Cooperative News

The meaning of service: PEC veterans reflect

Meet five PEC employees who have served their country

Service. It brings us together and makes us stronger. It drives and inspires us. Whether it’s as small as offering a kind word and a smile or as significant as risking life and limb to help another, we can all agree: It is an honor and a privilege to serve.

This Veteran’s Day, we honor our PEC veterans. Here, in their own words, is what service means to them.

A young man being sworn in by a military official and another serviceman looking on.
PEC Line Inspector Jack Grigg (left) enlists the same day his father (far right) retires from 26 years of service with the U.S. Navy in January 1973.

PEC Line Inspector Jack Grigg

Served in the U.S. Navy and Navy Active Reserve 1973-1979

“Service to me is the opportunity to serve and protect our country while doing so with pride and dedication, much the same as I do here for our members.”

A man in fatigues.
PEC Member Services Supervisor Robert Phillips

PEC Member Services Supervisor Robert Phillips

Served in the U.S. Air Force on active duty from 1979-1992 and the U.S. Air Force Reserve 1995-2003

“As an immigrant to this country, I could not show a greater appreciation any better than to be accepted into the United States Air Force. It allowed me to give back to the country that has offered me so much. Having the opportunity to travel to many countries gives you a wonderful appreciation of this place that we call United States of America. In the military, we have a saying, ‘service before self.’ That is what service means to me: ‘service before self.'”

A man crouching in the sand, holding a gun.
PEC Technical Services Supervisor Eric Bitzko

PEC Technical Services Supervisor Eric Bitzko

Served in the U.S. Army, Airborne Infantry 2006-2008

“Serving was a real honor. Very few volunteer to serve, and even fewer volunteer for a combat arms role. It was also an invaluable learning experience, not only about myself and what my capabilities truly are, but it afforded me great opportunity to build a solid foundation of skills and abilities that I use today to better serve the membership of the cooperative.”

A portrait of a man in uniform.
PEC Journeyworker Wes Womack

PEC Journeyworker Wes Womack

Served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 2001-2006

“To me, service is about helping people, even though most people are unaware of the sacrifices men and women in the military make. It’s about a group of people that put the lives of others before their own. In the Marine Corps we have a saying, ‘Semper Fidelis,’ which means ‘always faithful.’ Being faithful or loyal is something that is very important to me.”