KILLEEN, Texas — Transitioning out of the military isn't always a choice — Sam Schmidt was forced to leave the Army due to combat injuries.
Now, he is working to keep his country safe from cyber security threats through his job with the Trideum Corporation.
He spends his days in cyberspace now, but his story begins in Fairfax County, Virginia.
”It was a lot more country back then, but now, it’s a lot more built up,” Schmidt said.
“They even call it the D.M.V now — the D.C., Virginia, Maryland Metropolitan area now.”
Determined to find direction and life, he followed his family legacy of service and joined the Army — rising through the infantry ranks and sustaining several injuries in combat.
”The I.E.D blasts,” Schmidt said.
“There was multiple that I've been in — most of them were in Afghanistan over several deployments, some in 2011 and some in 2015.”
He dedicated himself to serving his country, but with severe damage to his spine, his decade of service came to and end.
The love of service still burning inside, he found a new career in cyber security.
”It is a very broad range,” Schmidt said.
“Currently, I am administering over a cyber security project — we’re developing capabilities to analyze and detect the effects of a cyber-attack and any kind of digital threat.”
Working for Trideum, he didn’t stray far from the military because they work hand-in-hand with the Department of Defense.
”A lot of software, a lot of systems engineering, to build solutions for our government partners,” said Ron McNamara Texas Operations Manager for Trideum.
“To help them in their training and specifically in this case, testing with Operational Test Command.”
This work gives Schmidt a chance to continue serving his country.
“I can no longer serve in active service due to my disabilities, but I can at least support them form the sidelines," he said.
Smith says he wants other veterans to know that service doesn’t have to end when they take the uniform off.