Today is Veterans Day! A day in which we praise the military veterans within the United States Armed Forces and thank them for their service to our country. To celebrate and honor veterans, we’ve interviewed two of our veteran employees to get their perspective on the work they’ve done both in and out of the military.

Eli Ortiz

Eli Ortiz was active duty from August 2008 through August 2013. He then joined the reserves until 2016. He joined IntelliSource at our site in Washington State as a recruiter.

What made you decide to enlist?

Honestly, I grew up with a single mother who cleaned houses for a living. We didn’t have a lot of money, and I didn’t want to stress about college debt or loans. The military was something I could do immediately after high school and figured it would set me up for success once I got out. If I was joining the military, I wanted to be in the toughest branch- hence the Marines.

What was the most rewarding part of your service experience?

As a K9 handler, I got to work with local Police Depts, TSA, FBI, Navy Seals, and Secret Service. But I also got to stay with President Obama when he traveled. Short answer, I got to meet a lot of badass dogs and people. 

How has your role with IntelliSource allowed you to leverage your service experience?

Being in Washington State, we have a lot of military families here. Looking for your first job out of the military is tough, and I like to think I can help alleviate any nerves since I was once in their shoes. I’m familiar with all the different jobs and culture the military offers. I’m able to help them articulate how the skills they’ve learned apply to the job they want. 

In the military, and like most jobs, the first person you talk to is the recruiter. They tell you about the branch itself, the job, the benefits, and a lot more. They are your main point of contact and get you excited to leave for boot camp. As a recruiter with IntelliSource, I see the importance of being there for my candidates.

What does Veterans Day mean to you? 

Veterans Day, for me, is just another day. I think about the guys we lost often… not only on this day, but it is nice getting a 20% discount at some restaurants. 

How can we as a whole better help honor the sacrifice you and fellow service members make?

I didn’t sacrifice anything ( in my opinion… I knew what I signed up for), but usually just the “thank you for your service” is cool.

Jeremy Cote served in the Armor Branch of the US Army from August 2001 to November 2013 and joined our team in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as an Operations Manager.

What was your occupational specialty in the military?

I was an M1A1 Abrams Tank Commander 

What was the most rewarding part of your service experience?

The most rewarding part of the experience was the bonds developed with those with whom I served. The meaning of “friendship” becomes more significant when placed in the direst circumstances created by humanity. Knowing that another person has your back, 100% without question until that end comes, is a warm comfort felt in the deepest part of the soul. Unfortunately, I don’t think us “kids” realized how special it was at that moment. No matter how long or far we are apart, those bonds never waiver. 

How has your role with IntelliSource allowed you to leverage your service experience? 

My management role with IntelliSource has allowed me the opportunity to apply my years of military leadership in a business environment. Soldiers and employees have very similar needs. Having a strong figure to trust and knowing that someone is looking out for their well-being will help. Showing them that someone will be there and helping them see it’s going to be ok when things inevitably get rocky. Most importantly, acting as a mentor, so they are prepared to conquer the next step when opportunity calls. 

What does Veterans Day mean to you? 

Veterans Day is a day I spend remembering all the wonderful people I served with, and all the combat soldiers that cut their teeth before me. It’s a day I recollect the good times and laughs, the rough times and tears that were never shed due to time constraints, and the families left with nothing but a folded flag and empty set of combat boots. 

How can we as a whole better help honor the sacrifice you and fellow service members make?

Don’t let history be forgotten. Understanding humanity’s past events and mistakes prevent repeat scenarios, which leads to conflict – averting the sacrifice is the best way one can honor it.

IntelliSource wants to thank both Eli and Jeremy for their military service and for their amazing work within IntelliSource. They are true leaders and embody everything that IntelliSource is through their application of values and leadership.

Thank you to all of our Veterans for everything you have done for our country and for our freedom. Happy Veterans Day to all of the Veterans across our company and our nation!