July Showcase – Week 2
Branch Employees who have Served The United States Arm Forces
General Superintendent, Branch Civil
Getting out of a small town to see what was out there and serve the United States of America was why Steve Morris joined the Army in 1981. The day he enlisted, he remembers being proud of taking a step to become a better person. Steve served in the U.S. Army and the Virginia National Guard from 1981 to 2005. His specialty in the Army was a Heavy Equipment Operator, and he was a Combat Engineer while in the Virginia National Guard. Steve served throughout the United States and did several tours in Germany and other countries. He still maintains contact with some of the people with which he served. His son also served in the U. S. Air Force.
Steve’s funniest memory of Boot Camp is crab-walking around the barracks, and he admits his worst memory was being singled out by the drill instructors. At times he wanted to quit, but by hanging in there, Steve learned that he could do anything he set his mind to do. His fondest memories of Boot Camp are the friends he made, the things they accomplished through teamwork, and that it was finally over! He felt relief and joy as he transitioned out of Boot Camp and enjoyed being part of something bigger.
Steve is currently a General Superintendent with Branch Civil in Northern Virginia. He says his biggest challenge transitioning from military to civilian life when he got out in 1994 was finding employment. Steve uses many of his military skills on the job today and his military bearings have become a part of him, and he says serving “has made me who I am.”
His charity of choice is the USO, supporting and strengthening military members by keeping them connected to home and country and keeping them in touch with their families.
Electrical Superintendent, GJ Hopking | Lacy
Traveling is something not everyone has an opportunity to do, and that is why Keith Wise wanted to enlist in the U. S. Navy – to see the world. The day he enlisted, Keith could see the pride in his father’s eyes, and that will forever be what Keith remembers most. Like others, his fondest memory of Boot Camp is mail call. Keith’s funniest memory was watching the jets taking off and landing, while his worst memory was getting caught! You learn so much during those weeks of Boot Camp, and Keith had a lot to learn about being an adult so he was relieved when it was over! But after Boot Camp, the learning didn’t stop; he went through special schools and training to give him the skills and knowledge to direct airplanes once on the flight deck of the carrier ship.
Keith had an opportunity to experience the traditional Navy ceremony of crossing the equator. Known as Shellback Day, it was a day full of crazy, fun activities on the ship to test their seaworthiness. This is a picture of Keith participating in those activities with his arms spread wide. Today, he uses what he learned in the Navy and his military bearings, such as his attention to detail, which is crucial as Electrical Superintendent for GJ Hopkins l Lacy. With all the structure in the military, Keith appreciates having control of his life again as a civilian.
Since seeing the world and traveling was his carrot to enlist, the Navy allowed him to visit Hawaii, the Philippines, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand. Keith had that same pride his father did when his oldest daughter followed in his footsteps and enlisted in the U. S. Navy. The Wounded Warrior Project is important to Keith, and he encourages others to support their mission.
Shop Foreman, Branch Civil
From 1976 to 1979, Keith Boley served in the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Today we know Keith as Shop Foreman at Branch Civil. Wanting to serve his country and gain exceptional training and experience is why Keith enlisted. The day he enlisted he most remembers all the shots they received. One of his fondest memories of Boot Camp was having his parents attend the graduation and celebrating this great accomplishment and his promotion to E-2. His funniest memory was all the shaved heads—everyone looked alike— and his worst memory was speed marching in formation in the sand.
One special training opportunity Keith experienced was Jump School in Fort Benning, Georgia. Keith learned many skills that he uses today at Branch Civil, a few of them being self-discipline and the drive to accomplish the mission—whatever it takes. During his enlistment, he was at Ft. Dix, New Jersey for Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT); Ft. Benning, Georgia, Ft. Bragg, NC Ft. Stuart, Georgia and Eglin Airforce Base in the western Florida panhandle. Keith followed his father’s path, who served in WWII, and his grandfather, who served in WWI. Keith says, “We need to support those who have sacrificed so much.” The Wounded Warrior Project is his chosen charity.