–Testimonies From ASG Employees
*All of the featured ASG employees in this article are military veterans*
With Veterans Day right around the corner, ASG is taking the time to reflect on the dedication and service military personnel provide for our country. As a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that has hired over 60 veterans in its fifteen-year history, ASG recognizes the important gift of freedom we get to enjoy in the United States.
To enhance our reflection on Veterans Day, we wanted to hear directly from the veterans currently employed at ASG. We asked them, “What does Veterans Day mean to you?” Here are their responses:
Joe Potaczek, an Industrial Hygiene Technician (IHT) at ASG, emphasizes the importance of the liberties U.S. citizens get to enjoy. “To me, Veterans Day is a day to remember the sacrifices made by former and current military members and their families. Without these sacrifices, the freedom and liberties that we enjoy today would not be possible.”
ASG Program Manager, Krystyn Clark, stresses this point, “We all enjoy the freedoms we have, but shouldn’t forget that it comes with a price that isn’t possible without our veterans.”
Other employees comment more specifically on what it is that veterans experience and sacrifice in their years of service:
Aaron Campbell, an ASG IHT, explains that his perspective has shifted since being back in the work force. While he still believes that it is important to honor veterans for their field service, he realizes that being in the military is so much more than that. He explains how his current perspective has expanded, “Now that I am out in the work force and I have moved back to where I have family close by, I realize there is a lot more to it. All those that serve miss birthdays, anniversaries, BBQ’s, holidays and seeing nieces and nephews grow up…[these are] memories you miss out on and you can’t get those back.”
“To me, it’s a day of remembrance of the remarkable journey that molded my life. I think about all the great places I have lived, people I have met and still call military family” remarks ASG Industrial Hygienist, Sunny Kim. Yet, he also remembers the harder times; “I think about the bad times as well, where I struggled to keep things together. Thinking about trips away from home, thinking about deployments to war zones, and [wondering] what special occasion will I miss next?”
ASG Management Rep, Ryan Wickes, speaks more to Sunny’s point, “While it is true that veterans are willing to put their lives on the line for others, it’s the day-to-day things that they go through that standout the most to me… the constant training for events that we hope never to come is the hardest. The constant time away from home, family, and the normal aspects of life – which most take for granted – is an ever-present way of life to veterans. The time spent away from loved ones is time that can never be replaced.”
All of these ASG employees point out that the sacrifice of the physical body for the defense of the United States is huge, but it seems another sacrifice is the loss of time and life experiences with loved ones. Life continues while military personnel are in service, and that is the hardest part.
Despite the steep sacrifices veterans make, the featured employees unanimously agree that they would not have changed their paths. Aaron Campbell says, “We signed up for it, I wouldn’t change anything about the choices I made to serve, I just have a deeper respect for all veterans…I know what they are giving up to make sure we stay safe.”
Krystyn Clark agrees and fondly remarks, “There’s a special bond we have with our extended military family that continues throughout a lifetime. My ASG teammates are now part of that extended family.”
So, what does Veterans Day mean to you? Evidently, Veterans Day honors more than the physical sacrifices made to bring freedom to the United States. While those sacrifices are vastly important, the small day-to-day experiences that veterans miss while serving are often overlooked. ASG is proud to honor those who have served and those who are currently making those day-to-day sacrifices. Happy Veterans Day!