J.R. Merritt celebrates Veterans Day to honor all the heroic American soldiers for their love of country and their willingness to serve and sacrifice to protect others. In recognition of those who have served, we honor the stories of the Veterans we work with every day.
Airman Ronald “Ronnie” (Center) enlisted in 1984 at the age of 19, serving two years as an Administrative Specialist in the Air Force. Currently part of our Purchasing Department, Ronnie kindly expresses his thoughts on the experience and comradery he gained while serving. Throughout his time in the Air Force, Ronnie developed discipline and life skills that he continues to use today, including computer technology and sewing.
When speaking about his time in the service, Ronnie says, “When I was stationed in Germany I belonged to a specialized unit called 66 Combat Support Group Disaster Preparedness Unit (CSG/DWG). They called us ‘The Dog Pound’ and my nickname was Puppy Dog (PD) because I was the youngest,” which is a fond memory he carries with him.
E5 Sergeant Mark (Right) enlisted in the Army National Guard directly after graduating high school. Mark currently works in Quality Control (QC). At that time, Mark hoped to unite with a friend who had already enlisted. Unluckily, that did not occur. Nevertheless, he continued his journey becoming a MOS truck driver.
When asked about the impact of his experience in the Army National Guard, Mark replies “[It was] Good, taught me life skills and mechanical work.” Mark currently works in Quality Control here at J.R. Merritt and he warmly remembers his time in the Army National Guard, pointing out all the good people he encountered.
Machinist Mate Nuclear Senior Chief (Submarines) Chris (Left) enrolled in the Navy at the age of 18, knowing he was not quite ready for college. Between having a desire to see different parts of the world, and a feeling of obligation to do something in public service, he was pushed toward the path of Navy enlistment.
Working as a Submarine Nuclear Operator, Chris spent more than a year of his life submerged. He recalls, “The longest single time I was submerged was 105 days. The best thing about being on submarines is it taught me to appreciate everything!”
While on active duty, Chris was stationed to the world’s only nuclear-powered deep submergence vessel, NR-1, a ballistic missile (boomer) submarine, the USS Nebraska, and a fast-attack submarine, the USS San Juan. He was also stationed at a nuclear reactor prototype facility in upstate New York as a nuclear instructor.
Chris served twelve years on active duty, then decided to continue as a Reservist while entering a civilian engineering career. In his Reserve Career, Chris had the opportunity to lead several projects including remote on-site submarine repair, a one-year joint forces Middle East deployment in security/customs and border protection, a security detachment in several security missions, and serve as a Riverine Battalion Chief for high-value asset protection.
Chris feels blessed to have had the opportunity to serve his country while working with so many amazing professional soldiers and sailors. Currently working as an Engineer at J.R. Merritt Controls, Chris’s motto in life is “appreciate everything and don’t sweat the small stuff.”
We are privileged to have these men of service on our team at J.R. Merritt and thank all U.S. Military Service Personnel for your dedication and sacrifice. Happy Veterans Day!