Our military V Teamers share their stories of service.
May is Military Appreciation Month. Dedicated to those who protect and serve, we honor and pay tribute to military service members and veterans around the world, expressing our gratitude for their commitment to service.
There’s a reason over 8K veterans call Verizon home. As the #3 2023 Military Friendly Company, we’re dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of veterans and service members and we value all the skills they’ve taken from the military into the civilian workplace.
This Military Appreciation Month we shine the light on these V Teamers who share their stories of inspiration and courage.
Rudolph King III - Feeling supported when activated
Reservist, Washington State Army National Guard
Rudolph King is truly a people person, and that’s reflected in his military service in the Army National Guard as a Human Resources Officer, also known as an Adjutant General Officer. He is responsible for providing personnel support that affects Soldiers’ overall well-being, while assisting commanders by accounting for and keeping Soldiers combat-ready.
Those HR skills have transferred well into his role as a Retail Manager at Verizon and he’s felt fully supported in all aspects of his personal and professional life, especially when his unit is activated by the Guard. “My retail management chain is understanding and thankful for my service. There has never been an issue with any activation. If the activation is lengthy, my district manager is swift in getting my store an acting retail manager while I am away,” says Rudolph.
Not only is Rudolph on the front lines serving our customers but he’s also been on the front lines of emergency relief in his National Guard role. In August 2021, he was activated to assist in forest firefighting efforts. “I was proud to serve the local community, directing traffic to safe areas, and planning routes and alternatives,” he added.
Interpersonal skills are key to be a leader in the retail channel and Rudolph’s time in the Guard has helped improve his ability to cross collaborate with different teams and stores for collective success within his store district. “As an HR professional in the Guard, I’ve learned valuable skills that aid me in my daily interactions with fellow V Teamers and our customers.”
Taynara Wimberly on her V Team “family”
Assistant Manager - Retail
Military Spouse, U.S. Army
Being a Military Spouse is never easy. Retail V Teamer Taynara Wimberly knows that all too well. Her husband is a U.S. Army veteran who is still active in the Army Reserves. While on active duty,he was a Forward Observer, which is a soldier responsible for directing artillery and mortar fire support onto a target. “Knowing the danger my husband encountered daily as a Forward Observer was always stressful. We were faced with different challenges from the very beginning of our marriage that civilian couples don’t usually go through. There were many life events that we were not able to be together due to him serving our country. Despite the perils of his Army role, I am proud of him for serving and continuing to serve,” added Taynara.
Once her husband ended his active service, Taynara joined the Verizon retail team in 2021 and felt immediately supported by her district managers and team. “It’s like a second family and I was so happy to connect with fellow V Teamers who have served as well.”
“I was out of the workforce for a while and thought the work gap would be a factor but Verizon welcomed me right from the start,” says Taynara. Luckily for her, Verizon’s mission in assisting Military Spouses gave her the opportunity to join the VTeam. Her fellow V Teamers have shown appreciation to Taynara and her husband for his service, especially during military commemorative events.
“My leadership team is committed to my career progression, and it shows,” notes Taynara. She’s been recognized for her hard work and skills in the company many times, winning two Winner’s Circle Awards for V Teamers who attain the highest levels of sales performance excellence.
Taynara is also a member of the Verizon VALOR Employee Resource Group that supports the military community, and she’s spoke about her experience as a Military Spouse. “It meant a lot to me to have a place to share my voice.”
Eric Huskey on taking the learnings of service to the workplace
Client Executive, Enterprises Sales, Verizon Business
Veteran, U.S. Marine Corps
Verizon Business VTeamer Eric Huskey is a twice deployed combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and initially served as an infantryman in Fallujah Iraq where he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for Combat Valor.
“Combat requires quick thinking, attention to detail and decisive action,” said Eric. When in Fallujah, he helped a family who’s son was wounded and provided emergency aid to save the boy’s life. On another occasion, a family was in an accident and Eric and his corpsmen were able to resuscitate the youngest child who stopped breathing and medivac him to a nearby trauma center. “I like to think we, as a team, saved those young boys' lives.” Later in his military career, Eric served as a Civil Affairs Specialist engaging and building relationships with local community leaders to understand their capabilities and vulnerabilities to respond during humanitarian disasters. “This required an ability to build rapport, negotiate, and represent the interests of the United States of America and the Marine Corps with pride and distinguishment,” he added.
Transitioning to civilian life was particularly challenging as a combat veteran says Eric. “When you're so close to death it brings you an appreciation that life is about millimeters or milliseconds. I think this perspective is something we often take for granted. Sometimes we ‘sweat the small stuff’ when we should be appreciating all we have.”
Eric is thankful for a management team that helped make his move to the civilian workplace an easy and rewarding experience. For Eric, it's that sense of community and camaraderie that has shaped his career journey at Verizon. In the Marine Corps, Eric managed and prepared 32 direct reports for combat when he was only 25 years old. He’s taken those skills to help him grow personally and professionally as a high performing enterprise sales leader during his six years at Verizon.
Eric appreciates the best-in-class military benefits Verizon offers.
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Over 8,000 veterans contribute their skills and talent across Verizon’s many career areas. We’re proud to work alongside them each day, learning from their outstanding skills, discipline, and experience.