Appalachia Technologies Blog
We Salute...Our Veterans
We are extremely proud of the men and women in our organization who have served our country. Coming from the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Army, these members have taken their experiences in the military and applied it to their civilian careers. To honor the veterans on our staff, I asked them to share - what they learned, their greatest achievement, their greatest challenge, and how we can step up to support our veterans. Thank you, Mike, Nathalie, Jason, Derek, Joel, and Jason!
Greatest lesson learned: My biggest lesson learned in the military is to live in the now. When life sucks, look around. It probably sucks just as much for everyone you can see, so find just 1 thing that's positive and enjoy that with the people around you - even if your socks are wet.
Greatest challenge: My greatest challenge in the military was myself. Early I doubted myself a lot and struggled to really push myself beyond what was comfortable. Eventually, after you're uncomfortable for long enough, you start to get comfortable being uncomfortable - and that is where you can really do things that a lot of people would say are incredible or impossible, even yourself. Turning that corner really made things a lot more manageable but getting to that point was a true challenge for every part of me.
How to support our vets: Supporting veterans is always something that is important to me. What people can do to support veterans varies greatly based on their role in the community. Employers, don't underestimate the value of the determination of a veteran. Generally speaking, if you task a veteran with a job, they will get it done, and get it done right - even if it means staying up for 3 days to learn how to do it first! Everyone can support veterans every day by taking a moment to look at where they buy everyday items. There are a lot of veteran-owned companies you can support for often very little, if not even save money doing so. I make it a point to check out veteran-owned businesses, even if it costs an extra dollar or two. It's not always better, but more often than not, I am pleasantly surprised by either quality, service, or both.
“I learned so much from the military and had so many great experiences that it’s hard to pick out what the most important lesson was. However, an Army Colonel who I worked under for a few years used to talk about the “Small Win” often. His point was, not everything in life was going to be a home run and you don’t always need to be swinging for the fences.
If you can just get in the regular habit of hitting singles and doubles consistently,
you’re going to be successful in life and in your career.
To further the baseball metaphors, my brother likes to say, “It doesn’t take any talent to show up on time and work hard.”, and I think that is apt here as well. My greatest military achievement was getting my PDS (Presidential Support Duty) and working at Camp David for 10+ years.”
Greatest lesson learned: The idea that discipline is only part of the success equation in any noble pursuit. The military teaches and embeds discipline into your everyday routine as a human being. With discipline in hand, willpower is the other critical ingredient. Developing and maintaining the intrinsic desire to pick yourself up in bootstrap fashion and coupling that with discipline is a masterful way to achieve anything in life.
Greatest achievement: As a Navy Instructor, I trained 250+ IT technicians that entered the active fleet from 1992 to 1995. As a work center supervisor, I lead and developed a team of technicians on the USS Simon Lake from 1989 to 1992 in Northern Scotland. I retired honorably after 21 years of active/reserve service.
Greatest challenge: Transitioning from the senior enlisted ranks to a junior officer role. Officer and enlisted ranks clearly exist and cohabitate across many Navy units, though truly are two different worlds with respect to protocol/practice. It took a considerable amount of time and dedication to develop as a junior officer, which was void of structure and comradery. The enlisted ranks in the Navy really is a brotherhood/sisterhood that does an incredible job of cultivating one another, so that does become a challenge certainly for anyone looking to migrate from enlisted to officer - the roadmap simply did not exist during my tenure.
How to support our vets: Give them a shot when they're down on their luck. Most vets actually have strong character and goodwill to offer. Because of the military experience, many vets will struggle with the transition to civilian life. Either due to reasons surrounding PTSD or having been institutionalized for many years while in the military, our vets require our patience while they gradually make the transition. We owe it to them to be that understanding employer, peer, family member or friend.
To all of the Veterans – today and every day – we show our appreciation and respect for your service!