A Veteran's Day Thank You
In honor of Veteran’s Day, Planet Aid would like to salute two of its employees active in the National Guard. We thank them, and all members of our military, for the incredible work they do.
Field Manager in Fairfield, NJ
Gerardo first joined the National Guard Reserves six years ago. He had a desire to serve his country, but he was also a young father and did not yet want to serve overseas while his first daughter was growing up. Now that his children, Michelle, 7, and Kimberly, 1, are older, he is active in the guard and just left for a tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Prior to his departure in October, Gerardo worked for Planet Aid for two and a half years assisting the transportation manager and making sure the clothes collection routes ran smoothly. His job will be waiting for him after his tour is over, a fact that he is grateful for, “Soldiers have their civilian jobs, and sometimes it’s an inconvenience to the soldier’s employer to leave, but at the end of the day someone has to do the job,” he says. “When soldiers come back home, sometimes their jobs are not there. It’s nice to know that my job at Planet Aid will be here.”
Gerardo says he enjoys working for Planet Aid because of the company’s mission to help others, and also because of the people he gets to work with. He appreciates the support he gets from his managers, Rick Sarai and Michael Artz. “I have to go away three to four days of the month [for the National Guard], and they are always ok with that,” he says. “They are like my mentors. They are always pushing me to better myself.”
Driver in Philadelphia, PA
Waldo, 30, has worked for Planet Aid for two and a half years, not including 9 months spent in Kuwait on a peacekeeping mission in the middle of his employment.
He signed up for the National Guard in 2001 after a recruiter came to his school, and has since served in Egypt for 15 months and Iraq for 18 months in addition to his Kuwait tour.
Waldo lives with his wife, Abigail, and four kids—Briana, Amanda, Angel, and Michael. He does not currently have any overseas missions coming up, but he could be deployed again sometime in the future. In the meantime, he enjoys driving and collecting clothes donations for Planet Aid, despite the unusual hours. “The only downfall is waking up early in the morning,” he says, “I wake up at 1:30 a.m. to go to work. We try to beat the heat.”
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