve and have the opportunity to be role models for the next generation,” Foster said. “They want to serve their community and they see education as the route to do that.”

Service members and veterans interested in the program can find out more at