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“When you talk about combat leadership under fire on the beach at Normandy, I don’t see how the credit can go to anyone other than the company-grade officers and senior NCOs who led the way. It is good to be reminded that there are such men, that there always have been and always will be. We sometimes forget, I think, that you can manufacture weapons, and you can purchase ammunition, but you can’t buy valor and you can’t pull heroes off an assembly line.” — Sgt. John Ellery
Gustavo Gonzalez Cardenas — Sweeps Department Operator
I served for 20 years in the Venezuelan army and my specialty was in the infantry. I was in several infantry units and special forces. I reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Kristian Diaz — Sweeps/Melt Departments Manager
I joined the Army in 1996 and I served for 8 years . My highest rank was E-4 specialist
I was a Combat Medic 91-B as well. I went 2 times to Honduras to provide medical relief after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. I was also assigned to protect the Path Train station in Jersey City, NJ after 9-11. We were transporting injured people that were airlifted from Manhattan to Liberty State Park. Lots of fun times and sad times but I’m glad and so proud that I served my country.
Major William Fellner (Nina Daniels — Sales Manager)
I will like to recognize my grandpa, Major William Fellner. He was career USMC, enlisting as a private during WWII. The picture of him at dinner is the night he got engaged. Within 48 hours he was sent to overseas. My grandpa was born in San Francisco but grew up in Austria. Because of his Austrian heritage he was sent to Pacific theater keeping him out of Europe. He was served in Beijing, China and Okinawa, Japan. After WWII he was stationed in Hawaii and Guam. At the onset of Korean war, his was one of the first battalions sent over. The Korean War was against communism. In 1945 at the end of WWII, the Japanese empire collapsed and the country was divided north/south at 38 parallel. Backed by Communist China & USSR, the North Koreans invaded South Korea. The United Nations security counsel passed resolution and 15 countries including the USA sent military aid to South Korea. I remember when my family went to DC to see the Korean War Memorial. There is a plaque near the Pool of Remembrance. It stirs me to tears of pride for my Grandpa and all those who served with him. It says, “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.”
Patrick Fee Jr. — Director of Operations
My son Patrick served in the Navy for 4 years assigned to the Coastal Rivron Two command. During his service, he was deployed to Dubai twice, achieved a rank of GM3 and received medals for Navy Good Conduct, National Defense Service, and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary. He was also awarded Ribbons for Navy Sea Service Deployment and Navy Sharpshooter. We are very proud of our son who had aspirations to defend his country from the age of 5. After his service he attended Appalachian State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Cum lade.
Cody Alexander — Burn Department Manager
I was in 1st Battalion 6th Marines and was enlisted for 4 years. I reached the rank of E-4 Corporal.
I enlisted out of high school. And went to boot camp in the summer of 04 afterwards I attended infantry school and gained the MOS of 0341 combat mortarman, where I was the top gunner in my class of 30. I was attached to 1st battalion 6th marines bravo company. My first deployment was in 05 just a few months after arriving at my unit. We were deployed to Fallujah, Iraq and arrived just after the infamous operation Phantom Fury. We spent our days on patrol, guard duty, training Iraqi soldiers or searching for enemy combatants in an effort to capture them. We came home 7 months later and after a short amount of time for R&R we began training for our next deployment which was less than a year later. We deployed to Ramadi, Iraq in late 06. Ramadi was known as the most dangerous city in the world when we arrived. At first there were 5-6 firefights a day on average, and by the time we left there was no shots fired in our city for the last 6 weeks. Some how my company lasted the entire 9 month deployment with out a single person lost. When we returned home I had less than a year left on my deployment and I spent that time training the younger generation of marines to be prepared for their next deployment. I officially ended my enlistment in 08, where I moved to North Carolina.
Ron Elliot — Logistics/Driver
During my 7 years in the Army I was in multiple places. I spent some time in Germany . I was also on a humanitarian mission over in Egypt providing power and running water to some people who haven’t had fresh running water without going to the river . lastly I was deployed to Afghanistan where I spent little over a year. my primary job was a truck driver but my unit was tasked with training the Afghan national army ,Perimeter security and other things where I also got hurt but I was one of the Lucky ones . I was an E-4 or specialist.
Lorraine Benn — Quality and Control Improvement Manager
I have served over 28 years in the United States Air Force. I started my Active Duty career as a Tactical Aircraft “F-15 Crew Chief” Maintenance Specialist (IYAMYAS). I was privileged to serve overseas for three and a half of those five years during the Desert Storm time period. After which, I transitioned to the USAF Reserves as a traditional reservist in the career field of Maintenance Production Scheduling for four years. I was hand selected to cross-train into Military Intelligence and performed as a traditional, Art Reserve Technician (full-time again for 8 years) and now an Individual Mobilization Augmentee in support of an Air Mobility Command Active Duty Mission. I may have served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Joint Operations, Temporary Duty’s (TDY’s) and exercises; but I received lasting friendships and special memories that will last a life time.
Cheers to all those I have served with, to those that have served, and those who support the military!
Kevin Grimsley — Maxton Operations Manager
I served over 14 years in the U.S. Army. I started out as a Private and worked my way up to a Staff Sergeant before going to college and later becoming an Officer. I have deployed overseas 4 times to include 3 combat tours in Iraq and later Afghanistan.
Attached is a picture of me leading a platoon while conducting operations in Afghanistan.
Thank you for honoring all veterans!