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.
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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.

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

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