Veterans Day is a time to honor all who serve in the U.S. military. To continue our recognition beyond this special day, we are highlighting some of our very own Medix teammates who have served our country. In candid interviews, John, Mike, Brittany, Jeb and Luke share key parts of their military story and teach us lessons that apply to the workplace.

John, Corporate Counsel – Risk Manager, Chicago:John medix veteran

Tell us about your background in the service.
“I spent seven years in the Army Reserve (counting my ROTC time) and served almost six years on active duty in the Army.  As I already had my law degree and passed the bar exam, I applied for and was accepted into the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. I spent three years at Fort Benning Georgia, most of which was as the prosecutor for two training units and the 75th Ranger Regiment. I deployed to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Light Infantry Division as the Operational Law Attorney and Legal Advisor to the Afghan Army located in Eastern Afghanistan. When I returned from deployment, I spent the remainder of my time at Fort Drum as a Trial Defense Counsel to soldiers facing courts martial.  Most of my time was spent in the rank of Captain.”
What skills or lessons have you learned in the service that have impacted your career at Medix?
“Leadership. The military is in the business of creating the next generation of leaders, and I actually took it for granted how prevalent good leaders and leadership were in my daily life.  I was surrounded by individuals who had been studying, teaching and practicing it in the harshest of environments under the most stressful circumstances. The mentality of the organization was you’re either moving up in leadership and responsibility, or you’re moving out. If you can’t lead or you’re complacent, there’s really no place for you.
How does that specifically impact my career at Medix? I try to be a leader. I’m sure I don’t always succeed. I get frustrated some days. Some days I have ‘a case of the Mondays.’  However, by at least keeping in my mind to ‘try to be a leader,’ I find myself more likely to also try: to live the core values; embody the core purpose; be positive; be patient; be professional; be courteous; be respectful; be honest; be loyal; and develop and empower those around me.”

Mike Medix veteransMike, Account Manager, Nashville:

Tell us about your background in the service.
“I was in the Army from 2006-2017. I started out as an Airborne Infantryman and was a Pathfinder in the 101st Airborne division. I spent time all over the U.S., South America, and served two year-long combat tours in Afghanistan. I also served as a recruiter my last few years in the Army, which helped me transition into Medix.”
What skills or lessons have you learned in the service that have impacted your career at Medix?
“Resilience. In the Army, I learned to get through hard times with a smile, ’embrace the suck’ and really celebrate the good times. Motivating others to excellence is what all NCOs do on a day-to-day basis, and I am always trying incorporate that in everything I do at work and at home.”

Brittany, Payroll Coordinator, Remote:Brittany Medix veterans

Tell us about your background in the service.
“I joined the Army National Guard when I was 17 years old. After graduating basic training, I went to Fort Lee, Virginia and completed four months of Advanced Individual Training. My military title was “Logistical Specialist.” I started college shortly after at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and continued my military training. I served six years in the Army National Guard.”  
What were the biggest challenges you faced while being in the service?
“Overcoming my fear of spiders after being bit by a brown recluse in the field. (Just kidding, but that seriously did happen!) Transitioning to that soldier mindset every month when I would return for my training was always challenging while being a college student. You had to have the discipline to put yourself back in that mindset and get the job done!”
What did you enjoy the most about serving?
“The bonds you share with the person serving next to you and the experiences you go through together are irreplaceable. I have stayed in contact with many people I met while at training and are currently serving all over the world. It is truly a lifelong bond.”

Jeb Medix veteransJeb, Managing Director – Information Technology, Nashville:

Tell us about your background in the service.
“I joined the Air Force in June of 1998 right after I graduated high school and went to basic training in Lackland Air Force Base. I was fortunate enough to get a briefing from a Master Sergeant who was looking for trainees to try out for TACP (Tactical Air Control Party). They were Air Force personnel who lived, trained and fought with the Army. I tried out and was accepted.
I was stationed in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina for just under two years and Schweinfurt, Germany for just over two years. It was in Germany where I saw the towers come down on 9/11, and where I was told for the first time I was going to go to WAR. It was a very surreal realization, as I imagine it was surreal for many people in the military at the time who had joined during peacetime and were now being thrust into the possibility of going to war. I knew immediately I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I felt like I should have been. I immediately started volunteering for every field training opportunity I could so I could be as prepared as I possible for going to war, though we still did not know when or where that would be.”
What were the biggest challenges you faced while being in the service?
“I was aligned with men who had trained with each other for months and, most of the time, years. At times, I would jump off a helicopter with a guy from another branch, and we were expected to trust and fight alongside each other. It was interesting to say the least. New people, new tactics, new weapons. They were eager to train and teach me because I was eager to learn and didn’t shy away from questions. They were also eager to learn how to control air strikes and call in fires. We grew to be friends and all grew to trust each other. Even though they were Army Green Berets and I was an Air Force JTAC. They trusted me and I trusted them. It was earned, not blindly given.”
What skills or lessons have you learned in the service that have impacted your career at Medix?
“This is my story, but there are many similar veteran stories like them. I did two tours, I have buddies of mine who have done over eight. I was fortunate enough to come back, understand what I wanted to do with my life and had friends who kept me going in the right direction. We can’t be intimidated by veterans when we get the opportunity to interview them. Around Veterans Day, if you know anyone in who served or is currently serving, don’t just thank them for their service, but ask them about their experiences. Some want to talk about and some don’t, but I think you’d be surprised how many vets would love to share their experiences, as long as it’s an honest and genuine question.”

Luke, Practice Leader – EPIC, Chicago:luke veteran Medix 1

Tell us about your background in the service.
“From 1990 to 1996, I served six years in the Air National Guard in the 126th Air Refueling Wing at O’Hare Air Force Base in Chicago, Illinois. I worked in in-field telecommunications. Throughout my service, I was deployed to Honduras, Italy and domestic locations throughout the U.S.”
What were the biggest challenges you faced while being in the service?
“I never saw any type of combat, so my respect for those who found themselves in harms way or who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country is extremely high. My challenges will never compare to those brave men and women who found themselves in compromised situations serving our country. Of course, it was difficult leaving home right out of high school and heading to boot camp. That can be hard for almost anyone. Honduras was a tough deployment, but also a very interesting experience at the same time. Getting dropped off on a dirt runway by a C130 in an extremely remote location in Central America – I had just thrown up on the flight in. Living in tents with no running water, no electricity, third world villages with mud huts. It got up close to 120 degrees and humid on a daily basis with snakes and scorpions.
luke veteran Medix 3
One day we were all ordered to get into our tents in the middle of the day which we hated because it was even hotter in there. Finally, we were let out and they brought all base personnel together for a briefing by a colonel on why we were in our tents all day. Apparently, there were local snipers up in the mountains taking shots down into our base. Fortunately, no one was hit. We were told they dispatched several Marines to deal with the problem. They opened it up for questions. Somebody asked if they had caught the snipers. The Colonel briefing us said the threat had been neutralized. Nobody asked any more questions.”
What did you enjoy the most about serving?luke veteran Medix 2
“I have always loved my country and loved serving it in our military. Seeing different parts of the world opened me up to experiences I still cherish to this day. I served under great leaders and alongside incredible friends.”
Thank you, John, Mike, Brittany, Jeb and Luke for sharing your story on this special veterans edition of the Medix Teammate Spotlight!
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