One of the most rewarding aspects of working alongside an incredible team of talented people is that you discover the diverse experiences that have brought us all together. Today on Veterans Day, we want to recognize our Vet Friends on a holiday dedicated to real people, real families, real friends, real stories, and real sacrifices.
This year, we honor the experiences of Net Friend Kyle George, who graciously sat down and shared some reflections about what his service journey means to him. Kyle is a Security Analyst in our ISO (Information Security Office) and has been with Net Friends since 2019. You can catch more Net Friends stories of military service at Proudly Honoring Our Veterans (2018).
What motivated you to join the service?
Military service was a major influence throughout my life. My mother and stepfather served in the Army, and my father retired from the Marine Corps. Growing up in a military environment taught me a lot about discipline and adaptation. I desired a military experience in my adult life, but it was something I wanted to get done before I started a family.
How has your experience impacted your life?
Going into the Army, I thought I knew exactly what I was in for – after all, I had been exposed to the military my whole life. It turns out that I had no idea what it was like. Childhood stories do not compare to the real experience. During my enlistment, I met quite the range of people and it helped me to temper my expectations of others and for life in general. Life can change overnight, and in the Army it often does. I learned to focus less on the changes and more on the ways in which I let them influence me.
What lessons did you learn?
My toughest lesson was in the art of failure. Discussing my service was my least favorite topic after I separated from the Army. I separated early due to injuries that I sustained to both legs and it was a long and demoralizing process. I felt as though I had not lived up to my family’s expectation of military service.
I found a mentor who pushed me to look forward and make decisions that point me towards success. While I could not change the past, I could learn from it and make the best of the future. Military service became a key steppingstone in my life, providing me with the opportunities and lessons that landed me where I am today.
What powerful memories or stories did you have that you’d like to share?
I have so many awesome memories and stories, but the main thing that I would like to share is my appreciation for those who have served in the Armed Forces. I am grateful for the dedication and sacrifices of the veterans of our nation. Military service may not always be fun or glorious, but I am happy that we have a day where we come together as a nation and say, “We appreciate you!”
How did your experiences ultimately lead you to Net Friends and your career in information technology & security?
Although I joined the Army as an infantryman, my initial plan was to join the Army for Information Technology. It turned out that being colorblind was an inhibiting factor. I decided that I would serve my enlistment and go to school for something IT related. As I was leaving the Army, I enrolled at Wake Tech where I eventually chose the Cybersecurity program.
Along with the education, my professors really pushed the idea of a good work atmosphere. Initially, I found myself thinking about how crazy that was because a job is a job, it’s not really supposed to be enjoyable. It turns out they were right. During my job hunt I read so many reviews of companies and I avoided applying to the ones that I heard terrible things about. My patience and luck paid off when I found Net Friends! They had me sold with Snack Time, but the awesome people, friendly atmosphere and all-around positive nature were pretty good additions.