Number of years with SB: This will be my 7th year as a volunteer with SB.
How/why you became involved: I became involved after the third year of Saluting Branches and having had been a part of being a site leader here in San Diego at Fort Rosecrans. I felt a calling to be more involved and at capacity where I could make a bigger difference and grow the organization. Shortly after I was contacted by an existing board member who told me they were looking at growing the BOD’s. I felt they found me when I had a desire to become a part of something bigger than what I was currently doing on an annual basis.
What it means to be part of this board: Having served in uniform previously for 18 years I know what it means to serve. My father is a retired Colonel in the Marine Corp and I grew up in and around the Marine Corps, Semper Fi. In my time serving I, lost two very close friends in the line of duty. There is not a day that goes by I do not think of Tony and Dan and I hold them close to my heart. Becoming a part of SB allowed me to memorialize them and their legacy they left for so many. It often reminds of the saying “All gave some, and some gave all.” SB is something that is bigger than us and we have a hand in shaping it until we pass the torch.
Number of years with SB: Since inception; 2012; first event in 2015 though current
How/why you became involved: I am a part of the team that created this project. I am inspired to make an impact with our skills as arborists for the veterans who have given everything for us.
What it means to be part of this board: This event creates the opportunity for arborists across the US to unite once per year to give back. It is an honor to be a part of the team that makes this possible for those volunteers each year and the impact each of them makes at the veteran properties we serve.
Number of years with SB: From inception
How/why you became involved: The thought of what every person buried in these cemeteries has done for us is overwhelming. This event allows me to express my gratitude to all of our servicemen and women on a scale that I could never accomplish on my own. My goal is that everyone that goes there to visit a loved one feels like they are entering a place that is honoring their loved ones and really cares about their final resting place.
What it means to be part of this board: It means more than I could ever express in words. It is a great honor to be a part of a board that works to honor our veterans.
Number of years with SB: Participant/Site Leader – 7 years, Board – 5 years
How/why you became involved: The Saluting Branches organization has grown tremendously. It is incredible to be a part of an organization that does so much for our Veterans, our country, and our profession. Being a part of the day of service each year and seeing everyone show up, and the pride and comradery displayed, is just the most humbling experience.
What it means to be part of this board: It is an honor to be a part of this board and to help support the growth, and increase the awareness and involvement
Number of years with SB: Since 2012/2013
How/Why you became involved: I got involved in 2005 with a group of local Minnesota-based companies volunteering at Fort Snelling Cemetery.
What it means to be part of this board: Saluting Branches is extremely rewarding to me as it combines my love for the tree industry with my passion to recognize the service of U.S. veterans. Each September during the Saluting Branches service day I reflect on my immediate family members that served in WWII, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, and the war in Afghanistan.
The Davey Tree Expert Company
Number of years with Saluting Branches: In year 2
How/why you became involved: I was lucky enough to be introduced to Saluting Branches through Davey Tree. I was the point person at Davey to help communicate and recruit employees to participate in the day of service. From there, I fell in love with Saluting Branches, the people, and what it represents.
What it means to be part of this board: It is a great privilege to not only work beside several veterans on our board, but to honor and respect veterans and their families, across our entire country, with just one event!
Vermeer – RDO Equipment Co.
Number of years with Saluting Branches: 2 Years
How/why you became involved: As the Vermeer Regional Sales Manager for Southern California, I heard about the day of service through one of my Sales Account Managers that was a volunteer, after learning more about Saluting Branches I immediately wanted to be involved. I volunteered at Los Angeles National and seeing the local Arborists and Tree Care Community come together and donate their time and equipment just warmed my heart. I knew that I would support the effort every year thereafter.
What it means to be part of this board: As a Retired US Marine (20 Years), taking care of Veterans and their families is a passion for me. My wife also served in the USMC for four years and my son is a USMC Reservist, we volunteer with the local Marine Corps League in our hometown of Redlands California. Being a member of the Saluting Branches Team as a Board member has given me the opportunity to have a voice and give back to the military community that I was a part of for so many years, it is very rewarding.
Number of years with Saluting Branches: 2 Years
How/why you became involved: Brandon Hughson, a friend and colleague, called to see if I’d be interested in joining the board. He was part of the original group at Rainbow Tree that created Saluting Branches and was trying to bring on new directors throughout the industry.
What it means to be part of this board: Being able to give back to our veterans has been more gratifying than I could have hoped. When I joined, I teamed up with an incredible group of passionate and hard-working people all united around an amazing mission. It’s rewarding being part of something bigger that brings people together to honor our veterans.