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MidSouth EC News

Our Mission at Home: Veterans in the Workplace

Military veterans bring exceptional practices to the workplace

The word “mission” has many meanings and connotations. Whether your mission is defined as what drives your business or if it’s important tasks and duties assigned to you, one underlying concept unifies all meanings: Missions move us forward. This connection is clear when you look at the exceptional practices and qualities that military veterans bring to the workplace.

Mid-South Synergy has long fostered a relationship with veterans and military families. Perhaps it’s because our core principles of serving our neighbors and being ready to respond in times of crisis at a moment’s notice align so closely with military values. Maybe it’s that many veterans come from rural communities and return to their hometowns following active duty. Or maybe it’s due to the shared work ethic of teamwork, cooperation and a “get it done” attitude. We believe it’s all of the above.

As a Marine Corps veteran and electric operations supervisor for Mid-South Synergy, Juan Arredondo sees these qualities in his employees and himself.

“I believe the Marine Corps taught me to excel in all my undertakings, to never give up and to be resourceful in all situations,” he said. “A veteran’s loyalty, perseverance, respect and discipline often naturally rise to the top—therefore, not only adding value as an employee but also adding value to the employer. Veterans usually bring the qualities of being self-sufficient, self-motivated and better prepared for day-to-day experiences. Most veterans have spent time alone where they had to be resourceful, knowledgeable and prepared. These qualities often are applied in work tasks, making veterans better prepared in the workplace.”

The diversity of jobs and duties within the military serve to create a workforce composed of a range of skills and backgrounds. “I think hiring veterans is a smart decision because they make great employees—leaders,” said Lyman Maxey, a U.S. Army veteran and current member services team member at Mid-South. “They can be easily trained and work well with others.”

Hiring veterans is just the beginning of our mission at home; support is also key. Mid-South Synergy is proud to provide our veterans and employees with exceptional benefits.

“I feel that having a supportive work environment along with good benefits helps veterans perform their job duties to the best of their abilities as well as create longevity with their employer,” Maxey said.

Auburn Rose, a Marine Corps veteran and utility specialist for Mid-South Synergy, said the co-op is a great fit.

“Coming from active duty to the civilian workforce at times is a huge change,” he said. “For some, it’s leaving behind a family and starting a new one. Others transition fairly easy. Either way, the effects of military actions may not always show up on day one. It’s very important for vets to have open communication and support dealing with various issues that may arise in their future.”

Arredondo said his military experience profoundly impacted his life.

“The Marine Corps probably changed my life in not just many, but in all aspects of my life,” he said. “After high school graduation, I really had no idea what I wanted to do in life, with no direction or discipline. I made a life-changing decision to enlist that affected me from the time I arrived at the yellow footprints of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot till the day I was discharged. From that day forward, I held myself accountable for all my actions. As a Marine, accountability, loyalty, perseverance, respect and especially discipline are not options but a way of life. So, with that said, these per-sonality traits often rise to the top at one time or another in my life and career. Semper Fi.”

Mid-South Synergy is proud to be a part of a national network of electric cooperatives spanning 47 states and covering 56 percent of the nation’s landmass that support the Serve our Co-ops; Serve Our Country program, a nationwide initiative aimed at employing and honoring veterans, active duty military service members and their spouses. To learn more about the program, visit servevets.coop.

We want to say “Thank you” to all those who have served or are currently serving in our nation’s military. Thank you for your countless missions and for sustaining ours here at home.

A special thank you to the Mid-South Veterans that contributed to this article:

  • Lyman Maxey, member services representative, U.S. Army veteran 1995-1999
  • Juan Arredondo, Montgomery electric operations supervisor, U.S Marine Corps veteran 1978–1981
  • Auburn Rose, Right-of-way coordinator, U.S. Marine Corps veteran 1991-1995