A Higher Calling
May is Military Appreciation Month. This article is part of an ongoing series designed to highlight Verizon's dedication to US armed services and veterans. This includes hiring veterans and military families, and supporting technologies that improves veterans' lives. For more information about military/veteran discounts and hiring opportunities, visit: www.verizon.com/military.
Verizon is no stranger to the military. But, the respect and appreciation for those who’ve served our country runs much deeper than its accolades and initiatives. It is present in the business, across its leadership, and in all employees. One Verizon Enterprise Solutions account team has the privilege of working with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) daily to provide much of the connectivity that powers the VA’s devices, solutions, programs, and locations.
Helene Milbert and Gary DeVoe are part of the Verizon account team that spend their days working with the VA. However, for these two leaders, it’s personal. In fact, when speaking with them, it’s clear that they consider their work to be a part of a “higher calling.”
Both Helene and Gary, like so many others across Verizon and across the world, are proud of their close loved ones who are currently serving or are veterans of the United States Military. Helene’s father, Don DeFillips, spent four years in the United States Navy. Her son, Patrick Brown, served in the US Marine Corp for eight years and is a combat veteran from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Gary’s father, Gary DeVoe, Sr. served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was awarded two Army accommodation letters and two bronze stars for his service.
“There are common but unique healthcare issues that only veterans face,” said Milbert. “Military life is just different than civilian life. They are in need of special care to make improvements in their daily lives.”
Gary and his father, Gary DeVoe, Sr.
According to Helene and Gary, a challenge that veterans often face is consistent and reliable access to care needed to treat chronic illnesses, address mental health, and successfully transition to civilian life. Connectivity is one of the critical elements that allows the VA to easily engage veterans and enable better management of chronic-care conditions. It’s what enables veterans to meet virtually with their provider, makes real-time data back to the VA possible and can reduce the burden and cost of veteran transportation to a VA facility.
“There is always going to be a need for effective care and more connected solutions to improve veterans’ care and daily life,” said Milbert. “I take it seriously. When I spend time with the VA and listen to veteran’s experiences, it feels as if I’m hearing the experiences of my own father or son.”
Gary DeVoe added: “This is important to me because many veterans across the country live in rural communities where their only access to fast, reliable internet is with Verizon’s 4G LTE network. And, my own father uses the services offered by the VA. He and all veterans deserve the best in gratitude for the service that they’ve provided to our country.”
Beyond the personal dedication of this team, there are more than 10,000 Verizon employees who voluntary self-identify as veterans. Military Friendly recognized Verizon among the best of the best on its 2017 Military Friendly Company list, and for the first time, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization selected Verizon as Large Prime Contractor of the Year for the subcontracting opportunities made available to small businesses, including service disabled veteran-owned and small veteran-owned small businesses.
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