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New Champions of Change Recognized for Dedication to Our Military Families

Honoring Americans who are at the leading edge of hiring veterans and spouses

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden continue to ask Americans to do more for those who have done so much for us. They are highlighting outstanding American citizens, communities, and businesses that are supporting our troops and making commitments to serve our nation’s military families. They are asking Americans to get involved in any way they can. The Joining Forces team has seen people from all over the nation step up to meet the challenge, and together we have gained much momentum.

When individuals or organizations go above and beyond the Joining Forces challenge, they become leaders and provide inspiration in their communities. It is important that we recognize these champions for their hard work and dedication to our military families.

The White House and Joining Forces honored six individuals on Wednesday, November 9th as Champions of Change who are committed to helping military veterans. These individuals represent organizations and businesses who are working to improve the lives of veterans and military families by providing vital services or jobs to veterans.

These Champions of Change are at the leading edge of hiring veterans and spouses. They have committed themselves and their companies to doing what is right for our nation’s military heroes.

The President of the American Logistics Association, Patrick Nixon is recognized as a Champion of Change. The ALAis a voluntary, nonprofit organization of manufacturers, manufacturer's representatives, brokers, distributors, publishers, and other companies that sell or provide products and services to the military resale systems and MWR/Services. Under Nixon’s leadership, the ALA and their 270 affiliate companies have committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.Mr. Nixon is a veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps from 1966-1969.

Russell Tooley heads recruitment and development of Tyson Foods’ quickly-expanding global teams. Tyson employs about 3,000 military veterans and is a member of the ALA, which recently committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and their family members over the next two years. Tooley’s team is responsible for filling those new positions that may become available within Tyson Foods. 

Maurice Wilson is the co-founder and President/National Executive Director of National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. and a retired Master Chief petty Officer of the United States Navy. Troubled with the high unemployment, homelessness, high drug abuse and other issues associated with military-to-civilian reintegration, Wilson co-founded REBOOT, a three-week behavior-based military-to-civilian transition program designed to help returning service members/veterans/spouses successfully reintegrate back into civilian life after years of military service.

F. Jed Becker serves as the CEO of Eurpac Service, Inc. Under his leadership, Eurpac has committed to a board-level recruiting push that recognizes the dramatic value the company receives from hiring veterans, retirees, and military dependents at every level of the organization. Jed currently serves as a Director on the USO World Board of Governors and chairs its Finance Committee.

Nick Baucom is a 6 year enlisted Marine and Iraq veteran. Nick Baucom founded Two Marines Moving, and is now dedicated to employing veterans in the transportation field within the Washington D.C. metro area. He has assisted hundreds of veterans in their transition from military service to the civilian sector in the last three years.  Nick now employs 70 people in a variety of positions including movers, drivers, dispatchers, and sales staff. 

Judith Markelz, the wife of an Army officer, currently serves as the Director for the Warrior and Family Support Center at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. The Warrior and Family Support Center provides services to all Wounded Warriors injured in OIF/OEF/OND and their families. It is the only one of its kind in the nation and the only government agency supported almost entirely from donations, except for salaries which are paid by the US Army.