“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” ― Abraham Lincoln
As we reflect on the meaning of Veterans Day at Stertil-Koni, we salute our veteran employees who hail from four branches of U.S. Military service: one from the Air Force, two each from the Marines and Navy, and three from the Army. Nearly 40 percent of Stertil-Koni’s workforce at its USA headquarters in Stevensville, MD are U.S. Armed Forces veterans.
L to R: Chris Milwicz, Jonathan Ruiz, Matt Murray and Paul Marks.
Putting it all in historical perspective, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11, 1919, as the first Armistice Day honoring World War I veterans, stating Americans should reflect with “…solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service with gratitude for the victory…” In 1938 Congress made the date an annual federal holiday and in 1954, Congress changed the word “Armistice” to “Veterans, ” and it became a day to honor all veterans of American wars.
“We are pleased to have so many Armed Forces veterans on our staff,” noted Dr. Jean DellAmore, president of Stertil-Koni USA. “Their military background has proved vital to the success of Stertil-Koni during its 20-year history. We admire these brave and loyal individuals who have served our country and thank them for their service, skills, and expertise which they apply on a daily basis now to fostering growth at Stertil-Koni USA.”
A Stertil-Koni thank you goes to:
Director of Operations, Kevin Hymers, (left) who served 10 years in the United States Marine Corps obtaining the rank of Major, has a B.S. in Physical Sciences from the U.S. Naval Academy.
Paul Marks, (right) operations manager, joined Stertil-Koni in August 1998 after a 26-year career in the United States Air Force. Marks’ military career includes work in administrative management, logistics and operations.
He finished his military service at Fort George G. Meade, as an instructor in the Defense Courier Service where he was part of the team that developed the curriculum for the Defense Courier Service Training School.
Matt Murray, (left) technical support manager, is a U.S. Army veteran, having attained the rank of Sergeant. He served as a squad leader and tank gunner for an M1A1 tank with the 3rd Armored Division during Operation Desert Storm.
U.S. Military & GSA sales manager, Al Wright, (right) is a graduate of Texas A&M, a disabled Army veteran, and former Department of Defense civilian of 20 years. Wright has worked in multiple U.S. Army programs, including PATRIOT Missile Systems, Quality Assurance Specialist for MRAP fielding teams, and Special Assistant to the Commanding General at Army Material Command.
National account manager Rick Palmer (left with binoculars) served as an Army Field Artillery Officer in Germany. Palmer entered the service in the U.S. Army in 1966 and went to Fort Riley, KS for Basic and AIT training in the 9th Infantry Division.
As Rick explained recently, “The 9th Infantry Division left for Vietnam, and he left Ft. Riley for Artillery Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Ft. Sill, OK.” Upon graduation as a 2nd Lieutenant in April 1967, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery – 36th Army Group in Babenhausen, Germany. Palmer stayed active in the reserves while living in Germany for a number or years and was an Escort Officer for dignitaries during the REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) Exercises every year until he left the service as a Major.
Ron Reazer, (below right) western regional sales manager, served six years in the U.S. Navy, four active and two inactive. Reazer joined the Navy in 1980 and attended boot camp in San Diego, CA. After boot camp, he was sent to Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA. “There,” he explains, “I joined the Strike Fighter Squadron 192 (VFA-192) also known as the "World Famous Golden Dragons" where I worked on the flight line & in the weapons department.”
In November 1982, the squadron joined Carrier Air Wing 9 and became a part of the USS Ranger team. From July to August 1983, USS Ranger, with VA-912 was ordered to operate off the coast of Nicaragua in response to an unstable situation in Central America. From October 1983 to January 1984, USS Ranger, with VA-192 embarked, was extended on station in the Arabian Sea due to the Iranian threat to block oil exports from the Persian Gulf. Reazer was honorably discharged in 1984.
Jonathan Ruiz, a Service Technician with Stertil-Koni, served in the U.S Marine Corps as a warehouse specialist.
Stertil-Koni’s newest employee, Warehouse Associate Chris Milwicz, (left) was a Navy Aviation Ordnanceman as an E-5 AO2. He served six years and did three combat tours, 2004, 20011 and 2015 in the Persian Gulf aboard CVN-69, homeported in Norfolk, Va.
Concluded DellAmore, “Stertil-Koni thanks our veterans for their service to our country and the experience and dedication they bring with them as employees. Thank you!”