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Calling all Military Vets

July 20, 2012

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner – Founders Insurance Group

I have never served in our military nor did I give military service much thought growing up. That all changed back in 1996. You see, I was in Bosnia at that time for several weeks as a civilian. During my visit, I had the opportunity to travel to Mostar in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia. The city had been ravaged as it was the most bombed city in the entire war. Signs were posted all over the city from families seeking their missing loved ones. Divided by the Neretva River, Mostar was controlled by two of the warring factions. A fragile cease fire was in place, but one needed to be very alert as kidnappings were very common. I experienced many frightening things in Mostar. I have a vivid memory of walking down one of the city’s sidewalks and seeing three American soldiers walking toward me. It struck me because the city was being policed by IFOR and Spanish troops were deployed there, so seeing an American GI was not a common occurrence. These young men said nothing more than hello as they walked passed me. But for that brief moment, I felt a sense of security and pride. The hair on my arms still stands at attention when I think of that day.

Upon returning home, my view of our men and women in uniform had changed. I found myself paying more attention to those that keep our homeland safe.

Shortly after the beginning of the war in Iraq, a group of motorcyclists had been asked to escort some of the soldiers returning from the war on busses from Westover Air Force Base to the armory in Hartford. I immediately jumped at the opportunity. It was October and the transport plane had been late arriving at the base and it was dark and becoming quite cold for a motorcycle ride. When the busses finally reached the Connecticut border, we took up the escort. Out front were several Connecticut State Police motorcycle officers. The officers took turns peeling off and blocking the highway on ramps leaving the busses and the bikers with a wide open interstate as we made the twenty five mile ride to the armory. We circled around the busses as we rode. The tired solders, a unit that had taken some casualties, began to come alive as the interior bus lights were turned on and they all came to the windows to see the welcome escort. They pumped their fists and cheered as I moved my bike as close to the bus as possible as I stood on my floorboards and cheered with them as we rode down the highway. It was a moment that I will never forget. Any thought of the cold air was long gone. It was a magical night for the men and woman coming home and for those of us that had the privilege of being part of the escort.

Shortly after that night, the war came a little closer to home as my business partner, Dennis Dressel found out that his daughter Annie had been informed that her unit was being sent to Iraq. Dennis did his best to be supportive and to speak with his daughter via Skype at every chance, but like the parents of all of our service people Dennis was a worried father.

Annie eventually returned home safely and with a Bronze Star attached to her chest and again we were all proud of our service people.

Here at Founders, we are made up of all different political persuasions but we all agree that regardless of the politics, the folks that make up our military are among the world’s finest and deserve our support. Now today, it is our wish to reach out one more time. It is no secret that the economy has been bad for the past few years. So it would be no surprise that our men and woman returning from the military are coming home to find that jobs are scarce.

If you are coming out of the service and are finding it difficult to find a job and believe that you have some sales skills, we here at Founders
want to speak to you! There are no guarantees, but for the right candidate a career position awaits! We would love to have you on board.

Chris Garlasco

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