Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2023) – Global Connections to Employment (GCE) has selected team member Stan Hays as the 2022 Veteran of the Year. Hays works for GCE in the Official Mail Center at Hurlburt Field Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Prior to joining GCE, Hays served in the U.S Army for 10 years, which included combat deployments. He was medically retired due to injuries and multiple fractures sustained during his last tour of duty. He underwent surgery and spent many months in physical therapy. It took him about eight months to learn how to walk again.
In 2021, he began searching online for a job that fit his skillset – order, attention to detail, and problem-solving. He also wanted an employer focused on values similar to the military like teamwork, integrity and respect, to name a few. He discovered an opening at Global Connections to Employment located at Hurlburt Field Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, working in the Official Mail Center. What made it an even better opportunity was that GCE is an employer who trains and supports persons with disabilities, including veterans, in finding meaningful employment.
He got the job, and in 2022, Hays was promoted to shift lead. Every day Stan leads by example jumping in with a can-do attitude. “Stan is in tune to his surroundings and quick to respond to situations,” said Pam Nabors, project manager. “He is just a great role model, leader and person.”
Family is Hays’ number one priority. Regaining his health allows him to play sports with his children again. His job with GCE gives him the independence needed to support them.
“I get to work with the military every day doing something I enjoy with a great team, and I get to go home and be with my family at night. What could be better?”
Global Connections to Employment (GCE) is a nationwide team providing jobs for people with significant disabilities. GCE is one of the country’s largest private employers of persons with disabilities.