July 14, 2016
Aiken, S.C. - Savannah River Remediation (SRR) employee and veteran Beaux Brannen has always carried with him a sense of honor and adventure because of those who served in the U.S. military before him, especially his father and those during the World War II era.
“My father was a helicopter test pilot in the Army, and I had the opportunity to watch him succeed in the military,” said Beaux. “I also had the opportunity to live in many locations around the United States, which also fueled my sense of adventure.”
Beaux is a part-time employee at SRR through the Veteran Cooperative Program, an educational program providing qualifying veterans part-time paid developmental jobs in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Beaux’s family resided in North Augusta when his father, who was stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., retired from the Army. Shortly thereafter, Beaux graduated from North Augusta High School and moved out west to Bend, Ore., to the east side of the Cascade Mountains where he enrolled in a small community college and got a job managing a pet store.
In his free time, Beaux enjoyed the mountains, High Desert, Columbia River, and Mount Bachelor, fueling his sense of adventure with skiing, hiking, cycling and whitewater rafting. He admits his focus was more on adventure than his education at the time, and he eventually left school.
Then, on September 11, 2001, when terror struck the U.S., Beaux’s sense of adventure took a different direction. He left the hiking paths and followed his father’s path, joining the U. S. Army.
Because of his test scores, Beaux was told he would do well in military intelligence, air defense, or comprehensive warfare. However, Beaux’s passion for adventure said otherwise. He wanted to jump out of air planes, so Beaux went through basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and became part of the U. S. Army Airborne.
Beaux was then sent to Iraq where he jumped from a plane and was on the front lines of combat. After his tour in Iraq, he served in Afghanistan and Northern Italy.
Beaux said the sense of kinship is what he liked most about his military experience.
“During my time in the military, I experienced a strong sense of brotherhood, comradery, and pride, not only as an individual, but as a team,” Beaux said.
After leaving the military, Beaux worked at military bases in Iraq as a defense contractor for four years and then made the decision to return to college. He decided to move back to the Central Savannah River Area and enrolled at the University of South Carolina Aiken where he is a double major in accounting and finance.
Beaux said he is finding his summer experience at SRR to be extremely rewarding.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to work at SRR this summer in the Project Integration Group,” Beaux said. “I enjoy the teamwork and comradery here as well, and I believe my time as a defense contractor working in project controls, business operations, and contracts in Iraq prepared the way for me to gain this internship at SRR.”
Beaux also said he is enjoying the time this summer reconnecting with his brother and other family, especially his nephews. They live just a few miles from Beaux, and he enjoys sharing stories with his young nephews about his military experience and the history of those who served before him during the World War II era.
Beaux said the stories surrounding this era about soldiers who gave their all in service to their country for the sake of freedom intrigue him most.
“Those stories go straight to my core,” said Beaux. “I wanted to have the opportunity these many years later to do the same alongside others in service for my country.”
SRR is the liquid waste contactor at SRS for the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M and BWX Technologies. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.