There are currently 18.8 million veterans in the US. Let’s not gloss over this number. That’s not just 18.8 million people, that’s 18.8 million people with names, families, and lives that matter. Let’s pull the curtain back a bit on veterans and consider a brief history of Veteran’s Day, how veterans influence the transportation industry, and take time to honor Kopf veteran Tom Stanfill.
From Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day
Have you ever wondered why November 11 was chosen as Veteran’s Day and how it differs from Memorial Day? On November 11, 1918, the First World War ended. Twenty years later, in 1938, November 11 officially became known as “Armistice Day” to honor World War I veterans. In 1954, President Eisenhower changed the holiday’s name to “Veteran’s Day” to honor all American veterans. Unlike Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day is a day to honor and thank living veterans who have served honorably in the military, whether during war or peace.
Of those 18.8 million veterans who served during peace or war, an estimated 11% are employed in the transportation industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means veterans have an important role to play in transportation. At Kopf, we believe veterans are excellent assets in transportation as they are highly skilled, dedicated, and team-oriented. We affirm this to be true because we are honored to employ some of these hard-working veterans.
Honoring Kopf Veteran Tom
This year we want to recognize and thank Tom Stanfill for his service. Tom has been a Kopf employee since 1990 and is currently our Freight Coordinator. With a keen attention to detail and strong analytical and communication skills, Tom has the ability to adapt in any given situation. Leadership and fellow team members describe Tom as hard-working, a person of integrity, committed, cheerful, and caring.
Tom served as a Transportation Specialist in the United States Army. He chose to serve in the Army because of his family’s tradition of Army service. While in the Army, Tom served at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and Fort Carson in Colorado. He also served abroad at the US Army Garrison in Wiesbaden, Germany.
While his entire experience was memorable, three moments stand out to him most. During basic training, Tom remembers the tear gas chamber, “It was horrible!” With pride he reveals, “I survived the mind games!” Another memorable experience was in 1983. As part of a Quick Reactionary Force, he was sent to guard the hospital in Germany where injured Marines were sent from the Beirut bombing of the US Embassy. A year later, Tom was sent to the Czechoslovakian border and remembers seeing armed Russian soldiers keep guard over Czechoslovakian potato farmers to keep them from fleeing.
When asked if any of his time in the Army influenced his decision to work in the transportation industry, Tom said, “All of it.” Thank you for your service, Tom! We appreciate your sacrifice and are honored you are part of #TeamKopf.
It is with great honor, we say, “Thank you!” Thank you to all veterans in the Transportation Industry. Thank you for serving honorably in our military. We appreciate your service and sacrifices.
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