Our Veteran Story
A sense of pride comes with telling someone you work for a company that assists Veterans. Employees at Veterans Care Coordination are privileged to be a part of a company that focuses on helping our most vulnerable yet deserving citizens, aging Veterans. Not only do we strive to provide resources and knowledge to struggling families, but most of us have a personal connection to the military that makes it much more rewarding. This emotional connection drives our team to continually strive to deliver the best positive outcome for Veterans and their families, and is why our founder Kyle Laramie started VCC. Laramie explained, “Our mission is centered around educating families about Veteran benefits. Unfortunately, my grandfather unnecessarily missed out due to a lack of knowledge and resources, so it has been a personal mission to make a change.” Laramie added, “It is incredibly gratifying to know we have a team that shares the same passion for educating Veterans and their families. We have so many team members who have family members with a rich history of military service.” This Veterans Day, we wanted to allow our employees to share a part of their personal story about the Veteran or Veterans in their lives that continually drive them to make a difference in the lives of others by working for VCC.
Cheryl Hammons, Director, People + Talent – Cheryl’s father, Hiram Gwin, served in the United States Army from 1945-1947. After living on the streets, Gwin joined the Army hoping for stability, and got much more. After working in the kitchen in the Army, Gwin continued along this path and was able to retire from a career as an Executive Chef. Cheryl stated, “My dad not only served his country, but he got a second chance in life. Working for VCC allows me to support people like my dad and mom. Their stories amaze me, giving my job a greater purpose.”
Cristie Herring, Director, Strategic Programs -Cristie’s grandfather was a WWII Veteran, and her Father-in-law served in Vietnam. In addition, Cristie’s Brother-in-law served in Saudi Arabia in the last part of the Iraq War and the Bosnian War, while her nephew was enlisted for four years in the United States Marine Corps. Cristie said, “It is an honor to work for VCC and serve those who have served us all and sacrificed so much for our freedom. My family members who have served have inspired me with their selflessness and courage. It gives me great pride and satisfaction knowing that VCC helps people like my family members every day. Anything we can do to assist Veterans and their families is not nearly enough considering what they have given us, but it feels good knowing that we contribute to supporting Veterans and Surviving Spouses through our work at VCC.”
Dana Ickes, Client Care – Dana comes from a large military family that gave the ultimate sacrifice more than once and is also a military spouse. Dana’s uncles, Robert and Harold, were killed one week apart in WWII. Their younger brother Herley later lost his life while serving in the Army during Vietnam. She also lost her uncle Lowell in the Korean Conflict. Her father, Gil, also served in the United States Army during Vietnam. Dana’s grandmother sadly lost three sons fighting for our country. David Ickes, Dana’s husband, served in the Army for ten years and was deployed to Iraq during Desert Storm. Dana stated, “I come from a very large military family, and these are just a few veterans in my family. To be able to work for an organization that honors and assists Veterans and their families is a privilege and an honor, one that I don’t take lightly. We owe our freedom to these men and women.”
Diane Gambill, Account Manager – Diane’s father and brother both served in the United States Army. Her father, Harold Cox, was in Italy during WWII and was a Bronze Star Recipient. Her brother Ron was a helicopter pilot who flew a combat tour in Vietnam. He was a Ranger and Purple Heart Recipient. He served two tours during Vietnam accumulating 1100 hours of mission. Diane stated, “Even though he (her father) has been gone for 30 years, I think about him every day, especially now that I work at VCC and have such a deeper appreciation for all Veterans.”
Jamie Gianopulos, Marketing – I come from a large family deeply rooted in the military, dating back to my grandfather’s uncle, who was killed in action during WWI. Both of my grandfathers served in the Army during WWII, with one earning the Bronze Star while accumulating three additional acts of heroism for running onto a battlefield multiple times to rescue the injured during combat. My father enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1965, is a Vietnam Veteran, and is now active with his local VFW. My cousin Jeff was enlisted in the USMC for 25 years and is an Iraq War Veteran. In September of this year, my son left for Officer Candidate School with the USMC and is due to graduate on November 19th. I have four uncles on my dad’s side, one on my mom’s that served our country, and too many others to list. I am incredibly proud to work for a company that can assist Veterans in need. It gives my position a profound meaning while also giving me a deeper understanding and appreciation of what our Veterans have sacrificed for us.
Maydra Necessary, Account Manager – Maydra’s father, Steven Mudd, served in the United States Army as a medic during his tour in Vietnam. After returning home and completing college, he joined the AirForce as an officer serving from 1977 until 1994. Her oldest son joined the US Marine Corps after graduating high school in 2017, serving until 2021. Maydra said, “My passion behind working for VCC comes from a very deep gratitude. The sacrifice that men and women make for our country is one I can never repay; however, I will always try.”
Michelle Smith, Client Care – Michelle’s father, Vietnam Veteran Frank L. West, followed the footsteps of many family members before him and enlisted in the Air Force at age 17. Frank served as a Crew Chief from 1965-1970 and was able to travel all over the world. Once enlisted, he traveled to Texas, California, Hawaii, Wake Island, Guam, and the Philippians. After his tour in Vietnam, he traveled to England and back to the states before being honorably discharged. Michelle stated, “Dad could not talk about the war for a long time, and I am just now getting a glimpse into that time in his life. I am so thankful for my dad and all my family members and Veterans that have served. Furthermore, I am thankful that I get to go to a job where I truly make a difference every single day to Veterans and their families. Veterans Care Coordination offers me that privilege and the ability to work with some of the most caring people I know.”
Victoria Carroll, Accounting – Victoria’s father, Lewis A. James, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps before finishing high school at age 18. After four months of boot camp, he was sent to Japan and fought in WWII. Upon returning home from war, he finished high school with his younger brother and enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves during the Korean War. However, he stayed on American soil throughout the Korean Conflict. He didn’t speak much about his time in the military and even attempted to pass on the honor flight. But after some persuasion, he is happy to have gone and cherishes the experience and pictures. Victoria stated, “I knew I wanted to work for a company that assisted Veterans. After moving to the area, I was lucky enough to see the job opening at VCC. I believe everything worked out the way it was supposed to.”
Every employee at Veterans Care Coordination understands that their daily activities positively contribute to struggling Veterans, surviving spouses, and their families. The home care agencies we work with across the country only amplify those positive contributions with exemplary service and care for genuinely deserving people.