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Like many of you each year on Veterans Day, we know the importance of honoring the bravery and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans and military members. We know they help make everything possible, and we’re thankful to each of them for their part in keeping America safe and secure. 

Today, in tribute to veterans everywhere, we took some time to catch up with two of our own employees about their service in the military. Here’s more from Ebony D. and Ashley S. 

ebony in army uniform

Ebony D. 
Manager of Customer Systems 
Operations 

Hi, Ebony. When and why did you decide to join the service?   

My desire was always to go to college, but my transcripts never made it to the colleges that I was interested in attending. My parents didn’t want me sitting around the house until things got squared away, so I enrolled in the local community college. I decided to join the military when I saw a loan receipt payment that my parents made for me to attend that one semester—so I joined to help pay for my college. I was sworn in December 1996 and left for bootcamp in January 1997. 

What branch did you serve in and for how long? 

I was in the U.S. Army for eight years. 

What was your job while you were in? 

I was a Dental Specialist (91E), which is the equivalent of a dental assistant. I learned how to take and develop x-rays (there was an actual darkroom), use different instruments and read charts—everything your dental assistant would do when you’re at the dentist. I didn’t know how important my job was until I found out that teeth had to be at a certain level for soldiers or they weren’t eligible for deployment. 

What did you take away from your experience in the military? 

Discipline, teamwork, collaboration, long-lasting friendships and respect for the chain of command. 

How has this transferred to the workplace—and in everyday life—for you? 

I still wake up earlier than most to plan and start my day. I’m intentional about my goals and things I must accomplish daily. I’m also big on teamwork and collaboration, and I still follow the chain of command if I need to escalate issues or concerns. I also find myself not walking on the grass (laughs). I can’t speak for other branches, but walking across the grass was not allowed when I was enlisted!  

Why is Veterans Day important, and how do you celebrate? 

I often try to find a Veteran’s Day parade nearby. My brother, grandfather, several uncles and cousins and I have all served in various branches, so Veterans Day is a family affair. We all share our experiences and horror stories going through basic training, different events, people we’ve met along the way and even war stories—my grandfather was serving in the Navy in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, so to hear his stories firsthand is fascinating.   

ashley s. photo

Ashley S. 
Customer Care Representative 
Customer Care 

Hi, Ashley. When and why did you decide to join the service? 

I decided to join the military in 2018. My reasons for joining were simple. At the time, I had just left school to help my mom take care of my stepdad. And once he was better, I couldn’t figure out what direction I wanted my life to go in, so I decided to join the military to travel while I figured that out. 

What branch did you serve in and for how long?  

I served in the United States Army and planned to make a career out of it. However, life had other plans. Due to my health, I was medically retired in oct of 2020. 

What was your job while you were in? 

While in the army, my M.O.S. was 68H, which translates as an optical laboratory specialist. Basically, I was fabricating lenses for soldiers who needed glasses. While in Hawaii, me and my team of three were responsible for fabricating glasses for all military on the island. 

What did you take away from your experience in the military? 

I definitely learned a lot more discipline and how to be a leader, but also that sometimes being a good leader is knowing when to follow. 

How has this transferred to the workplace—and in everyday life—for you? 

I’m able to use the customer service skills I was taught for my job in the military. While making glasses for service members, you had to have excellent customer service, especially when dealing with officers. 

Why is Veterans Day important and how do you celebrate? 

Veterans Day is important because service members should be celebrated for all that they do. It’s a lot of a sacrifice once you join the military, which you don’t really comprehend until you’re actually in. I celebrate Veterans Day by going to get free food and reflecting on all of those who came before me and sacrificed so that I’m able to live and do freely. 

Gas South salutes all of our nation’s veterans and military members. Thank you for all you do. 

Gas Emergency? Call Atlanta Gas Light at 877.427.4321
Gas Emergency? Call 877.427.4321