“Thank you for your service.”
It’s a simple phrase, but one that means more than could possibly be expressed.
As Veterans Day approaches, we want to recognize the veterans we employ at Lezzer Lumber, and offer our thanks and support to the more than 20 million veterans across the nation. Your courage and service inspires us.
Don Nickerson has been a part of Lezzer Lumber since 2008 serving as a special projects and business development manager. He recently took some time to share his thoughts as a veteran.
Lezzer: What branch of military did you serve in and when?
Don Nickerson: I served with the 101st Airborne Division from 1984 to 1988. For most of my time served, I operated in a Battalion reconnaissance unit.
L: Where did you serve the majority of time in service?
Don: Our primary base was Fort Campbell KY, however we traveled constantly throughout the US specifically to train for and with other units. Our unit was also part of a multinational peacekeeping force to secure and monitor activities in the Sinai Peninsula. It was a turbulent time between Israel and Egypt.
L: How did (does) your military experience affect your life/career today?
Don: Love and protection of family. Knowing that leadership is earned and not an entitlement. (That got me into trouble more than a few times). Understanding that great teams are capable of doing anything. While our lives at work or home can be hard, we don’t generally don’t have to worry about IEDs and snipers from day to day. Keep life in perspective. Maintain a strong work ethic, knowing pain is not a bad thing, have goals in life, want to succeed in everything you do, hold yourself accountable always, and support everyone.
L: What was the most rewarding thing about your time in the military and why?
Don: The people first and foremost. Coming from a small town in NH, friending people from all walks of life opens your view of the real world. We traveled a lot which was interesting because we mostly didn’t know when, where, or why we were going till we got there. For a young guy, lots of fun. While serving I was fortunate to have had training made available to become a rappel master, combat lifesaver, sniper, and skilled long range navigation. From a training aspect we spent a good deal of time training National Guard and reservists on our reconnaissance proficiencies, rewarding to pass along skills that would benefit their eventual use.
L: What sacrifices did you make to serve in the military?
Don: None. It was my honor and duty. The benefit of being young and no ties made for experiences you cannot pay for in life.
L: Why did you decide to join the military?
Don: Being from a small town, I needed something more. I wasn’t prepared to further an education after high school and needing to serve just made sense.
L: Anything else you would like to add about your military career?
Don: I’m generally modest about my time in service. I’m proud, yet humbled because of the understanding that many of the sacrifices made by others and their families are too often forgotten.
This Veterans Day Lezzer Lumber is very proud and honored to recognize the many veterans and active military members across our company. We recognize the values of integrity, trust, respect and commitment to excellence instilled through military service, and we proudly honor those who have served and continue to serve our nation.
Current Lezzer Lumber Staff with Military Service Time:
Ken Test – 502nd Armored Medical Detachment, US Army 1961-1964 (Curwensville)
Patrick LeMay – Army Engineer Corps, Spec 5 (Butler)
Richard Leibold – United States Air Force, Tsgt (Stockertown)
Samuel Bossert – Private First Class, Army National Guard (Stockertown)
Victoria Brooks – US Marine Corps (Corporate)
Doug Lingle – USMC, Corporal (State College)
Tim Kurtz – USMC 1982-1986 (Manheim)
Maurice Lezzer – US Navy, Seabee (Curwensville)
Kurt Getz – US Army, Sergeant 1978-1982 (State College)
Don Nickerson – US Army 1984-1988 (Lancaster)
Devin Moore – Combat Engineer, US Army, Sergeant (Truss Plant)
Robert Lumadue– US Navy (Truss Plant)
Tyler Thompson – US Air Force (Curwensville)
Bill Hunt – US Army (Truss Plant)
Don Clark – US Army (Truss Plant)
Aaron Derrick – PA Army National Guard (Truss Plant)
Ron Rogers – US Marine Corp, 1968-1974 – E5 (Truss Plant)
Fred Smythe – PA National Guard, 1979-1985 (Truss Plant)
Chris Powers – US Army (Truss Plant)
Bill Gillen – Army National Guard, Spec 4 (Curwensville)
Doug Young – US Army, SP4 (DuBois)