Face of Defense: Former Warfighter Continues to Serve

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — As Michael Ver­ton helps employ­ees here work more effi­cient­ly, it’s hard to imag­ine that this cheer­ful, fun-lov­ing and very young-look­ing “kid” was a full-time warfight­er only a short while ago.

Michael Verton, a process improvement specialist at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., served as a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Michael Ver­ton, a process improve­ment spe­cial­ist at Toby­han­na Army Depot, Pa., served as a sol­dier in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cour­tesy pho­to
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A com­bat injury in July 2008 end­ed Verton’s career as a sol­dier, but not his desire to serve his coun­try. As a process improve­ment spe­cial­ist here, he’s able to help employ­ees save time and mon­ey by stream­lin­ing busi­ness prac­tices that have a direct effect on the warfighter. 

Ver­ton grew up in the small town of Lake Ariel, Pa. Fol­low­ing high school, he earned a degree in psy­chol­o­gy and took a job work­ing with autis­tic chil­dren. But Sept. 11, 2001, changed everything. 

Even before he went to speak to an Army recruiter, he said, he knew he was going to join the ranks of the 82nd Air­borne Divi­sion as an infantry sol­dier. He served in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 and in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008. While there, he said, he used and depend­ed on equip­ment repaired by depot employees. 

“Serv­ing with my broth­ers in arms has brought more pride to me than near­ly any­thing else in my life,” Ver­ton said. “I tru­ly was able to serve with America’s heroes. Work­ing here makes it feel as though I’m serv­ing with my broth­er, who is deployed to Afghanistan, and my unit, which is also deployed.” 

Ver­ton works with a team of spe­cial­ists who sup­port the com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems direc­torate, which repairs com­bat radios and oth­er equip­ment he used while deployed. 

“His abil­i­ty and insight as a for­mer cus­tomer and now as a chal­lenge solver enables him to express new con­cepts and ideas that lead to pos­i­tive out­comes for our employ­ees and to the orga­ni­za­tion,” said Tony Rubin, chief of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions secu­ri­ty division. 

Ver­ton helps to return equip­ment in a time­ly and cost-effec­tive man­ner to warfight­ers in the field. 

“The sol­diers depend on Toby­han­na — I depend­ed on Toby­han­na — to pro­vide qual­i­ty, work­ing equip­ment and get it to us in a time­ly man­ner,” Ver­ton said. 

Toby­han­na Army Depot is the Defense Department’s largest cen­ter for the repair, over­haul and fab­ri­ca­tion of a wide vari­ety of elec­tron­ics sys­tems and com­po­nents, from tac­ti­cal field radios to the ground ter­mi­nals for the defense satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work. Tobyhanna’s mis­sions sup­port all branch­es of the armed forces. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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