Sneak Peak: Alex Boucher shares how his writing internship with the VA honors the legacy of his great-grandfather, who served in World War II. 

Alex Boucher was close with his great-grandfather, a World War II Veteran who passed away in 2007. In an interview with Jarrett Dodson, Alex explained: “[My great-grandfather] got to tell his story to his family. I wanted to honor him by telling the stories of other Veterans.” Since Alex was unable to join the military for medical reasons, he uses his passion for writing to honor his great-grandfather’s legacy through his internship with the VA. 

While searching for an internship, Alex learned about the Virtual Student Federal Service and opportunities at the VA from his mother. As an aspiring writer who hopes to publish his own book, he was interested in the writing, editing and Borne the Battle podcast intern positions. He encourages people who are interested to apply: “It’s an experience. To be able to write about the men and women who have defended our country for the past century is just phenomenal.”

Alex joined the internship as a writer for the Digital Media Engagement team. In order to work 10 hours a week, he adjusted his habits. Alex learned to divide up his work into reasonable tasks, as opposed to trying to write an article all in one sitting. In order to make the most of the internship, he advises new interns to pace themselves while writing and emphasizes the importance of organization and time management. 

Alex writes Veteran of the Day articles to honor the service of Veterans, such as his great-grandfather, and to continue their legacy. His favorite moment of the internship so far was speaking with Lt. Col. Marco Ladino Avellaneda, who was the first Veteran Alex interviewed. The lieutenant “[came] over here from Colombia with next to nothing but his intelligence and skill base and work[ed] his way up.” Alex admires Avellaneda’s story of resilience and achievement of the American dream. 

Alex has pursued his passions and honored his great-grandfather as well as many other Veterans by writing Veteran of the Day articles. He shared, “People say that real life is boring, but some of the most fascinating people you’ll ever meet are in real life and all you have to do is just ask. You just have to do a little digging and you’ll find it.”

Writer: Hannah Nelson

Editor: Alli P, Julia Pack

Graphic Designer: Katie Rahill