May 18, 2022 Feature Story

Veteran finds a future and family at Wor-Wic

Rick Shores of Delmar, Md., took a non- traditional path to his degree — a path that at one point put his life at risk — but thanks to his choices, Shores is now embarking on Salisbury University’s (SU) master in business administration program. On the way, at Wor- Wic, he found not only an educational starting point but also a family.

Veteran finds a future and family at Wor-Wic
Rick Shores of Delmar, Md., a 2018 general studies graduate, took a non-traditional path to his degree..

“After I graduated high school, I tried college for a semester and it was not for me, at that time. I joined the Army and did three tours in Iraq,” Shores said. “On my third tour, in Fallujah, we were out checking on a report of an IED. I don’t remember it, but someone stepped on a pressure plate, and three soldiers were injured, including me.”

Shores spent two years recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was told he wouldn’t walk again and would need his leg amputated. He defied expectations and when he was discharged, he was walking on his own two feet. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, so he tried working construction.

“Working outside wasn’t for me,” he said. “I knew I had to get my degree.” He enrolled in Wor-Wic’s general studies program, with some guidance from Fred Howard, Wor-Wic’s director of veterans services.

“I would never have done it without Fred,” Shores said. “He talked me through it and encouraged me. I wouldn’t have completed my degree at Wor-Wic if he hadn’t been there. I didn’t have confidence in myself, but he had confidence in me.”

Being a non-traditional student had an unexpected benefit. “I met my future wife in my English class at Wor-Wic,” Shores said. “We bonded at first because we were both older students, not right out of high school. We ended up having a lot in common; we both had two kids. In 2018, I decided to propose.

She had already graduated. I asked her to put on a blindfold, and I drove her to Wor-Wic — I had checked with security first — and I brought her outside the classroom where we first met, and proposed there. Our kids were there outside, holding up signs that said ‘Say yes!’ She did — we got married in 2019.”

Shores, with encouragement from his wife and Howard, continued his studies at SU after receiving his associate degree from Wor-Wic in 2018. He earned a bachelor’s degree in December of 2021, and he’s not stopping there. He was accepted to SU’s MBA program, which he plans to complete through its accelerated one-year program. His career as a sales consultant at GSB Media in Pocomoke City allows him the flexibility he needs to get it all done while putting his marketing knowledge to work.

“It’s amazing to look back to where I was five years ago and see all that I have accomplished,” Shores said. “I have come far, and nothing’s going to deter me now.”

If you’re a veteran, member of the military or a dependent, visit Support/Veterans-Services to see how Wor-Wic can help you navigate Veterans Administration benefits and programs to grow your career.

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