IAM District 9 in Bridgeton, MO, recently honored its district’s military veterans at an annual Veterans Appreciation Brunch. The decade-strong annual event included a free brunch, guest speakers, and recognition of service for each veteran. About 100 people attended the event. District 9 has a large membership base of military veterans, many of whom say the armed forces taught them skills and values that they now use in the workplace and the labor movement
“I’m thrilled that I went in to the military when I did and I ended up with 7 and a half years active duty. I think it grew me up, matured me and gave me the bond of brotherhood. I got to learn a trade and was a machinist in the Army,” said Jason Tetidrick, IAM District 9 Assistant Directing Business Rep., and a U.S. Army Veteran
The brunch also included words of support from Ed Manhart, IAM Retirees and Membership Assistance Director, and Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President.
Johnsen spoke on behalf of IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr.
“Bob Martinez, being a veteran of the U.S. Navy, he holds our veterans very dear and they hold a special place in this organization. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the IAM represents more veterans than any other union,” Johnsen said.
“It’s always an honor to recognize the dedication of our IAM members who have served our country. They’ve done so much for our great nation, and our union is forever indebted to them,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “This annual event is a small token of appreciation, and a promise to continue to honor our brave Brothers and Sisters by fighting for respect in the workplace and beyond.”