August 20, 2015
Aiken, S.C. - Brandon is a part-time employee at Savannah River Remediation (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). Prior to coming to SRR, Brandon spent six years in the U.S. Navy.
Brandon knew from an early age that he wanted to join the Navy right out of high school. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Yet Brandon also knew his options in the military would be narrowed because he is color blind.
"I remember entering the Navy recruiter's office one afternoon and looking at a 400-page binder of military job options," Brandon said. "Those options narrowed to about six job opportunities open to me."
Brandon seized the job option he knew would interest him most and open the doors to a rewarding and fulfilling military career. Brandon became a linguist, translating the Persian language, Farsi, into English for the military.
Brandon's language training took him to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where he learned a new language, made lasting friendships, and took up a hobby.
"I was born in Washington State and grew up in Montana, so when I moved to California for my military training, I decided to teach myself to surf," Brandon said. "After all, I was living right next door to the ocean."
Brandon and his buddy would grab their surfboards on the weekends and ride the waves. Brandon said this hobby was a good way to relax the mind and exercise the body after the mental taxation of learning a new language during the week.
After his language training, Brandon was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and spent his time in the military translating for the Navy and fully enjoying his military duty to his country.
After leaving the military, Brandon decided to return to the classroom. He wanted to continue challenging himself and felt the best path for him would be through the field of mechanical engineering. Brandon enrolled at USC Aiken and began working part-time at SRR in the Design Services Engineering group.
"I'm grateful for the responsibilities and confidence given to me by my management team," said Brandon. "I enjoy the work and the experienced workforce at SRR."
In Brandon's free time, he enjoys gardening with his wife of seven months. They grow their own herbs, vegetables, grapefruit and lemons, as well as raise geese, ducks and chickens.
The military opened the doors for Brandon to learn a new language and build the self-discipline and self-esteem he needed to walk through new doors, continuing his education and broadening his horizons, reinforcing that limitations only challenge you, they do not have to stop you.
SRR is the liquid waste contractor at Savannah River Site, which is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M and BWX Technologies, Inc. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.
Point of Contact: Tina Melton email@example.com 803-208-1213