The Electrical Worker online
November 2021

From the Officers
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Thank You to our Veterans

Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada are an opportunity to say "Thank you" to those who've served our two countries in uniform, and this year I want to extend the gratitude of the entire IBEW to those members and their families who've given so much to all of us.

But I'd like to talk about what we do the other 364 days of the year to honor our vets.

At the IBEW, so many of our members served honorably and came home looking for that next step in life, an opportunity to put the skills and leadership they developed in uniform into a civilian career.

From our earliest days, the IBEW has welcomed veterans with open arms after World Wars and drawn-out conflicts on the far side of the globe.

Today, it's as important as ever that we recognize the enormous impact our veterans can have on our local unions and reach out proactively to invite them to join us in brotherhood and sisterhood.

Through initiatives like the Veterans Electrical Entry Program, or VEEP, and Helmets to Hardhats, as well as numerous local-level recruiting plans, we're working to ease the barriers to entry to these women and men who come ready-equipped with the discipline, work ethic and know-how to be successful apprentices from their first day.

It fills me with pride to see IBEW booths at military career fairs or to see locals who put an emphasis on recruiting from nearby bases.

In this issue, you'll read about Charleston, W. Va., Local 466 winning a state award earlier this year for being an employer that strongly supports its members who serve in the state's National Guard. And awards or not, I know that all of our local unions do the same for their members who still serve, and that makes me enormously proud, too.

As we work to expand VEEP and learn from the successes our locals are having recruiting vets, I hope each of you will warmly welcome those who've served into our union, and I hope you'll take time this month to say "Thank you" to those brothers and sisters who served honorably in the past.

We have all that we do because of their sacrifices, and we'll never take that for granted.

So, thank you to those of you who served and thank you to everyone engaged in making the IBEW a promising lifelong career for our new veterans. God bless our two nations and the men and women who served them faithfully.


Also: Stephenson: Brotherhood Keeps Us Strong Read Stephenson's Column

Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International Secretary-Treasurer