Using his skills and determination, Adam Hoople carves out his place in civilian life –
By Patricia Beech –
After facing combat and years of rigorous work and training, veterans often face difficult challenges when they return to civilian life.
Adam Hoople of West Union understands those struggles. After serving in the U.S. Navy four years during the Iraqi War, he returned home to Adams County in 2004 and discovered that the training he received while serving in the armed forces didn’t translate to job opportunities, but he was determined to carve out his place in civilian life.
“I went back to school and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science at Shawnee State University,” he says, “That was my passion.”
After graduating Cum Laude in his class, Hoople was hired by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) as a seasonal employee, then as a maintenance supervisor. He steadily climbed the ranks to a full-time Preserve Manager for the ODNR’s Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.
When his health began to deteriorate, Hoople struggled to overcome the pain and keep working.
“I’d worked for ODNR as a preserve manager for six years when I started having serious health problems,” he said. “On my birthday in 2014, I was let go, and I went through a hard time after that because I was taught to be a provider for my family, but I was unable to work.”
Like many veterans fortunate enough to find satisfying jobs, Hoople lost his position due to the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and debilitating health problems acquired while serving his country. He was diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome and endured many months of bleak depression and bitter frustration because he had been unable to keep the job of his dreams.
But, Adam Hoople was not a man to be kept down for long. With improvements in treatment for his service-related health issues, Hoople began brainstorming new career options. “I knew I wanted an economy-proof business that would give me the flexibility to work when I was feeling strong, whether that was in the afternoon or the wee hours of the night.”
In the summer of 2016, Hoople started his own business, Hooples’ Gunstocks, which he runs from a workshop at his home in West Union. “We do just about everything,” Hoople explains. “We duplicate, repair, checker, blue, and do plenty of custom work, I put all my skill into every gun I repair because I love it, it’s like art to me.”
The future for Hoople is again looking bright. He is excited about his new business, and his health issues are being addressed by advances in pain management. More importantly Hoople says, “I am able to show my six-year-old son, Jack, that life might throw a few curve balls now and then, but, with the right attitude and gumption, doors that have closed can turn into windows through which dreams can soar.”
For more information about Hooples’ Gunstocks, please call Adam Hoople at (937) 403-1026 or visit Hoople’s Gunstocks on Facebook.