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In Brett’s 17 years here at BCBSNC, he’s become an expert data wrangler. It’s a bit complicated, but let’s just say he knows how to get important information from point A to point B.

But like all of our employees, Brett’s 9-to-5 existence is only a small part of who he is.

For a few days a month, Brett hangs up his polo shirt and khakis and hops into a Blackhawk helicopter to ensure that emergency gear, supplies, and people get to their point B. Brett serves in the National Guard as a U.S. Army Officer and helicopter pilot based in Raleigh.

He’s one of more than 12,000 North Carolinians who are ready at a moment’s notice to deploy to far corners of the globe to protect our country. But it is called the National Guard, after all, and Brett and his fellow Guardsmen are also prepared and ready to respond to unexpected emergencies that affect us right here at home.

Disaster Relief and Beyond

 A Blackhawk helicopter flies over air traffic controllers from the Air Support Operations Squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard, and  North Carolina Army National Guard, in Tarboro, N.C., Friday, Sept. 24, 1999. (Photo by SSG Bob Jordan, 382nd MPAD, NCANG) Image courtesy US Army.

A Blackhawk helicopter flies over air traffic controllers from the Air Support Operations Squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard, and North Carolina Army National Guard, in Tarboro, N.C., Friday, Sept. 24, 1999 during Hurricane Floyd. (Photo by SSG Bob Jordan, 382nd MPAD, NCANG) Image courtesy US Army.

Brett did just that in 1999 when Hurricane Floyd devastated North Carolina. His mission over the course of 11 days was to ensure the safe arrival of supplies to the Kinston and Greenville areas. This was no small feat considering the immense storm had submerged some towns in over five feet of water.

“I remember flying over the area and seeing only small ‘islands’ above the water. The Greenville airport was completely underwater,” Brett reflected.

During this mission and other deployments, Brett has been able to focus on protecting our nation’s citizens and its interests, without wondering if he’ll have a job to return to – or worrying about providing for his family.

“I knew my job would be waiting for me when I returned. I can’t tell you what that has meant to my family and me as far as peace of mind,” said Brett. “I couldn’t ask for a more supportive employer.”

Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve and BCBSNC

The Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, recently recognized BCBSNC for its support of employees with military backgrounds. BCBSNC’s CEO Brad Wilson has pledged to support and actively recruit those serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

A few weeks ago, Brad joined a crowd of 50 employees, service members and veterans to acknowledge this commitment. We missed snapping a photo with Brett, he was on military duty conducting a Warfighter Exercise at the time.

“We rally around four attributes here that are the cornerstones of our culture and all that we do,” Brad shared. “When someone is embodying these qualities – caring, committed, creative, and collaborative – there’s a good chance they have a military background. We can learn a lot from their outstanding work ethic.”

We’re honored that many military members like Brett, veterans and their families choose to work with us to improve the health and well-being of our customers and our communities. And that’s just their day jobs.

Brad Wilson signing the document.

At the DoD event in Durham.

 

Darcie Dearth

About Darcie Dearth

Darcie is on the public relations team here at BCBSNC, and has seen health care change drastically in the six years since joining the company. She enjoys educating North Carolinians about new programs and projects underway. When not at work, you can find her at the barn riding her Quarter Horse, Sky.