Veterans Day: Honoring Our Colleagues’ Service
On this Nov. 11, Veterans Day, we salute the dozens of Freese and Nichols employees who have served our country in a branch of the U.S. military and thank them for their dedication.
We have colleagues who have served across the military branches, and we greatly value their service, dedication, sacrifice and experience. As a company, we take that background into account, and our policies support staff members who have continuing obligations in the military reserves. For instance, employees in the reserves can take up to two weeks off annually for training duties, with half that paid at full salary.
Dustin Pope, Transmission and Utilities Project Manager in Houston, is a prime example. He returned from leave to complete Army Command and General Staff College in October.
Dustin spent eight years on active duty in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Fort Hood, Texas; and Army Reserves for more than four years, based at Ellington Joint Air Base, Texas. Now a Major, he serves as a combat engineer/staff officer and has been deployed overseas, primarily in the Middle East in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Many of our fellow National Guard and Reserve Soldiers receive 40 hours of military overhead from Freese and Nichols per year to accomplish training and military education,” Dustin said. “FNI, as a company, is unique in how it supports our military members. Moreover, I firmly feel that my leadership, peers and staff members are always eager to step in and cover down while I’m typically training or attending military education two weeks every year.
“Thanks to the support from my collective team just this year, I’m now eligible for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, which has been a major milestone I’ve looked forward to my entire military career.”
The New Military ERG: Additional Support for FNI Staff
This year, additional support for our military staff is being formalized with the development of our Military Employee Resource Group, “Next Mission.” In this employee-led group, our active military members and veterans encourage one another through shared experiences, outward engagement and professional growth.
“Our mission is to embrace our proud community of employee veterans and family members of veterans,” Dustin said. “By harnessing our collective background of military service, we serve our firm, our communities and our clients. And I’d like to stress that Next Mission is open to all employees, veteran and non-veteran alike, as the folks who support our veterans are equally as important to what we do.”
Thank you to all of our veterans! Below are just a few: