ECBC Honors Military Veterans for their Service
CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | November 9th, 2017
ECBC Director Eric Moore, Ph.D., hands Stephen Harper, an ECBC workforce veteran, a certificate of appreciation at an ECBC ceremony held on Nov. 8 at Aberdeen Proving Ground as one of a series of ECBC 100-year anniversary events. Harper also spoke at the event.
The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) honored its military veterans during an appreciation ceremony Nov. 8 at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The veterans represented all armed service branches and spanned all ranks below general. The event was part of a series of ECBC 100-year anniversary observances ECBC has held this year. “As a fellow veteran, I know what it means to wear the uniform in the service of the nation and then continue that service as a government civilian,” said ECBC Director Eric Moore, Ph.D. “Through the experience of military service, our way of thinking changes – our sense of duty grows, and it never leaves. In fact, I sometimes feel more like a Soldier now than ever before.”
ECBC Military Deputy Col. Thomas Saltysiak reflected on the military’s current challenges. “I believe it is not hyperbole to say we face the greatest threats today since the height of the Cold War, or even WWII. So today, even as we are here to honor the tremendous contributions and sacrifice of our veterans, I am going to ask more of our veterans and our Army civilians.”
Saltysiak challenged the ECBC veterans to demonstrate and share their leadership with those around them, and concluded, “You have already done more than your share for your country, but I am still asking more of you, our mission to country never ends.”
Two ECBC workforce veterans also spoke. Looking back on her years of active duty service, Angela Conlon, a retired Army staff sergeant and a financial analyst at ECBC for the last 14 years, said, “I’m proud of the path I took. It was an adventure, and when I retire from civilian service at ECBC, I will be proud to have spent my entire professional life serving the Army.”
Stephen Harper, a systems integration team lead for the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Division expressed similar pride. “All of us are here at ECBC to do a job for the warfighter, so working here is about patriotism,” he said.
In addition to continuing his service at ECBC, Harper serves as a battalion safety officer and Black Hawk helicopter instructor pilot in the Pennsylvania National Guard. During his time at ECBC he deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once, and went on a humanitarian deployment in 2005 to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief. Each time, he said, “ECBC leadership told me, ‘Go forth and do great things.’”
Each veteran in attendance received a certificate of appreciation and a handshake from Moore on the stage.
Afterward, Evelyn Remines, an ECBC surety specialist and Marine Corps veteran said, “I think it’s fabulous that ECBC leadership takes the time to honor all the veterans who work for them. It means so much to be remembered for our service.”
Ronald Stafford, ECBC security manager and 20-year Army veteran said, “We have veterans from all walks of life here at ECBC, and they don’t brag about it, so it’s important that their service doesn’t go unnoticed.”
After the ceremony, Moore said of the ECBC veterans, “We depend on them to be our leaders and to bring their professionalism, their character, and their high level of commitment to our organization. There’s a special esprit de corps we have because we all have very similar life experiences.”