Meet your (Veteran) neighbor - Sam Varvel


Veterans and military families represent an opportunity for our community. We know they are highly motivated and hardworking people who make great neighbors and volunteers in the places where they live.

Sam Varvel is a great example of the kind of person we get when our community welcomes Veterans back to our area.

Some of those reading this article may have come to a Go Ruck event or a Team Red, White and Blue event around in Charlotte. And if you have, you probably met Sam. Those who know him know that he has a heart as big as Mecklenburg County. Sam regularly supports Veterans rallying food, gift card, and even a pet food drives. So it wasn't surprising when Sam recently won tickets to the Hornets game, in a Veterans Bridge Home giveaway, that he gave them to a fellow Veteran and his son.

For those who haven't met Sam, here's a little bit more about another great Veteran volunteer in our community.

Why did you join the military?

I was bored and tired of working at the same job as my mom. I wanted do get out of my routine and do something exciting, especially since most of my friends joined the military right out of high school.

What did you do in the military?

I was a 94F which is called a computer detection Systems repairer. I worked in anything electrical that did not already have a person to fix it. I fixed chemical agent detectors, mine dispensers, mine detectors, GPS units, night vision goggles and much more.

What did you learn?

I learned how to carry myself with confidence. I hated leaving my house unless it was to go to a friend's house. When out in public I kept my head and eyes down avoiding contact. After joining I walked with my head held high. Wanted to go out and see places and meet people.

Why did you move to Charlotte?

I was from Charlotte before the military and after getting out I wanted to go back and help out within the community. I currently volunteer with Team Red, White and Blue.

What was the hardest part about your transition back to the civilian workforce/community?

The hardest part for me is translating what I did in the military into a career in the civilian world. Sure, I had a specific job, but in the military, I did what was asked of me, sometimes I liked it sometimes I didn't. I learned how to be a jack of all trades.