Celebrating Veteran’s Day: Honoring our Heroes

Every year on November 11th, we celebrate Veteran’s Day by honoring and thanking all of the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. At 66degrees, we are proud to have such a strong community of employee veterans and family members who have served, and for the diverse experiences and talents they bring to our team. 

To celebrate the holiday, we’re sharing more about our Military Veterans Friends and Family employee resource group, which launched earlier this year. Learn more about the group’s mission from founding members Doug Sheley and Shannon Banfield, and about the team members here at 66degrees and their family members that have served. 

We are grateful for the service of all our veterans, and we are proud to support them. Thank you for your sacrifice and dedication!

What's the mission of our Military Veterans Friends & Family ERG? Can you introduce the group to those that might be unfamiliar?

Doug: The mission of the Military Veterans Friends and Family at 66degrees is to embrace our proud community of employee veterans, family members and allies who support and encourage each other through shared experiences, veteran recruitment, career development, outward engagement, professional growth and retention.

What does our Veterans ERG mean to us as a company?

Doug: When we talk about diversity, there are no other groups that are more diverse than the military, a giant melting pot of people and cultures. This diversity allows the company to utilize different perspectives to generate the best possible solutions and experiences for our clients.  

Shannon: Our Veterans ERG group holds a special place in my heart as a spouse of 19 years to an Active Duty Air Force or 10 years and 9 years of Air National Guard member. It represents a vital source of support and camaraderie for both veterans and their families. My husband joined the Armed Forces during an active period of war and has been through several deployments, during those deployments service members and their families confront unique challenges that impact their employment and well-being. Even after service Veterans and their families can face unique challenges in the workplace and at home. Our Veterans ERG can help provide a much-needed network, fostering a sense of belonging, understanding and empowerment. ERG’s help ensure that no one stands alone in their journey.

What is the importance of Veteran's Day?

Doug: To acknowledge and celebrate the commitment for all that have served and the daily sacrifices that both the soldier and their families overcome during their time in service. 

Shannon: The importance of Veteran’s Day to me as the spouse, sister, and friend of veterans, is the reminder of the immense sacrifice our service members and their families endure during their years of service. It’s a day to pay homage to the courage, dedication, and resilience of those who wear and have worn the uniform and the families and friends who stand steadfast beside them. It’s a time to express gratitude for the countless sacrifices made in the name of our nation’s freedom and security. Veterans Day embodies the appreciation we feel for the unwavering commitment that defines the military community and serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of those who selflessly give so much.

Troy Kindle, Director of Learning & Development

Branch Served: Army

Why is Veteran’s Day special to you?

“To me, Veterans Day is a reminder of all of the brave men and women who have put on the uniform to serve our Country and the U.S. Constitution. I come from a family or service men and women, and each of us has taken up the cause to ensure everyone has a right to live in a world where freedom is right and that you have a voice. While yes, I have served, I hold Veterans Day as a reminder that we owe a nothing less that a debt of gratitude for those that serve today and those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Irene Ali, Project Manager

Branch Served: US Navy

Why is Veteran’s Day special to you?

“Veteran’s Day is special to me because I come from a family with different military veterans and active members. Veteran’s Day recognizes those who served our country putting their lives on the line to keep our country free.”

Doug Sheley, Google Cloud Support Manager

Branch Served: Army 82nd Airborne

Why is Veteran’s Day special to you?

“It’s about recognition for someone willing to give their life for others they have never met.”

Shannon Banfield, Resource Manager

Name of family member who served: Jeremy Banfield

Branch Served: Airforce

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