Remembering Our Veterans: The Stax Perspective

Remembering Our Veterans: The Stax Perspective

At Stax, we honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, both past and present, and would like to remember those who have fought to maintain the principles of freedom that the United States was founded upon. In honor of Veterans Day, Stax reached out to our in-house veterans to provide some perspective on their military service and what it means to them.

Sean Dougherty served on the USS Goldsborough as an Electronics Technician 2nd Class for the US Navy at Pearl Harbor, HI. He is currently working at Stax as an Application Support Associate. His role consists of supporting any of the applications that our staff utilizes by setting up users and making changes to roles/responsibilities of users as needed across multiple applications.

Brian Stoneman served in the U.S. Army as a German Linguist, Voice Interceptor/Analyst, and Electronic Warfare Specialist from 1986 until 1991, and was part of the reserves until 1994. He was stationed in Germany during the Cold War and was there during the fall of the Berlin Wall as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union. Currently, Brian is a Senior Research Associate at Stax in addition to providing German language support for the team and he has been with Stax for 7+ years.

What inspired you to join the military?

SEAN DOUGHERTY: Joining the military was inspired by two factors. First, my father served in the Navy during the tail end of World War II. He said that it made him the man that he turned out to be. The second reason was ambition. I had attended college for a couple of years but did not have a true direction on what I wanted to do. I left college and worked various jobs for a couple of years. I woke up one day and thought that being a bartender was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I became an electronics technician in the Navy.

BRIAN STONEMAN: A combination of wanting to leave the small town I grew up in as well as a very long family tradition of military service dating back to the Revolutionary War. My grandfather served in WWII and my father in Vietnam.

Describe how your military background impacts your work or translates into your work ethic/process.

SEAN DOUGHERTY: My work ethic and skill sets are directly related to my time in the Navy. When you are in the military you cannot call in sick unless it is approved by the ship's doctor. Very rarely will permission be given to go back to bed. For this reason, it is extremely rare that I ever call in sick. Also, in my job, I am required to solve complex problems. In the Navy, I was taught that most of the time, the simplest explanation is the correct solution. I was also taught how to check and double-check solutions before implementing them.

BRIAN STONEMAN: The Army taught me how to be very tough, thorough, to complete the task and to never take anything for granted. My German linguistic ability, attention to detail, situational awareness, and listening comprehension are all owed to my time in Army intelligence.

What ways has your military career impacted your perspective on life?

SEAN DOUGHERTY: The biggest takeaway from being in the military is seeing places in the world that are TRULY poor. When I was in Guatemala and on liberty, a group of us went out for some libations. Beers were 3 quetzals (the equivalent of $0.42), I would give the server a 5 quetzal note and tell him to “keep the change.” The appreciation and smile on his face was as if I bought him a house. This experience has made me appreciate everything that I have here at home.

BRIAN STONEMAN: The military gave me a great foundation and solid base to build my life on. I entered at just 17 years old. It taught me discipline, to always stay in shape, always be aware of your surroundings, and to be happy in the moment because things could be worse. It provided me with a unique perspective on certain aspects of life and gave me a very optimistic worldview.

Do you have any Veterans Day traditions?

SEAN DOUGHERTY: My Veterans Day traditions involve getting a free breakfast at a wartime museum, grabbing lunch at a restaurant that has done a lot for veterans locally, and usually gathering at our local American Legion to share time with fellow veterans. At the Legion, we usually share stories and pictures of our time in service.

BRIAN STONEMAN: I always try to attend one of the free meals offered by one of the many restaurants that participate to enjoy the company of other vets. I also reach out to the many friends I served with.

Following the end of your service, how did you transition into civilian employment?

SEAN DOUGHERTY: When I was discharged from the Navy, my first job was fixing copiers because fixing the copier on the ship was one of my duties. I did not like that job at all, but one day I was introduced to a former Navy sailor who worked for a computer company. He offered me a job and 28+ years I am still at it.

BRIAN STONEMAN: To be honest all I wanted to do when I got out of the Army was play music. I moved to Los Angeles and started a band and went to music school briefly. I didn’t get serious about college and a career until a few years later.

How are you involved in the veteran community?

SEAN DOUGHERTY: I am very involved in the veteran community here in Evansville, Indiana. For 3 years, I was the Commander of one of our local American Legion posts. I helped turn around the Post from the edge of closing its doors to one of the most successful Legions posts in all of Southern Indiana. I am still involved by doing what I can to assist in membership and fundraising.

BRIAN STONEMAN: I have donated time and money to both the Wounded Warrior Project and to homeless veterans in the past. This is an area where I need to get even more involved and am in the early stages of planning a social charity event here at Stax.

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