To all our associate veterans and veterans around the globe, we thank you for your service and sacrifice. We are honored to work alongside you and share your stories.
by Jessica Mancini | Nov 11, 2020
On Armistice Day, and every day, we honor the sacrifices many have made to ensure peace and safety across all nations. In celebration of service members this Armistice Day (and Veterans Day in the United States), we reached out to our veteran associates and invited them to share their stories.
The below 16 veterans have volunteered to share a bit about themselves, their time in the service, and their roles at Columbus McKinnon. To all our associate veterans and veterans around the globe, we thank you for your service and sacrifice. We are honored to work alongside you and share your stories.
One of Columbus McKinnon’s newest veteran associates, Danielle Barrack joined the Columbus McKinnon team just weeks ago as EHS Manager in Wadesboro, NC. Danielle was in the US Coast Guard as an Active Duty Petty Officer Third Class Marine Science Technician, leading a multi-agency strike force operation looking out for illegal drug trafficking, stowaways in shipping containers, safe transportation of hazardous materials, and other regulations enforced by local agencies. Her duty station helped secure the port of Hampton Roads, VA where she boarded vessels from around the world ensuring they were living and working in safe conditions while at sea.
Danielle and her team also responded to oil and hazmat spills, most notably the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf. She proudly served among an honorable group of men and women for 4 years in Norfolk, VA, 2.5 years in Staten Island, NY, and 1.5 years in the IRR.
Michael Belcher served in the US Navy from 1988 through 1992 and is a Desert Shield/Storm Vet Disabled Veteran.
He was a Radioman onboard the USS John F. Kennedy CV-67 out of Portsmouth VA. Michael joined the Columbus McKinnon team seven years ago and is a Continuous Improvement Specialist in Lexington, TN.
Allan Bradley served in the US Air Force as a C-141 Starlifter aircraft loadmaster during Operation Just Cause in Panama and Desert Storm.
Allan has been an integral member of Columbus McKinnon’s award-winning Damascus, VA team as a CNC Machinist for over 10 years.
Robert Bruno served in the US Coast Guard from 2000 to 2006. Rob served at Coast Guard Station in Monterey, CA from 2000 to 2002 as a crew member on the 47ft motor lifeboat, 41ft UTB, and 21ft RHI.
From 2002 to 2006, he served on the USCGC Cypress WLB 210 Sea Going buoy tender stationed in Mobile, AL, where he was a crane operator, aid to navigation technician, and small boat coxswain.
Rob joined Columbus McKinnon in November of 2017 as an Industry Products Trainer, bringing his experience to Columbus McKinnon’s training curriculum.
Cpl. Joseph A. Davis was a member of the 7th Infantry Division out of Fort Ord National Monument in California from January 1985 through May 1988.
From May through November of 1987, he was a member of Multinational Forces & Observers, an international peacekeeping force, Company Commander Driver Delta Co. 11 Bravo Infantry/11 Bravo Charlie 2 Dragon Missile.
Joseph is a Service Parts Operator with Columbus McKinnon and has been with the company for 10 ½ years.
Susan Garrett is a veteran of the US Airforce, a former instructor of all air crew members in an Altitude Chamber. She treated gas gain green ulcers, Co2 poisoning, and other ailments in a chamber that simulated diving with 100% oxygen. Susan has been with Columbus McKinnon for six years as a Master Scheduler in Damascus, VA.
Mark Henschel served in the US Army working as an Aircraft Electrician working on helicopters.
Mark joined Columbus McKinnon 22 years ago in December of 1997 at Electromotive Systems, soon to become Magnetek and a part of the Columbus McKinnon family.
Today, Mark is a Senior Product Engineer at the Magnetek Menomonee Falls, WI location.
Jeff Johnson served in the United States Marine Corps from 1984 to 1988, stationed at the 2nd Marine Division in Camp Lejeune, NC and working with the 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion.
He spent his years in the service touring the Indian Ocean, Arabian, Red and Mediterranean Seas with operations in many of the neighboring countries, receiving many awards including the Blue Nose, Shellback & Safari to Suez certificates.
Jeff joined Columbus McKinnon’s Magnetek team in Menomonee Falls, WI three and a half years ago as Business Development Manager.
Chris Justice started his military career in the Virginia Army National Guard on October 13, 1983 where he trained as a Nuclear Biological Chemical warfare specialist at Fort McClellan Alabama. After three years he was transferred to the Army Reserve where he was trained as an Infantryman and became a Drill Sergeant, becoming a company First Sergeant in 1998. After attending the United States Army Sergeants Academy, he was promoted to Sergeant Major in 2004.
Chris was selected to go to Amon Jordon for cultural awareness training for Operation Iraqi Freedom and was mobilized for a 15-month tour in May of 2005. As a military advisor to the 3rd Division of the Iraqi Army, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. Chris returned as the Operations Sergeant Major for 3rd Brigade 95th Division Salem Virginia and was mobilized again to assist with Army Transformation, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Pre-deployment operations.
Chris received many awards including The Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Achievement Medal, 3 Army Commendation Medals, 3 Army Achievement Medals, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal, Drill Sergeant Badge and the Combat Action Badge. Since retiring in 2009, Chris joined the Columbus McKinnon team nearly three years ago as B-2 Assembly in Damascus, VA.
Graham McAleer served with the Irish Guards in the British Army from 1982 to 1986. He found a love for lifting gear and equipment in the Army and was trained by the Royal Engineers, earning the title of Assault Pioneer. Graham served in Germany during the Cold War guarding nuclear bases and the picture in ceremonial dress is guarding Her Majesty The Queen outside one of the Royal palaces in London.
Graham is now a Service Engineer and has worked at Columbus McKinnon’s Belfast branch in Northern Ireland for 18 ½ years.
Ron Newton served in the US Navy from 1982 through 1986 on Aircraft Carrier Eisenhower CVN-69. Ron has been a member of the Columbus McKinnon family for 26 years, working as a Receiving Inspector in Wadesboro, NC.
Jerry Nollinger served in the United States Navy from 1987 -1989 on the USS INFLICT MSO-456 wooden Mine Sweeper ship built in 1953. During his time in the service, Jerry was responsible for finding and destroying the first underwater contact mines in the Persian Gulf in 1987. He served two tours in Persian Gulf on USS INFLICT.
Jerry joined the Columbus McKinnon team three years ago as a Product Engineer in Lisbon, OH.
Troy Raines is Columbus McKinnon’s resident rigging expert, Global Chain and Rigging Product Engineering Manager at the Chattanooga, TN location. When looking back on his time in the service, he thinks about the people and places that motivate him still today.
“I was lucky enough to do exciting things in many interesting places with small teams of highly motivated and skilled individuals pulling together. Today, I try to leverage those experiences to build teams and enable outstanding performance.” Troy has been with Columbus McKinnon for 16 years.
After serving six years in the United States Army as a Military Police Sergeant, Sarah Welty then completed 16 successful Airborne jumps at Fort Bragg NC. Sarah competed in and won many soldier/NCO challenge awards and is an All Army Softball Gold Medalist.
Pleasant memories include training soldiers and working with cross functional teams to assist and protect the community and enforce the law. Sarah joined the Columbus McKinnon team one year ago as a Software Engineer at the Ballantyne Center of Excellence.
John Wise served in the Army for four years as an Aviation mechanic, with one eight-month tour in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War.
Now Production Manager in Menomonee Falls, WI, John has been with Columbus McKinnon for 28 years.