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Reflections on Veterans Day from Yelp Employees



At Yelp, our employee groups offer the opportunity to connect with people from all across the organization with a variety of interests and experiences. Our VetConnect group provides a place for veterans and veterans’ family members to get to know each other and share their perspectives and experiences. In honor of Veterans Day, we spoke to a few members of this group.

What does Veterans Day mean to you?

Adam Halleck, Junior Account Executive, Phoenix – Army Veteran: My service was a way for me to grow up and establish myself away from my hometown. Veterans Day is an opportunity for me to catch up with old friends, make new friends with others who have served, and to ultimately honor my brothers and sisters in arms who made the same commitment that I made.

katie o'brien veteran's day

Katie Ceccarini, Associate Director – Training & Quality Assurance, Seattle – Wife of BMC Alex Ceccarini, USCG: If I’m being honest, before meeting my now husband, I don’t think it was much more than a quick pause and a thought about how many members have been in service protecting and honoring our country. 

My perspective is completely different now. My husband has been in the US Coast Guard for more than 16 years. He, like so many others, puts on that uniform every day and lives and breathes something bigger than him. Our veterans miss holidays, life events, and so much more, all to do a job that requires you to be selfless and thoughtful of others. I have so much respect for the work they do, as well as all the spouses/partners/loved ones who hold down the fort while they’re gone.

Adam Jimenez, Elite Account Manager, Phoenix – Former Marine Corps Sergeant:  Veterans Day to me means honoring all service members, both present and past, for the bravery and sacrifice they have put forth for their country.

How do you celebrate the day and honor veterans?

Adam H: I typically meet up with a friend or two that I served with and grab a bite and reminisce about our time overseas, whether it was Iraq, Afghanistan, or Germany. I also take time to remember friends who lost their lives in service, or after serving, and light a yahrzeit candle every year on Veterans Day to honor them.

Katie: In past years, I’ve tried to run a 5k or 10k that honors and raises money through the Wounded Warrior project. It’s a fantastic cause and brings together all branches of the service.

adam jimenez veterans day

Adam J: I celebrate it by getting involved with whatever is happening in my community to show appreciation and to show my kids why we do this. I honor vets whenever possible and not only on a specific day of the year. I do it by keeping an open line to have my Marines call and just talk to get things off their chest to keep them safe, purchasing essential items a homeless vet may need and bringing it to them, and supporting causes to help benefit those in need. 

What can the general public do to honor and help veterans?

adam halleck veterans day

Adam H: Know that there are many things veterans can provide to benefit the common good. We are a diverse bunch — full of different ideals, religions, creeds, and colors — and we are a great example of what we as a country can accomplish when you let all that stuff go and try to achieve something greater than yourself. Also, please if you feel inclined to do so, write your public officials and stress the importance of real VA reforms; the VA system is very flawed and not properly equipped to deal with the problems a lot of veterans face. Personally, I’m not big on hearing “Thank you for your service.” As long as we as Americans treat each other with respect, then that’s a great way to honor why we serve. 

Katie: A simple and meaningful thank you goes a long way. The men and women of our military join because they’re inherently selfless and want to contribute to our amazing country. They greatly appreciate when their sacrifices are recognized. For service members who are deployed, I’d say they would say to lend a hand to their loved ones who are back home with little ones or elderly relatives. Simple gestures of neighborly support are fantastic.

Adam J: Lending a helping hand when you see a vet in need or even just recognizing a vet in the open, like at the store or mall, and shaking their hand to personally thank them for their service goes a long way and shows the utmost respect for what they have done.

How did your service prepare you for a job at Yelp?

Adam H: How to deal with failure, stress, and how to overcome adversity. The military reinforced the importance of teamwork and how everyone is vital to the success of the mission. I also learned the value in being organized and why paying attention to detail is critical to being productive.

Adam J: It definitely gives us the tools we need to be successful here at Yelp. Resolving conflicts in a calm and patient manner, coming up with alternative ideas on the fly for incoming calls, being dependable so our team and leaders can rely on us, always willing to take on additional duties as they arise, and to remain “Semper Gumby” — which translates to being “Always Flexible” — which is key here at Yelp with the constant changes that do occur.

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