This National Veterans and Military Families Month, Greene Tweed honors the strength and sacrifices of our veterans and their families. They may not wear the uniform, but families of people serving the country make enormous sacrifices too.
We are honored to have so many military veterans at Greene Tweed and we asked them about their deployments, and the role their families played in supporting them defend the nation.
Colin Kras, Strategic Marketing Analyst
Colin Kras joined the U.S. Army in 2008 and his first duty station was Camp Casey, South Korea. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.
He was initially trained to be a Quartermaster officer, supervising and distributing supplies. His first two assignments were leading a maintenance platoon followed by a transportation platoon. "This was outside what I was trained for, but you do what the team needs," he says. At that time, he worried that he was probably being set up for failure but is now thankful that he "developed an accelerated learning curve," thanks to this experience. "Looking back, I was actually set up for success due to the fact I learned all three pillars of U.S. Army Logistics (Quartermaster, Maintenance, and Transportation). This experience reminds me to be patient and try to look for the opportunity in chaos," he explains.
Kras strongly believes that the family and friends of the service member serve, too. "They serve by being a support structure for the service member. They worry about the service member, send care packages, and are reachable when the service member needs someone.
Serving is an opportunity of a lifetime. However, there is a cost to serving. He elaborates with an example, "Service members are trained to perform under pressure in order to be an effective asset that keeps America safe and free. Sometimes family and friends have a hard time while supporting their service member, because it can be difficult for family and friends to relate to what the service member is going through or trained to do. In the beginning, it is hard to separate business from personal life." "It, however, gets better with time," he promises those who want to serve now. In the end, the cost is worth all the benefits from serving. For example, the G.I. bill pays for college and the VA Loan guarantees backing to purchase a home. My greatest benefit from serving was meeting my wife!"
Anthony Bell, Production Supervisor
Anthony Bell joined the Army in July 2002, and his first duty station was 3/321 Field Artillery Regiment of the 18th Airborne Field Artillery Brigade located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 and Iraq in 2005.
"My time in the Army taught me discipline, perseverance, and integrity among other things. I remember all the nights and very early mornings that helped us prepare for anything that would come across our path. Even though my deployments were very hard, the real hero was my wife. Her father is part of the Army family, so she stepped right in and took lead when it was necessary," Bell says.
They were together during his first deployment and got married in 2004 before his second tour. Recalling that she was pregnant with their first child while he was deployed, he says, "I can honestly say I will never truly understand what she went through being along during those times, but she never made me feel guilty about leaving to serve our country. I can't thank her enough for having the courage and determination necessary to do what was needed. Her bravery, loyalty, and resilience allowed me to focus on my military duties and make it back home to my family," he adds.
He got out of the military in 2008 and expresses immense pride in what he learned there, “I will hold all the lessons, morals, values, and skills that I learned during my time dear to my heart for the rest of my life.”
To him, Veterans and Military Families month is a great reminder of the sacrifices made by veterans. "This month not only allows civilians to appreciate us veterans for our sacrifices, but it gives us gratification, fulfillment, and a feeling of honor." His advice to those who want to serve is simple: "Do you seek discipline, training, and a forever family? Do you have what it takes to push yourself to the limits and beyond? Well, you are in the right place. Hard times don't last, hard people do!"