Here at FreshAddress, we are honored to work alongside two military veterans. In honor of Veteran’s Day, we decided to tell the military stories of Lori Collins, Director of our Nonprofit Group and Strategic Sales, and Jeremy Souza, Manager of our Email Hygiene Group and Business Development.
Lori Collins, US Air Force
Lori served in the US Air Force from 1986-1995. She was the first in her family to serve in the military. Lori was stationed in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and Massachusetts and luckily never had to do a tour of duty separated from her own family.
Her first tour in the Air Force was at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida where she acted as the Non Commissioned Officer in charge of administration for Detachment 4 (a flight unit that transported high level USAF officers by lear jet.) Her second tour was at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachussetts where she worked as a Staff Sergeant with the Family Support Center. There, her team helped mixed culture families assimilate to life in the US. The center taught ESL, financial planning assistance, and provided other resources and support for families.
To those just entering the military: “People join the military for many reasons and voluntarily serving your country is an extremely honorable thing to do. Utilize every benefit afforded to you.”
To her fellow veterans, she says, “thank you for all that you do or have done for this country.”
Jeremy Souza, US Army
Jeremy served in the US Army for four years. He enlisted at age 18, completed his basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and his advanced individual training (AIT) in Fort Gordon, Georgia. Jeremy did his first tour in Korea, leaving his family to travel across the globe to serve. At first, he missed his family and experienced some culture shock, but over time, he bonded with his unit, who became his second family while he was away.
Jeremy’s Military Occupational Skill (MOS) was in the role of a 31kilo/Communications Specialist. He was responsible for making sure his Company could communicate with each other.
“This carried a high level of security clearance. People, places, missions, and targets all carry a special assigned name. It was my job to make sure everyone knew who they were and what these call signs meant,” Souza says. “We also communicated over an AM radio, which seems so old school now! We would radio in to a centralized call center, and then get connected to the phone system. In the field, it was so great to be able to talk to my family back home, but our conversations sounded like ‘Hi Mom, over.’”
During his years of service, Jeremy toured at Camp Humphries in Korea and at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where his unit was attached to a Multiple Launch Rocket System Unit and was deployed to the Gulf and active in Gulf War 1. At Camp Humphries, Jeremy was assigned to an Engineering unit.
“We built Military Police camps, helped move the Companies across blown out bridges or destroyed roadways, and supported the Air Force by offering Rapid Runway Repair for any airfield that was hit,” Souza says.
To those just entering the military: “First, I commend anyone who offers their service to this country and is willing to put his or her life on the line. Freedom is not free and you are about to enter a completely new universe. It takes a lot of patience and discipline to be an outstanding and dependable soldier. Leadership is defined by actions, not words.”
To his fellow veterans, “My humble thank you! Also my sincere gratitude to first responders who fight the fight every day.”
Thank you to all veterans who have fought for this country, and a special thank you to our own Jeremy and Lori!