Thursday, November 11 | Thought Leadership, Cause Connected, Meet Our Veterans, Netsmart Life

A Salute to Those Who Served

By Tom Gelles, VP, Client Alignment; Veterans Associate Resource Group Executive Sponsor

There’s an unofficial mantra U.S. Army members use when faced with a challenge:

Improvise, adapt and overcome.

Some of our veterans here at Netsmart still live by this saying – a testament to the perseverance, dedication and humility acquired through their time in the military.

“I think those three words describe how you come out of the military. There's always a way to get something done,” Daniel Countryman, MBA, Business Development Representative and U.S. Army (2013-2017) said. “And that translates well to the work I’m doing today.”

In honor of Veterans Day, we sat down with some members of the Netsmart Veterans Associate Resource Group (ARG) to learn about their experiences, perspectives and takeaways on not only the holiday, but their time served overall.

It’s clear their time in the military greatly shaped many elements of their lives, including certain qualities and characteristics they now leverage in their daily work. Traits such as loyalty, determination, discipline and integrity often stand out among veterans, serving them well in the workplace.

“After serving in the Army, I feel like there isn’t a job I can't do,” Ada Gudex, Managing Solution Strategist and Army Finance Officer (2000-2007) said. “There’s a sink-or-swim kind of mentality in the military, which renders well in the workforce. It helps me quickly adjust and now gives me a sense of excitement with any challenge that comes my way.”

Serving in the military also brings team building and leadership experience. Associates in the Veterans AGR agreed these attributes often make military personnel not only dependable and hardworking associates but also suitable to manage both small and large teams in their current roles.

“A lot of people come out of the military and make really great managers, having that ability to motivate, inspire and lead people,” Ada Gudex said. “It’s important to appreciate what values and skillsets people in the military have and how much that can add to a team or company.”

Veterans Day is about honoring and appreciating those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as their families. For veterans themselves, the day looks different from person to person. Some choose to spend it surrounded by loved ones, connecting with former service members, accepting the gratitude offered by various organizations or taking time to remember those who lost their lives.

“On Veterans Day, I usually take a moment to think about and reconnect with the people I served with, truly a privilege to have worked alongside such a great group of folks,” Dalton Mink, Senior Technical Project Manager and U.S. Army Field Artillery Officer (2014-2020) said. “It was a great opportunity to be apart some something much bigger than myself.”

For those who have not served, expressing gratitude is a great way to honor veterans both on November 11 and all year long. While giving a simple “Thank you for your service” is always appreciated, initiating a conversation is another, more attentive way to recognize their service and sacrifice.

“Sometimes there's a fear of asking questions – nobody wants to offend or say the wrong thing,” Robert Myers, Software Engineer and U.S. Marine Staff Sargent (1984-1992), said. “It's okay to ask questions. I don't think that there's enough of that in the civilian world.”

Striking up a conversation may lead to a valuable and educational discussion. Try asking meaningful questions to show both appreciation and interest when speaking with a veteran or their loved ones. Start with questions like:

  • What inspired you (or them) to join the military?
  • Was there a favorite place you (or they) visited or lived while serving?
  • Did you (or they) meet any special people in the service?

By asking intentional and appropriate questions to those who served or those whose loved ones served, you are taking an extra step to express gratitude and interest. The veteran or loved one can choose to share as much or as little as they are comfortable with. Simply asking about their service gives them an opportunity to share. And if not, it still lets them know your intention and thanks.

Other ways to honor Veterans Day include attending a Veterans Day event in your area, donating to organizations that offer support and services or write to a veteran (this can be particularly beneficial as many immunocompromised veterans have not been able to engage in typical social interaction over the past year due to COVID-19.)

Netsmart is honored and humbled to work with veterans across our associate community, and we deeply thank all who have served, including their families, for their sacrifice and service.

 

 

Meet the Author

Tom Gelles · VP, Client Alignment; Veterans Associate Resource Group Executive Sponsor

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