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Veteran Spotlight: Raphael Dairo

"[Being a veteran] means SACRIFICE, willing to give everything and expect nothing in return. It means Risking your life to help others HEAL when they could not do it on their own. It means to be APPRECIATED by the people you have fought for and protected. It also means to have HONOR in everything you do".

Raphael Dairo

1

Tell us about your time serving in the military. What branch did you serve and how long did you serve?

I'm currently serving in the United States Navy Reserve, and this is my third year. My time has been filled with challenges, opportunities, and growth that have helped me to develop personally and in all realms of life. Growing up, I always admired people who had served, so I wanted to be part of that culture as well. More practically, I wanted a bit of adventure, to experience the world differently, while learning technical skills and how to lead people.   

2

How has being a veteran impacted your career?

My military experience has improved my communication skills, flexibility, leadership, motivation, patience, persuasion, and problem-solving abilities. Also, my military training had prepared me for the physical and mental challenges involved in my daily work activities with Lodestar. The military taught me how to see around corners, identify threats and risks before they presented themselves, and to create strategic and tactical responses. This informs my career as a senior IT Risk/Auditor, as obstacles no longer scare me, and I don’t flinch when things get stressful or unpredictable.  

3

What part of your military career has made you successful in your career?

Serving in the military taught me many life lessons and ingrained many essential values that has translated into me becoming a more productive civilian. My military career taught me how to lead and train others, supporting each other to combine individual strengths to enhance team performance, with a character that renders obedience and determination, irrespective of the situation.  Military service is all about learning to work as a team. From my basic training days to my experiences gained throughout my service, I quickly learn to depend on the members of my unit. Whether we succeed or fail, we do it as a team. 

4

Why is Veterans Day important to you?

 I  truly appreciate seeing the US flag proudly displayed on front porches on Veterans Day across America.  It allows me to honor the people who have sacrificed their lives for our country, and to also appreciate those who are currently serving in the military to protect our country. I have reflected on the freedom that we have in our country due to the hard work and dedication of those individuals. Honoring this day is important to the people who have served in the military.   

5

What does it mean to be a veteran?

It means SACRIFICE, willing to give everything and expect nothing in return. It means Risking your life to help others HEAL when they could not do it on their own. It means to be APPRECIATED by the people you have fought for and protected. It also means to have HONOR in everything you do. Being a veteran is being part of a brother/sister hood, it is something that you carry with you for the rest of your life. The experiences that you live through which you are very thankful that you did are life-altering events and can change a person within a split second.