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Celebrating our Shield HealthCare Veterans

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
11/11/15  12:10 PM PST

This year for Veterans Day, we reached out to our fellow veteran employees to see if they would be willing to share their stories. We were grateful when three of our vets volunteered to do a short interview with us to tell us about their service. It has been wonderful getting to better know our coworkers and learn more about their service – and it has given us a way to honor them and say thank you.

Jeff P HeadShot Smaller

Name: Jeff

Service Branch: U.S. Navy

How do the skills you learned in the military serve you here at Shield HealthCare?
The Navy prepared us to work together as a team for a common goal and that everyone, regardless of rank, has something to contribute. They taught us to be independent, but to not forget that we have others in front and behind us that are depending on us to do our part/job.

Where exactly did you go?
I was on an Aircraft Carrier, the USS Ranger, out of Coronado/San Diego. We patrolled the Western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and small seas in between. I have been to Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Diego Garcia, Hawaii, Middle East, and Central America.

Do you recall your first days in service?
My first days in the service were filled with uncertainty, intrigue and excitement! I left for boot camp on Dec 22, 1982 and for the first time spent Christmas away from my family. I had heard many stories about what to expect and most were completely false! I went through boot camp in Orlando, Florida and spent eight weeks learning so much about myself and that I could push myself much further than I felt possible. I left in better physical shape than ever before and with a sense of purpose and direction. I attended many schools before finally arriving in July of 1983 in San Diego awaiting the arrival of my ship, she was out on maneuvers and would be in port in a couple of days. I had angst and was eager to board what would now be my new home for the next four and a half years. When I heard she was coming through the channel of San Diego Bay towards port, I stood close by and was in awe by her size and how proud she looked with all her awards and flags displayed and blowing in the warm breeze. I couldn’t wait to board her, meet my shipmates and tour my “new home.” What followed were experiences that I will never forget and memories that will last a lifetime.

Did you make any close friendships while in the service? / Did you continue any of those relationships?
When the air wing was on-board, we had over 5000 sailors on board and I made many close friends that I have maintained close contact with; one was in my wedding party! We are spread out all over the country and do not get together, however we Facebook regularly.

Sandra Small Name: Sandra

Service Branch: U. S. Army

How do the skills you learned in the military serve you here at Shield HealthCare?
The discipline instilled in me has molded my strong work ethic and helps keep me fair and on point (task). I learned the value of following a chain of command and use it as part of my management style with the primary objective of providing each leader development and growth opportunities that otherwise may not materialize if the chain of command were not respected.

Why did you join?
To travel and see the world but also it was my career aspiration at the time to pursue a criminal justice role. The military age requirement was lower than government bureaus and the local police force so I was able to join immediately following high school.

Where exactly did you go?
I went to Alabama and Kansas. I took up residence at Fort Leavenworth, working in the infamous Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks as an MP Correctional Officer.

Were you awarded any medals or citations?
No medal of honor but I did receive a Commandants Coin of Excellence for superb work and quick thinking on the job.

J SmallName: Jose

Service Branch: U.S. Army

How do the skills you learned in the military serve you here at Shield HealthCare?
The ability to adapt to any type of situation and its ever changing needs was a key trait that the Army helped me develop. In Information Technology (IT) the situation can change drastically throughout the day, even by the minute. Being in the Army helped me become tolerant to handling difficult high-pressure situations and it gave me the ability to think clearly even under fire.

Why did you pick the service branch you joined?
I joined the Army because the closest recruiting station to my house, within walking distance, was the Army recruiting station.

Do you recall any particularly unusual event?
I had my orders for Iraq in hand and was supposed to fly out December 17, 2004. On the evening of December 16, while at my buddy’s house, I was triple checking my gear when I suddenly began to feel light headed. I thought it was due to my nerves due to the upcoming deployment – I literally began to see a flashing light before my eyes and then passed out. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I experienced a seizure due to a brain tumor I did not know I had.

I woke up in the ambulance, could not remember my name, the year, or who the president at the time was. My unit flew to Iraq the next day, I stayed behind. Long story short the tumor was removed and I had nine months left in my Army contract. My Army MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was in Electronics so I was assigned to support the computer systems for the Battalion and that’s actually how I began my career in IT. The Army took great care of me during my tumor period. I’m very grateful for that.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Overall I’m proud to have served and I’m grateful for how all my experiences in the military helped shape who I am today.

Again, thank you so much to the many veterans we are happy to have with us here at Shield HealthCare – and thank you to all veterans, along with all veteran caregivers.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. lisa
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:04 pm PST

    Thank you for sharing your stories about your military career, but more than that …. Thank you for serving and protecting our country.

    Lisa

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