Service. Mission. Country.
You likely identified immediately that these three words describe the men and women who have served and are serving in our nation’s military. They also describe a core co-op spirit.
While active members and veterans of the armed services are innately motivated to protect their country, in a similar vein, electric co-ops are guided by principles that put their communities first. I believe this close connection to an essential mission is why there are so many veterans in the utility industry and why they are such a great fit for electric co-ops.
Today’s veterans are highly skilled because everyone who joins the military is either trained in a tech career field or exposed to advanced technology during their service. Many veterans have skills in advanced disciplines, such as engineering, electronics or mechanics, which are beneficial for the utility industry. Lynches River employee James Eason has served in the National Guard for 20 years. Many of our employees have relatives who have served our country.
When you work closely with the community, you can’t help but feel a sense of commitment and responsibility to its members. It’s similar to the sense of duty and responsibility experienced by those that have served in the military. They feel deep, personal responsibility and commitment to their co-op team members and to the members we serve. Veterans are trustworthy, goal oriented, wanting to do right for their co-op and their community.
May is Military Appreciation Month, and at Lynches River Electric Cooperative and RiverNet Connect we are proud to serve veterans and their families within our community and are grateful for the men and women that are currently serving. Our freedoms are a result of the sacrifices men and women have made in the past and continue to make.
Throughout the year, we support local charitable and business organizations that support veterans and their families, such as the Jason Hicks Memorial 5K Race. Hicks, son of board member Theresa Hicks, was a flight engineer in the United States Air Force. After his death in 2003, the SSgt Jason C. Hicks Memorial Scholarship Fund was established, which awards scholarship money yearly to a Central High School senior that exhibits leadership skills and community service.
The 2023 5K Run will take place at the Pageland Recreation Center on May 27, starting at 9:30 a.m. This is a community event filled with activities for the entire family, including food, entertainment and a silent auction. For more information about this event or the scholarship, visit Jackson Hicks Memorial online.
I hope you’ll join me in recognizing the sacrifices these men and women have made, and are making, to our great country—and the many contributions they continue to make to our wonderful community. We salute you!