Veteran Spotlight: James Bridges
"I'm proud of the 21 years I was in the military and am humbled daily by the opportunity to say I served. I'm a veteran, and more importantly, to say thank you to those who served before, during, and after me".
Tell us about your time serving in the military. What branch did you serve and how long did you serve?
Born into a military family, and raised as a military brat, being around the military was a way of life for me. At 21, I decided a change was in order and it was time to "see more of the world", I enlisted in the US Air Force. I spent the next 21 years serving at multiple locations throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Looking back over my military career (and since) if I had the chance, I'd do it all over again.
How has being a veteran impacted your career?
Serving in the military afforded me the opportunity to complete my degree and provided me with exposure to multiple facets of government accounting. The life experiences I encountered along the way helped mold me, both personally and professionally. The exposure & network of veterans I was able to establish built a solid foundation carrying over into my life after the military. Without those I was honored to serve beside and the mentorship they provided; I don't think I'd be where I am today.
What part of your military career has made you successful in your career?
I've been fortunate there were opportunities available allowing me to take the next step upward, continuously learning along the way. The last several years of my military career was spent developing & deploying a financial system, this laid the groundwork for me as a consultant. The knowledge & experience gained provided opportunities for life after the military and allowed an almost seamless transition to civilian life. Eagerness to always be open to new opportunities took me into a full-time consulting role; understanding what makes a financial system work to being able to develop and troubleshoot the system. Lodestar has provided me with the opportunity to continue to serve.
Why is Veterans Day important to you?
Veterans Day is and has always been, for me, a day to remember those who served before me and more importantly those who sacrificed their lives to keep our United States safe and free. A veteran takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Without the sacrifice of those who have served we wouldn't be where we are today - FREE! For me every day should be Veterans Day! I take the opportunity as much as I can to say thank you to a veteran for their service and a special "Welcome Back!" to those who served in Vietnam.
What does it mean to be a veteran?
Being a veteran means you've dedicated a part of your life in service of your country to promote and defend freedom, its why veterans served. Duty, Honor, and country is always foremost in a veteran's mind. I'm proud of the 21 years I was in the military and am humbled daily by the opportunity to say I served. I'm a veteran, and more importantly, to say thank you to those who served before, during, and after me.