JEA Salute to Veterans Video Transcript

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Nate/JEA Line maintainer: Once you put a uniform on it’s never about yourself, it’s about the person standing to your left and your right. Most people look at Veterans Day as just a day off. It’s never about just having a day off or a bigger discount at a store. It’s about the people who lost their lives for this country. For me you to have the right to vote for who we want to vote for, to feel the way we feel. To dress the way we dress. That alone is priceless. 

Carolyn/JEA Mechanical Technician:  I worked on the simulator which is a cockpit, hooked up to a computer which simulates flight, simulates the armament, simulates emergencies, and the pilots have to react and fly missions in the simulator so that when they actually fly the aircraft its second nature they just know where every switch is in the cockpit they can find it with the lights off. The first wave of the first Gulf War, with Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait, when we went in and got him out of Kuwait, the pilots that I helped train were in the actual evening when they went in and bombed. Some of the pilots I knew, didn’t come back.

Mike/JEA C&M Working Foreman: A lot of people like myself decided to go after 9/11. There was a good chance that you’d get sent overseas to a combat situation. It’s a huge sacrifice. Hard on families. You’re away from everybody.

Mitchell/JEA Mechanical Technician: My number did come up, but before I was drafted, I wanted to pick the branch of the armed services that I wanted to go into. I had talked to a bunch of people before and they told me that the Navy was the in thing at the time. We patrolled up and down the coast of Vietnam about a mile, mile and a half offshore shooting those big guns in to support our military.

Wayne/JEA Wastewater Operator Team Leader: I served 20 years in the United States Navy. I did a bunch of tours, deployments, because I was in a sea-going rate and my rate was basically on steam ships and ships always sail so that’s where I spent most my career on ships and at sea. I missed a lot of anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, Christmases all of that. You pull into port, you want to make a phone call, you had to go to a phone bank, you know you sign in and you stand in line for maybe an hour or so, trying to get on the phone and you try to time it right but at some point you just had to make the phone call, you know it’d be 2 – 3 o’clock in the morning and you call home or it’s in the middle of the day and you hoping somebody answer. Veterans Day means honoring the people who served. There’s a whole bunch of people who served. To go out and recognize them and give them a pat on the back and say we appreciate what you’re doing. Appreciate your service. And it makes them feel good.

Paul McElroy/JEA CEO: Veteran’s Day is a special day to focus our attention on recognizing and saying thank you to all Veterans, their families and love ones. Yet it is every day we should say thank you to our country’s Veterans as well as their families for the service and sacrifice they have given to all of us. It is their brave, courageous and selfless gift of service, usually given in the prime of their lives, which affords us our freedom and life as we know it in the greatest country on the planet. It is an honor for me lead JEA knowing that over 20% of our team has served – or is serving – in the military. To these men and woman, their families, and to all Veterans, I sincerely and humbly say thank you for your service and sacrifice.