AEO Celebrates Our Veterans: James, U.S. Air Force

At the very heart of AEO is our PEOPLE. Our associates are REAL. They’re authentic, resilient, and optimistic – each with their own story. In honor of Veterans Day, we’re proud to spotlight our associates who served in the armed forces. We’re thankful for their service! 

Meet James, U.S. Air Force!

Tell us about your role at AEO.

I joined AEO in 2012 after 21 years of service in the Air Force. I’m currently the Maintenance and Facilities Manager at our Hazleton Distribution Center in Pennsylvania.       

What made you want to join the military?

I joined the Air Force because of the patriotic values instilled in me through my parents. I felt drawn to serve my country and be part of something bigger than myself.  With my Air Force career in the rear view mirror, I have no regrets and would definitely serve again!    

What’s your proudest moment serving in the military? 

Besides the honor and privilege to serve my country, I completed the difficult mission of escorting a young Airman to his parents. My Unit Commander presented a letter from the parents expressing their gratitude for making this difficult time easier to accept. This mission enabled me to reflect on a tenet most will never understand: “service before self” – the willingness to sacrifice one’s life for a greater purpose, their country and fellow citizens.  

What does being a Veteran mean to you? 

There are so many blessings one can acquire from serving in the armed forces, but the lasting “brotherhood” speaks the loudest.  We, as Veterans, have been challenged and were sometimes put in situations where the camaraderie built itself.  The uniform is the foundation of what starts the bond of exceptional men and women together; a call to duty, the ideals, and sharing a title of being an American and believing in what it stands for, that is what truly binds the service men and women together.     

How do you get to use your military experience as an associate at AEO?

The discipline and structure I received during my service, coupled with the experiences, gives me the ability to remain positive through adversity, adapt to situations, and accept everyone for who they are and what they bring to the mission.