Delmarva Power – Vince Jacono, Jr., External Affairs Mgr.

I think your presentation was helpful to our employees in raising the awareness of the role of service members and veterans in today’s society, but more importantly, taking time to explore our own actions, words and behaviors on how we view them. Your workshop provided some opportunities for open discussion and dialogue among employees to share thoughts and ideas on this special segment of our population. It was helpful to all of us. – Vince Jacono, Jr. External Affairs Mgr.

Delmarva Power – Donald J. Bridge, Business Project Lead

I hope that this is viewed widely at Reviresco. I want to thank Alex and Micah specifically for the outstanding job you did bringing your message to our group today. Your message was engaging, but more than that, it was very educational for me. I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to engage in the meeting and I’m a changed person as a result of doing so. While I’ve always held members of the military in high regard, you’ve given us all tools now to better show our appreciation in ways that will benefit our military veterans and our relationships with them in the workplace and beyond. – Donald J. Bridge, P.E., MBA Manager – Business Project Lead

Delaware Military Academy

“I think the presentation was really good, the way you guys interacted with us and how you made us interact with each other. I think it is improving civilian and military relations because it lets the military know we aren’t forgetting about them and we’re thankful for what they do. To us this topic is important because we are a military school and we need to show support.”- Shane  

 

“The presentation was fun and informative. I think its helping civilian and military relations by having civilians ask more about soldiers’ lives and their stories and not just thanking them for their service. I think it’s important to students because we are the future and we should set examples like what we learned from others to follow.”- Dylan  

 

“The presentation was very informative. I didn’t realize veterans were so lost and that asking them a few questions could help. I now know there are groups present that are bringing veterans closer to civilians. This presentation was definitely effective and I look forward to learning more about Reviresco.” -Bacci 

 

“The presentation went really well and opened our eyes to a problem that we didn’t even know about. The way you guys put it into real life situations that we deal with was really good. I think it is improving the situation because as people keep starting to get to know what veterans have gone through, and communicate with them like they want to get to know them, it shows the soldiers that they were fighting for a reason and reminds them why they joined. It is really important to us as students because as some of us go into the military from our school, they would want to believe that people back him are still thinking of them. Also, for when we see a soldier out and about and we don’t just say thank you but instead ask them “how are you?”, it changes both peoples’ days into positive ones. Thank you for showing us the problem that was hiding.”- Victoria  

 

“I think the presentation went very well and was helpful with improving our knowledge on thanking military personnel. The information you provided to us in the presentation really showed how unappreciated military personnel feel once they return home from deployment and how civilians can change that. It is important to value their feelings, emotions, and sacrifices because they are the ones who fight to protect us everyday.” – Dany  

 

“I really enjoyed your presentation a few weeks ago. I think that your organization is bringing civilians and military veterans closer together. This topic is important to us students because we need to know and learn about the importance of military veterans and how to treat them.”- Elyse  

 

“I think you did very well with your presentation with the time you had. It is bringing together  civilians and military veterans. It helps show those who don’t understand what the veterans go through understand. It is important to us students because it not only helps us see how our veterans are being treated when they get home, it also shows us how easy it would be to help.”-Selena

“The presentation was very engaging. It really made me care and want to be involved. It made me really think about the issues that veterans have. I think that it is helping civilian and veteran realtions because it is educating civilians about the veteran plight. Overall, it was a very well done presentation.” -DMA student

Brandon Bristor, Petty Officer Second Class (ret.), United States Navy

I am a 24-year-old veteran. I served 4 years Active Duty in the worlds greatest Navy as a Master-at-Arms, which is the Navy’s military police force. About 4 months before my separation from Active Duty, I received my acceptance letter to the University of Delaware, which allowed me to realize my dream of getting an education. After my separation, I had less than 30 days to readjust back to a normal lifestyle here in the United States after spending the last 18 months living in Bahrain.

During my freshman orientation is where I realized that there was a civilian-military divide. The orientation started with an icebreaker, during which we had to tell everyone something unique about ourselves. As my turn was approaching, I was thinking about what I could say about myself that would really make me stand out, without seeming pretentious. It was now my turn to speak and I blurted out, “About 3 weeks ago I was living in the Middle East, where I had been station in the Navy for the past 18 months.”

I was hoping my statement would elicit some conversation with some of the students so that I could have the opportunity to tell them about some of the great experiences I’d had serving. In fact, my statement did quite the opposite. The amount of blank stares spoke clearly that what I had said made some people feel uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure if they were anti-military, but that made me realize that maybe telling others that I was a veteran was not the best approach.

A while later, one of the students in the orientation asked me how it was being in the Middle East. “Well for starters, it sure was hot,” I told him. We both laughed a bit until his face turned serious as he asked, “So did you get to shoot at anyone?” I was thrown off by his question and replied, “No. That’s not really what my job entailed.” He replied and said, “Well that’s too bad. You were there for that long and didn’t even get to shoot anyone.”

This made me realize that this is the perception that I had given myself. All I did was mention that I was a veteran and that I had spent some time overseas and automatically others assumed that I had been tasked with killing people. They didn’t understand that the military was so much more than that. They didn’t realize that the military was an opportunity for me to earn the GI Bill so I could get my education. They didn’t seem care to hear about any of the good experiences that I had. They just wanted to hear about the possibility of bad ones. It was at that moment, on my first day of orientation, that I realized that the current state of civilian-military relations was not in my favor and that it was a topic that required immediate attention.

During my final year at the University, I had the privilege of meeting a group of young and ambitious ROTC cadets. They told me about the organization they had created which aimed to address the current state of alienation that I had been experiencing. After hearing them speak and watching them run from town-to-town and city-to-city, they had my attention. I was amazed at the the incredible impact that a handful of students could have on improving the perception of veterans and how civilians could be of help by just talking the time to talk to veterans about their experiences. With the help of Reviresco, I am confident that the state of this country’s civil-military divide is in fact mendable and will improve through their efforts.

Brandon Bristor, Petty Officer Second Class (ret.), United States Navy

Aaron Zapata, Corporal (ret.), United States Marine Corps

“I was in the Marines for 4 years and it was the best time of my life. I learned more about myself and what I could do as a person than I could have in any other environment. The people I met all became lifelong friends and I could not imagine not knowing them. The reason I believe Reviresco, Inc. is important is because I met a lot of civilians who were not pro-military while I was active. I did not believe that anyone would not be in support of the men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedoms, but I had many people refer to me as a killer or as if I had no emotion simply because of my profession. Through the work of organizations like Reviresco, Inc. we can work towards a future where everyone respects and appreciates the losses that some take to make sure everyone has a chance to live how they see fit.”

Aaron Zapata, Corporal (ret.), United States Marine Corps