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The Hot Spot
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Today celebrates each of the men and women who’ve bravely served in the U.S. Armed Forces, protecting our country, our way of life and the liberties we all hold dear. In recognition of their service this Veterans Day, we caught up with three of our own here at Gas South to learn a little more about their time in the military. Here’s more from Drew, Marques and Larry. 

Drew S.

Drew S. 
Network Engineer 
ITPMO 

 

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

I was raised in a single parent household with five siblings—four sisters and one brother. My mom encouraged us to be independent at the age of 18.  She would start asking each of us at the age of 16, "So, what are your plans after graduation?” I decided to go with the armed services in 1987 to pay for college. 

 

What branch did you serve in and for how long? 

I was in the Army—Illinois National Guard for eight years, 1987-1995. 

 

What was your job while you were in the army? 

I was (13E) Advanced Party Field Artillery, responsible for the field computers, radio, radar, charts and targeting artillery. 

 

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

I learned to be focused on my goals, the importance of teamwork and management of the process—how to reach the goal is just as important. 

 

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

My daily routine is primarily the same but with more components. Each morning, there’s gratitude, exercise and thinking about my goals for the day. One other military habit, I cannot wear a hat indoors to this day. 

 

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

I appreciate the sacrifice that many soldiers and families go through. It’s important for the general public to realize people are putting their lives on the line for our freedom. Every year, I reach out to fellow veterans to talk about our transition to civilian life. I also place the American flag on my porch to represent.  

Marques P. 
Service Desk Technician 
ITPMO 

 

Good to see you,  Marques. When and why did you decide to join the service? 

 I come from a family with a long history of military service. My grandfather was a career marine for 25 years. My father was career Airmen for 21 years, and I have several uncles and cousins who served in various branches. I joined in 2009. In part, I wanted to carry on what seemed to be a tradition for the men in my family by serving in the military. 

 

What branch did you serve in? 

I was active-duty Army from 2009-2017. I was deployed to Afghanistan from 2013-2014.  

 

What was your job while you were in the army? 

I was an (25B) IT specialist, more commonly known as commo guys. We set up and maintained the SIPR/NIPR communications, COMSEC keys, SAT phones and all other forms of communications and IT networks. 

 

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

The military really taught me mind over matter, that, regardless of the circumstances, a focused and determined mind can achieve or overcome any obstacle. 

 

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

 It’s given me a real mission-comes-first type of mindset. Even when tasked with something I don’t truly enjoy, I can lock in on the end goal and commit to seeing the task through to completion. Usually when a task or project is handed to me, I jump right to it and aim to finish above the level of expectation.

 

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

 Having experienced the military firsthand, I have a much deeper appreciation for Veterans Day than I did prior to my term of service. A lot of people don’t recognize the amount of sacrifice that comes with wearing the uniform. It’s not a job. It’s a lifestyle, truly—and one that calls for long days, late nights, deployments and extended periods of time away from your loved ones. I have a great amount of respect for those who have served with me, before me and those who will serve after me. I usually celebrate by attending group meetings at the VA or local AMVETs. I enjoy listening to the stories of those who served before me and their experiences in and out of the military.  

Larry P. 
Industrial Account manager 
Sales 

 

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

 I decided to join the service in 1981—my senior year of high school—along with a friend and classmate once we graduated. I had worked for my father who owned restaurants while in high school and was looking to “see the world” and learn new skills.  

  

What branch did you serve in? 

 I served in the U.S. Navy. 

  

What was your job while you were in the Navy? 

I was stationed aboard the USS Guam, LPH-9, Amphibious Assault Ship, as a Radioman for most of my time in the US Navy. I also had enjoyable ports of call in England, Norway, Germany, Spain and Italy while serving. I was awarded a COMPHIBRON Four Letter of Commendation, Humanitarian Service Medal and a Navy Unit Citation, among other service ribbons during my one term of service.  

  

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

 My time in the service taught me some invaluable lessons. Working closely with a team, respect and adaptability in the face of adversity are just a few key traits I came away with. 

  

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

 The communication, problem-solving, leadership and strategic planning skills, among others, I acquired in the service help navigate relationships, problems that arise and just getting through life’s daily challenges at work and at home. The military taught me to be thoughtful, respectful, compliant and dedicated to whatever I’m doing, which transfers into daily life easily. 

  

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

 Veterans Day is the day we remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and way of life here at home. Typically, I will visit my father in the military wing of his resting place in Gainesville.