MINOT, ND (KXNET) — Neil Jenson works as a driver for the DAV, also known as the nonprofit Disabled American Veterans.

And although Jenson is a driver, he’s also a veteran himself.

“It just seemed like the right thing to do. I feel really good about what I am able to do. Just getting these people ’cause a lot of them are definitely sick,” said Jenson.

Jenson says he chose to become a Marine, to make his father proud by following in his footsteps.

During his time in the Marine Corps, he served for three years and trained as an air traffic controller.

He was in Vietnam, Japan, and North Carolina.

“I was 17, and I was a wild kid. And it was either jail, reform school, or the military. When I went into the military, it erased my juvenile record, but once I got in there, it was a good experience for me. Taught me some discipline and some skills that I didn’t have before,” said Jenson.

It’s through his driving for the DAV that he met fellow veteran, Sandi Whipple.

Whipple was a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.

“I just got to serve stateside. I never got to go overseas. Would I have? In a heartbeat. In those days, women weren’t allowed to be in combat. That didn’t happen until I think it was 1983,” said Whipple.

She says being in the military runs in the family.

“My dad was in the service. In fact, my dad landed on Omaha beach and survived it. And my dad has two purple hearts. My brother Jerry was in the Marine Corps. My brother Richard was in the Air Force. And then my baby brother was in the Army,” said Whipple.

Both veterans say service to their country is extremely important to them.

“Part of it is because of my faith. God teaches us to take care of the needy and the less fortunate,” said Jenson.

“The military’s there for giving and protecting, and isn’t that what we’re all supposed to do anyway? Isn’t that what life’s all about? I mean, you wouldn’t want to walk down the street and not help somebody who fell down. Well, the military is there to also help pick somebody up or pick up another country,” said Whipple.

Although they met through Jenson being a driver, Whipple says they have grown to be friends.

In addition to being a veteran, Whipple has also written four novels.

If veterans are interested in learning more about the Ward County Veteran’s Service Office and the services offered, you can call 701-857-6492.

The office is located at 225 SE Third St., Suite 124.