Women Veterans Day is Saturday, June 12th and in celebration of this day observing the passing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, we’re telling the stories of some of our Women Veteran employees at Deployed Resources!
“The adrenaline rush is what drives me,” says Lori Riley, Director of Contracting for Deployed Resources. “When we’re getting ready to start a mission or “deploy” if you will, it reminds me of my time preparing to deploy in the U.S. Air Force and the camaraderie of everyone wanting everyone to succeed.”
Riley, who entered the Air Force three weeks after graduating high school, said “I didn’t want to go to school and sit in a classroom anymore. I was ready for the next challenge.” She was the first of her immediate family to enter the Military as well as the first of her immediate family to graduate college.
As a child, when visiting her Great Aunt in Little Rock, AR, Riley was mesmerized by the aircraft at the Air Force base they visited that day. “It was unlike anything I had ever seen before and that’s when my interest in the Air Force started,” she says with a smile.
In reflecting on her Great Aunt’s Military service, who retired as a Major in the U.S. Army, “She was a nurse and was one tough cookie especially to achieve that rank when it was exceedingly difficult for Women to make rank.”
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for my Aunt who was a pioneer for Women in the Service at the time. That was very inspiring for me as a young girl,” she says beaming with pride.
Riley served in the Air Force from 1987 – 1991 and was an Aircraft Maintenance Scheduler and worked in Engine Management, Plans & Scheduling and the 71st Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Langley primarily on F15s and F16s including those used during Desert Storm. After her four years of active duty and then completing her Bachelor’s degree in Business, Lori was hired into civil service in Contracting as a civilian at Nellis Air Force Base and then transferring to Moody Air Force Base. In 2014, Lori was awarded the 2014 Civilian of the Year Award for the 23rd Wing Flying Tigers at Moody.
When asked how the Air Force prepared her for working at Deployed Resources, Riley said, “My service gave me the ability to provide insight into the Government’s position on certain contracts, overall management, and how we can work with them towards their overall success.”
Like Riley, Maryanne Ray, Deployed Resources Compliance Director, entered the Air Force right after high school and was also the first member of her immediate family to join the service. Between 1996 and 2007, Ray’s U.S. Air Force career took her to various Air Force bases throughout the United States as well as Canada, Iraq, and Bahrain.
When reflecting on her time in the Air Force, “I loved everything about my time in the Air Force. The assignments were challenging yet exciting, and the individuals I met along the way were truly inspiring.”
At DR, Ray oversees all employee safety, compliance, and safety management for all Operations including all of Deployed Resources sites and facilities. “My Air Force roles are essentially the same as what I’m doing now – working to protect the environment and promote the health and safety of everyone I work with.” She adds, “I loved doing it in the AF and love having the opportunity to improve both employee safety as well as the overall safety management systems here at DR!”
Ray who manages a team of 15 which is one of her favorite things about working for Deployed Resources, “Hands down, the people are number one. My team is made up of the best people I have met in my entire life.”
Katie Lettko, our Vice President of Logistics, served in the U.S. Army for 4 years with a 15-month deployment in Iraq and then served in the National Guard for 2 years after that. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do so I joined the ROTC program.”
During her time in the Army, she was educated as a Signal Officer (communication) and then fell in love with Logistics. “I absolutely loved military logistics and actually left the military because they wouldn’t let me officially become a Logistician.”
In Lettko’s role at Deployed Resources, she not only has to be quick-thinking and adaptable, but an expert in overseeing some of the largest projects and site operations our company has been involved with.
“What I loved about military logistics was that it was all complex math – word problems,” Lettko reflects. “That’s what I love about what I do at DR – finding solutions to challenges.”
Women like Lettko, Ray, Riley, and Riley’s Great Aunt are some of the Women who have created a path for other Women after them to not only serve in the Military and achieve rank, but also achieve their career goals.
“In the Air Force, I always felt that I was right where I was meant to be. I absolutely loved being in the Air Force and would encourage anyone who is considering joining the military to explore their options,” says Ray. “I’m glad I did.”
Lori Riley agrees, “I would absolutely encourage anyone, especially Women, to join the military and serve. It’s given me such a positive view and attitude towards life. There are no problems, they are what I call “probatunities” – a problem and an opportunity. Yes, it might be challenging and difficult for a minute, but it’s just something that you have to work through and figure out how to solve.”
Deployed Resources is thankful these distinguished Women are part of our team and are honored to celebrate them this Women Veterans Day!