Every Day is Veterans Day
Nationally, Nov. 11 is used to honor veterans. However, before it was Veterans Day, Nov. 11 was Armistice Day. Our nation came together at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, signaling a war end.
While Veterans Day has evolved over the years, the spirit of honoring America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good has always stood.
At a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business in a heavy continued service industry, every day is Veterans Day.
Omega’s President, Co-Owner, and Founder, Tim Trapuzzano, grew up in a military family. With a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army as a father, Trapuzzano was exposed to a military lifestyle and developed a sense of service obligation at a very young age. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1983 for six years. He spent the first two years in schools for electronics and nuclear power theory, followed by four years on a fast-attack nuclear submarine as a Reactor Operator and Electronics Technician. His Letter of Citation states, “Petty Officer Trapuzzano’s exceptional professional abilities, initiative, and loyal devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.”
“After graduating high school, I researched the branches of the military and decided on the U.S. Navy, due in large part to the Naval Nuclear Program that was established by Admiral Rickover. The time I spent in the military forged my character, including my sense of integrity, work ethic, honor, and duty. Although at times difficult, I will be forever grateful for my time served and the many friendships that I made and maintain to this day,” said Trapuzzano.
Omega’s Vice President of Technical Services, William “Bill” Stephens, also came from the U.S. Navy. He was a nuclear-trained submarine officer on USS Grayling (SSN 646) from 1984 to 1989. Stephens has U.S. Navy Propulsion Training, including experience from Naval Propulsion Prototype Training, the Naval Nuclear Power School, and the Submarine Officer’s School.
“Serving on a U.S. Navy nuclear attack submarine was one of the hardest and most rewarding things. It was an honor to serve my country alongside some of the smartest and most dedicated men in the world. My time in the Navy led me directly to my role in working at a DOE/NNSA site because I felt compelled to contribute to continuing the national security of our nation. Now, as I move into the final phase of my career, working for an SDVOSB is a natural fit because I know that this company was founded by a fellow veteran and has a proud tradition of serving our nation’s national security needs,” said Stephens.
Monty Fritts, one of Omega’s Business Development and Strategy professionals, joined the U.S. Army in 1983 as a Calvary Scout. He re-enlisted in 2003 and was deployed with the TN Army National Guard 278 Armored Cavalry Regiment to Diyala Province Iraq from 2004-2005. Fritts has also served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) for Squadron PSD and Convoy Security Team, where he assembled, trained, and led 24 soldiers in Squadron and conducted more than 200 combat patrols. He was honorably discharged in 2006.
“For me, service to country is a high and persistent calling. Our nation must have folks who are willing to place their own personal comfort and needs aside for the defense of liberty and upholding of our Constitution. Men who had no object to gain like John F. Kennedy set aside their riches to serve their fellow man both in combat and elected office. Men like Alvin York sacrificed in service and then encouraged that ‘this lease we have on freedom must be renewed from time to time.’ This collage of history reinforces to my why working at Omega is so rewarding. The service-disabled vet bears in his or her body the cost of servicing freedom. An average guy, with an above-average concern for others, and a strong love for his country began this company. That average guy is a part of a great brotherhood. It is good to continue in my small way to serve our nation by helping Omega be successful and effective,” said Fritts.
One of Omega’s Program and Project Managers, Charles Nickell, PMP, was a midshipman in the US Naval Academy, became a Distinguished Graduate, and then graduated from Naval Nuclear Power School with Honors. In 1979, Nickell graduated from a Naval Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit in Idaho Falls, ID with Honors. From 1980-1983, Nickell served on USS South Carolina as an Electrical Officer and Reactor of Controls Division Officer. From 1983-1985, he was involved with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit in Ballston Spa, NY. By the end of his active service, Nickell held a Lieutenant title.
“I enjoyed a full, satisfying career as an active duty Nuclear Naval Officer for 8 years and continued to serve our country after my naval service. Omega, as a Veteran-Owned company, highly values prior military service members and has allowed me to continue serving our country, contributing to the safe execution of the Department of Energy and NNSA facilities and new projects,” said Nickell.
Steve Wilkerson, Nuclear Operations SME, joined the U.S. Navy under the delayed enlistment program as a senior in high school through an NJROTC unit. Wilkerson began active duty in June of 1976 and reported to boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. Following his Electronics Technical completion in Great Lakes, he was transferred to Orlando, FL to attend Naval Nuclear Power School. Wilkerson finished 6th in a class of 384. In 1978, he was transferred to the S1C Nuclear Submarine Prototype NPTU in Windsor, CT to complete the final phase of nuclear training. He finished top in his class and was offered the opportunity to remain at the training facility as an instructor. During this time, Wilkerson reenlisted for an additional 2 years, learned how to successfully train personnel, and married. In the fall of 1980, his family was transferred to Charleston, SC to the USS Nathan Hale (SSBN 623) (Blue Crew). A couple of weeks later, he was on a plane heading to Holy Loch, Scotland where the submarine was home-ported to relieve the “Gold Crew.” In 1984, Wilkerson reached the end of his enlistment period, decided to spend time with his family, and pursued a career in the commercial nuclear power industry. At discharge, he ranked as an ET1(SS).
“I am eternally grateful for the training and experience the U.S. Navy provided me. It provided not only the technical basis to build a civilian career, but the soft skills and personal growth necessary to be successful as well. I have always been, and will always be, a very patriotic person. I know that the freedoms we enjoy so much are not free, and often come at a high price to our veterans and their families. I will be forever grateful for what the military did for me and my family. It took a kid working in a grocery store and gave me the knowledge and skills necessary to build a very successful career. I still believe the navy nuclear training process is the most effective program I have ever been exposed to. I still remember most of what I learned back then,” said Wilkerson.
Mike Chritton, one of our Startup Managers, was born in a U.S. Army hospital. He grew up with many military moves based on his father’s position during the Vietnam War. Chritton became familiar with a sense of duty at an early age. Once of age, he was accepted into United States Military Academy at West Point. With the Vietnam War ending while he was still a cadet, Chritton become a Combat Engineer. Here, he did numerous infantry tasks but spent most of his time doing building and explosive exercises – which he lived for. As a cadet, Chritton completed Airborne School and the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Belvoir, VA. He then completed a very cold winter Ranger School at Fort Benning, GA. Christen then rewarmed quickly upon arriving at his first 3-year assignment in Schofield Barracks, HI. After returning to the mainland for an Engineer Officer Advanced Course, he was assigned to the 36th Engineer Group at Fort Benning and completed a 5-year active duty commitment as their S-2 Intelligence Officer. With his commitment ending, Chritton weighed his options for the future. West Point had instilled in him a sense of service to the nation, and he chose to continue fighting the Cold War by entering the DOE weapons complex as a nuclear reactor control room supervisor.
“Whenever someone learns of my military service and thanks me, my response is always that it was an honor to wear our nation’s uniform. Now, some 40 years later, I am still working in that complex with Omega Technical Services, a company that values our military service and is committed to serving the nation’s defense needs. I am presently the Startup Manager for a couple of new series of experiments designed to validate the integrity of our weapons designs,” said Chritton.
Scott Rozycki, our Senior Manager, Controller, served in the U.S. Navy from 1991-1994 during the First Gulf War. He was stationed aboard the USS Rodney M. Davis FFG 60 home-ported in Yokosuka Japan Naval Station. He aided with the evacuation of Clark Air Force Base during the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Rozycki also visited lots of other Ports around the world like those in Goa India, Subic Bay Philippines, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Bali, and more. He became a Shellback off the coast of Singapore.
“I often reference JFK’s quote to reflect on my service: Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, ‘I served in the United States Navy. The first time I met Tim Trapuzzano, we had an instant connection because we both served. It is hard to explain but all veterans have it. Why am I excited to be part of a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business? Because I am one. Veterans are wired differently than others. We have a certain way about ourselves, a strong love of country, very organized. We also have something that I believe no other organizations have: true lifelong friendship. If you meet another veteran for the first time, you’re already brothers and have respect for each other,” said Rozycki.
Jerod Pauley, Talent Acquisition Specialist, served in the U.S. Army from 2001 – 2022. He enlisted at the age of 17 right after graduating high school. During his 21-year career, he served three tours in the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom right after the 9/11 attacks. He spent 14 of his 21 years in the Army Recruiting Command in various states and locations, recruiting for the Army and Army Reserve. Jerod retired from the Army in May 2022 and began working his second career with Omega Technical Services.
These may be just a few of the veterans we have on our team, but we are thankful to all who have served.
Omega is honored to be in a position to champion veterans and continue service to the country through our industry. Not only do we hire many veterans, but supporting veteran programs is also one of our main community outreach efforts. This ensures that we are actively championing veterans throughout the year, not just on Veterans Day.
For example, Omega supports the Wounded Warrior Project as a Corporate Champion. Learn more about our involvement by reading the press release here. We also honor local veterans that paid the ultimate sacrifice by teaming up with an American Legion Post to sponsor wreaths to lay on veteran cemeteries this holiday season. Learn more about this effort by reading the press release here. We appreciate being able to assist the local American Legion Post in placing these wreaths come early December.
If you have a veteran organization near and dear to your heart that is looking for support, please email us at email@example.com. Omega is always looking for new ways to give back that align with our mission to champion veterans.
Our deepest thanks and respect to those who have served nationwide. We encourage you to find ways to honor veterans every day – from vowing to hire vets, acting on your word, and financially supporting veteran organizations to simply having a conscious daily reflection on what their service means to you and what it means to your country.
Every day is Veterans Day.