Robert DeWare worked for several mining companies after graduating from TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program. (Photo courtesy of Robert DeWare.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – After serving in Iraq left him disabled in 2008, U.S. Army veteran Robert DeWare, of Jefferson, had a hard time adjusting to civilian life.

“I had nothing; I was struggling to survive and didn’t know which way to go,” DeWare recently said. “I can remember losing my house, getting my truck repossessed. I didn’t have a place to live. I was trying to stay with family or friends.”

While working odd jobs in Marshall, DeWare came across Texas State Technical College. With help from the college’s Veteran Services department, DeWare enrolled in TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program in 2011. He said it was there that he began to excel.

“It was such a fantastic experience,” DeWare said. “I felt so much self-esteem and achievement after I spent years trying to figure out where I was going.”

By incorporating college credits that he had earned while in the military, DeWare graduated from TSTC with his Associate of Applied Science degree in 2012. 

He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from the University of Texas Permian Basin while working in maintenance for a mining company.

Throughout his career, DeWare has been a maintenance manager for several mining locations across Texas. He now lives in Belton and works as a maintenance excellence manager for Lhoist North America, a supplier of lime, limestone and other mineral products.

“A lot of veterans, they get out and just get by,” DeWare said. “I was bound and determined to not just get by — I was bound and determined to get ahead.”

Fernanda Lozano, a reliability engineer for Lhoist North America, said DeWare is refreshing to work with.

“Even though he’s a well-prepared person that has been in the industry for a long while, he’s super open to other people’s opinions,” she said. “It makes a really approachable work environment.”

DeWare hopes to become either a plant manager or a national maintenance manager in the future. He said he is grateful that he walked into TSTC back in 2011.

“It was probably the greatest steppingstone I ever had in my life,” DeWare said.

TSTC offers Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificates of completion in Diesel Equipment Technology at its Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco locations.

Diesel Equipment Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. For more information, visit

For more information on veteran services at TSTC, go to

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, go to

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