In honor of Veterans Day, Premium is highlighting some #PeopleofPremium who have served in the United States military. Read their stories below!
What was your role in the military?
“I was a Drill Sergeant and a Squad Leader then progressed to a Platoon Sergeant and finally a First Sergeant overseeing 250+ soldiers.” – Jeffrey Champ | Walmart Retail Specialist | Army for 21 years
“I served in the US Army as a military policeman during Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. We were like the highway patrol of the desert until the air war started then our mission changed. We guarded the generals calling the war moving troops.” – Vonnie Wiggins | L2 Technician | Army for 6 years
“I served one tour in the Southern Helmand province of Afghanistan in 2012 and finished my Marine Corps career in 2016.” – Joshua Burrell | Walmart Wireless Sales Pro | Marine Corps for 6 years
“After serving a one-year tour as a combat helicopter platoon leader in Pleiku, Vietnam, I became an instructor pilot at Ft. Wolters, TX, training German, Vietnamese, and Warrant officer candidates to fly helicopters.” – Jon L. Van Leer | Pet Ambassador | Army for 5 years
“I was stationed in Ft. Polk, LA as part of an Airborne Infantry Battalion tasked with training all US Army infantry and special forces.” – Scott Pierce | Field Sales Manager | Army for 4 years
“I served at Camp Pendleton, CA, as a Crash Fire Rescue Paramedic / EMT, Mounted Color Guard and security. Had four great years serving during Desert Storm and several local natural disasters.” – Kimberly Jensen | Retail Market Manager | Marine Corps for 4 years
Why did you join the military?
“My primary reason for joining the Air Force was to take advantage of the robust educational benefits offered as my parents could not afford to help me with college. I also had several members of my family who were military, so I wanted to do my part to serve our country.” – Melissa Raethka | EVP, Operations | Air Force for 6.5 years
“I joined the military in 1983 for a better chance and a better life.” – Bradley H. Fredrick | Instructional Designer – Training | Air Force for 5 years
“I wanted to serve in the military since I was 12 years old. I have always been a protector as well as a fighter.” – Tevin Myles | Operations Support Specialist | Army for 6 years
“In 1966 I was attending the University of Minnesota, and due to losing my job was unable to pay my tuition. In June I was mailed a letter from the draft board telling me to report to selective service to complete a physical exam. I had been drafted into the US Army.” – Jon L. Van Leer | Pet Ambassador | Army for 5 years
“I always told myself if I had the opportunity, I would serve my country for those who couldn’t themselves.” – Joshua Burrell | Walmart Wireless Sales Pro | Marine Corps for 6 years
“My father’s service made me feel so proud that before I ever got into high school, I knew I wanted to be an Engineer in the US Army. – Jeffrey Champ | Walmart Retail Specialist | Army for 21 years
“I knew I wanted to join the military because I grew up in a military family. I’ve had many family members serve in the Armed Forces, going back to WWI.” – Andrew Walters | Sr. Client Account Coordinator | Army for 2 years
What did you learn from the military?
“My time in the military really helped shape who I am today. The missions we served required a high level of accountability and willingness to learn. I needed to be detail-oriented and push myself outside my comfort zone as often times there were responsibilities that had grave consequences had I not done my job correctly.” – Melissa Raethka | EVP, Operations | Air Force for 6.5 years
“My military training taught me to be detail-oriented and to pay attention to all things that go on around you – every sound you hear, every movement you see. I learned to work hard for the betterment of myself and my country. As an Instructional Designer for nearly 20 years, those precision skills enable me to write and create training materials and courses at Premium.” – Bradley H. Fredrick | Instructional Designer – Training | Air Force for 5 years
“The Army teaches you how to be an adult very quickly and matures you to a certain degree.” – Tevin Myles | Operations Support Specialist | Army for 6 years
“My entire military experience was the BEST thing that ever happened to me. The draft helped me get a true picture of what I really needed – structure and opportunity.” – Jon L. Van Leer | Pet Ambassador | Army for 5 years
What led you to Premium after your time in the military?
“What led me to Premium was the idea of a company that provides not only great leadership but the opportunity to showcase your own leadership.” – Joshua Burrell | Walmart Wireless Sales Pro | Marine Corps for 6 years
“I acquired a passion for working with people and discovered retail to be the best avenue for it. After years in retail management, I retired but didn’t want to stop being around people. Therefore, I searched for a part-time position that allowed me to work with people and found Premium to be the best fit!” – Jeffrey Champ | Walmart Retail Specialist | Army for 21 years
What would you like to share with other Veterans on this day?
“I salute all Veterans who served and I’m forever in debt to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.” – Andrew Walters | Sr. Client Account Coordinator | Army for 2 years
“I wish to thank all my brothers and sisters that are serving or have served, you have my deepest respect!” – Jeffrey Champ | Walmart Retail Specialist | Army for 21 years
“There is a bond among military members. If I meet a stranger and find out he/she was in the military, the connection is immediate. I have a sincere appreciation for all who have served/are serving, their family members and, with my deepest gratitude, those who paid the ultimate price.” – Melissa Raethka | EVP, Operations | Air Force for 6.5 years
As a proud participant of the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership program, Premium is also committed to recruiting, hiring, promoting and retaining military spouses.