Serving Utah's veterans

Each September our Veterans Services staff and other department leadership gather for the annual Veterans Training Conference to help them identify the best ways they can help veterans transition into the civilian workforce.

This year they met at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, UT and recognized five individuals who went above and beyond to serve veterans, military members and spouses who came into their offices seeking help. We’re proud of the way our staff members have served veterans in need. Read more about their efforts below.

Robert Simone - Stars and Stripes and Eagle Awards

Robert Simone, a veteran specialist from our Vernal office, received this year's highest honor, the Stars and Stripes award in addition to an Eagle award. Robert incorporated a family-focused approach by helping a newly transitioned veteran and his wife find employment opportunities that have provided the family with steady income, benefits and stable housing. The veteran was hired by the Vernal Forest Service and thanks to Robert’s efforts, his wife was able to use her training to get hired as a licensed practical nurse.

Art Fraccia - Eagle Award

Art Fraccia goes above and beyond to make sure veterans get the assistance they need when they come into the office. He recently helped a Navy veteran by the name of Kylie get on the right track for a career in nursing. Kylie had completed her nursing degree, but still needed to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam before she could get her licensure. Art helped her find a job within the industry while she worked toward completing her licensure. Art’s assistance made a difference in her career path. 

Thomas Paul - Eagle Award

Thomas Paul serves veterans in the Spanish Fork office and he recently helped a Marine veteran by the name of Tim. Tim ended up being let go after working for the same employer for 10 years and didn’t know where to turn. He needed to figure out how to support his family, and Tom helped Tim apply for benefits he was eligible for through the Office of Veterans and Military Affairs and helped him polish up his resume. Their hard work paid off, and Tim is happily working for West Rock for more than $38 an hour.

Chuck Rackham - Eagle Award

Chuck Rackham met Yancee when he was doing outreach with the Utah National Guard. Yancee is currently serving in active duty, but will be retiring from the Army soon, and wanted to make sure he was ready to enter the civilian workforce. Chuck worked with Yancee and helped him identify his transferable skills, a career path he was interested in and the training program to reach his goal. Thanks to Chuck’s help, Yancee was able to secure a job with Northrop Grumman for $102k per year.

Michael Johnson - Eagle Award 

Michael served in the Marines and his service in the military has had a profound impact on his life. Michael serves our veterans, disabled veterans and their spouses with incredible compassion and goodwill. From the very first day on the job, Michael has been looking for ways to learn everything he can quickly, so he can help former service members the best way possible. He has spent countless hours contributing to our outreach efforts to make sure no veteran is left behind. He has quickly and proactively spearheaded Utah Patriot Partnership that encourages Utah businesses to hire veterans as a first choice.