Turning Passion Into a Career
- Joey Upper
From Poultry to Pistols
Shane Schembra’s move into the firearms industry came from the root of some of our favorite bywords: “Turn your passion into a career!”
“It came down to a matter of – I’m looking to make a career change!” he recalled.
Shane is a hardworking man who has worked in the poultry industry for years. He drives to farms all over his home state of Arkansas, and while he’s enjoyed the work, he enjoys firearms more!
Some of the firearms he has worked with have been a lot bigger than others. Schembra is a veteran of the Army National Guard, where he worked with artillery for a decade.
“I did 10 years in the Army National Guard in Arkansas. I was a 13E (Cannon Fire Direction Specialist), updated upon deployment to 13D (Field Artillery Specialist),” Schembra noted. “I did two deployments in Iraq.”
Those two deployments combined to amount 17 months of time in Iraq, serving our country. Schembra is a man who has sacrificed.
In spite of having proved his worth for all of us abroad, Shane still found himself uncomfortable with the thought of undergoing the college experience.
“I didn’t think I was college material,” he said.
That would be one of the far-fewer-than-average times he was wrong over his college career.
“When you look at my grades, I surprised myself,” he said. SDI can’t reveal his grades on his behalf, but suffice it to say that Shane was a successful student along with being a successful graduate.
In fact, Schembra was just approved for his FFL. Actually, when we reached out to him for this interview, he had just completed his interview with the ATF!
He’s not finished studying, either. Schembra’s experience with SDI has helped give him the boost in confidence needed to complete a bachelor’s degree.
“The fun thing is I’m also going back to college in January!” he said. Schembra will be pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
Starting a Small Business
That’s not all he’s doing, either. With his soon-to-be in-hand FFL, Shane is going to be running a gunsmithing shop for his community.
“I’m actually in a storefront that I have rented for the FFL,” Shane said with some well-earned pride. “It’s not going to be a store, it’s going to be full-blown gunsmithing.”
Shane currently plans to work on any project he can from clients, but he does have a special place in his heart for one particular facet of gunsmithing.
“Repair and restoration – working with wood. Anyone can bolt plastic on!” he said with a laugh.
He hopes that, in time, the shop will be the only thing he does.
“When the business starts netting enough to be able to collect a paycheck, I’m going to do a full transfer,” he said.
Shane’s been an advocate for SDI, and we couldn’t be more grateful. When a professional with years of military service speaks for you, it speaks volumes.
“It would be a good learning experience,” he said when asked what he’d say to prospective students, adding that he was able to learn everything he needed to know to open doors for his business.
“I learned a lot in the Sights, Optics, and Accuracy class,” he also said. “I learned a lot on bedding the rifle, and different things you can do to make (a firearm) more accurate. I knew a lot coming from experience and being in the military, but when you start adding to it, it just makes it more.”
Shane Schembra is a 2019 SDI graduate.