Cape Henry Associates (CHA) is proud to be a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSM) and we’re especially proud of the fact that 58 percent of our employees are veterans of the world’s premier military force. So as you can imagine, November is a significant month for us as we get a chance to honor those men and women who have put it all on the line to serve our country and who, after their active duty service has ended, choose to continue to serve by helping CHA develop and deliver some truly cutting-edge products that will continue to ensure America’s military strength and success.

In the past we have used this space to offer generic thanks to our nation’s military heroes (in our mind, EVERY man and woman who has put on the uniform, done the job, and more than earned the title “veteran”), to highlight specific veteran employees, and to just in general do our part to recognize the efforts, sacrifices, and patriotism of the less than 1 percent of our country’s population that answers the military call to service.

This year, we thought we’d do things a little differently. We asked our employees, both veteran and non-veteran, to tell us what they like best about working alongside CHA’s veterans. We expected certain answers (which we got) about how their knowledge of the military and the specific roles they played qualifies them to serve as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), but some of the answers surprised even us. Read on for some of the ways our veteran employees help us achieve our 99.5 percent on-time delivery rating, and how they make CHA the best place to work.

Several of our employees stated that our veterans help us because “their background allows us to utilize them as SMEs, which ultimately allows us to provide quality products.” They talked about how “our vets understand each other. They speak the lingo. This makes us uniquely qualified and adept at knowing not only the ‘what,’ but the ‘why’ behind our customers’ needs.” Our veterans added that it’s “nice to share stories and experiences. The problem with companies with mostly civilians is that civilians can be complacent to get a task done. With veterans we know how to work hard because we had to during our time in the service.” They told us how “having something in common right off the bat” helps them fit in with the CHA culture and be able to start producing quality work right away.

Everyone, veteran and civilian alike, told us time and again how the “strong sense of community and bonding” makes CHA a unique place to work. Veterans bring “commonality, understanding, and an incredible work ethic” to CHA that “ensures quality work.” “They know stuff,” said one civilian employee, “…they’re respectful, dependable, and mission-oriented.” They make it “fun to come to work” was also heard frequently.

The single word we most heard was “resourceful.” Veterans know how to work around and through obstacles. Another word we heard often was “teamwork.” Veterans are effective team members, with an “absolute passion to get the job done.” Everyone knows that teamwork is essential to CHA’s success.

What surprised us the most (though in retrospect, it shouldn’t have), was how often we heard that our veterans are the ones who contribute the most to the number one thing our employees love about working at CHA: our family culture. “The camaraderie” and the “strong sense of community and bonding” are attributes our employees find most endearing and most rewarding about our veteran work force.

So, to all our veterans, we salute you. Thank you for helping to make CHA the success it is and, more important, for fostering the type of community that engenders creativity, productivity, and success. For making us stronger by simply being who you are, and for the experiences you bring to the table, we are ever grateful. That you do so while making us laugh? Priceless.