Thank You Veterans

Thank You Veterans

Published by Spinutech on November 11, 2019

{Updated for 2021}

As the holiday season approaches, we are often reminded of everything we have to be thankful for. Many of these blessings are because of the sacrifice of thousands of service men and women who put their country's needs before their own. Though we could never thank them enough for all that they've done, we honor their devotion to our nation.

Here at Spinutech, we have four veterans who we are proud to have on the team. We'd like to thank Jeremy, Derek, Don, and Joe for their service and for carrying that same dedication into the work they do today. Check out their stories and join us in saying THANK YOU to all veterans!

Jeremy Karns

Jeremy in the Army

Branch of Military: U.S. Army 
Dates Served: 2002 - 2006
Stationed: Fort Sill, OK
Unit: III Corps Artillery, Headquarters, and Headquarters Battery 
Deployments: 
Ulchi-Focus Lens: Korea - 2003
Operation Iraqi Freedom - HQ Multi-National Corps, Iraq: Baghdad 2003 - 2005

Experience: I did a lot of traveling during my enlistment and spent time in several countries. I lived in everything from a cot on a dirt floor tent to a palace with enormous crystal chandeliers and gold trimmed toilets. I will never forget the places I've been and the people I've met along the way. Even though I may not remember all the names, there are faces and relationships that will be with me forever. I think my definition of what hard work, loyalty, trust, and teamwork means is unique to those who have served. I wouldn't be the person I am today without the time I spent serving my country. 

Oh, and Black Hawk helicopter rides are AWESOME.

Derek Larabee

Derek in the Army

Branch of Military: U.S. Army 
Dates Served: 2006 - 2011
Stationed: Fort Sill, OK (2006-08), and Fort Richardson, OK [now called Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson] (2008-11)
Unit: 545th MP Company
Deployments: Operation Iraqi Freedom (2009)

Experience: When I graduated high school in 2005, I started college and fell on my face. Up until that point, I never had to try. I wasn't challenged, and didn't need to work hard. Serving in the Army gave me the opportunity to hit the pause button and take some time to grow up before making a lifetime career decision at 18. I grew up a lot in those five years. There is an amazing mix of personalities in the military, so you really do get to meet a sample of the country you serve. The people and experiences test you in ways you could never imagine. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think of something service related, whether it be a funny joke someone made or an extreme circumstance we found ourselves in.

Don Davis

Don in the Army

Branch of Military: U.S. Navy
Dates Served: 1986 - 1996
Stationed: Europe (but everywhere, really)
Unit: Naval Security Group
Deployments: Desert Shield/Desert Storm

Experience: I was in the Navy’s Cryptologic field, building and supporting electronic systems for gathering and processing signals intelligence around the world. I deployed with other units to provide them with electronic spying and communication abilities. My service started in the Navy’s advanced electronics schools learning about the top secret systems I would later work with aboard ships, submarines, and special land-deployed units.

Joe Unhammer

Joe in the Army

Branch of Military: U.S. Army 
Dates Served: 2010 - 2014 (Active), 2018 (National Guard)
Stationed: Fort Carson, CO
Unit: 4th Infantry Division
Deployments: 
  • Herat, Afghanistan 2011-12
  • Kandahar, Afghanistan 2013-14
  • Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 2011-14

Experience: I was a forward observer in the Army, which is sorta like the eyes and ears of artillery and aircraft on the ground. I deployed to western Afghanistan in 2011, for 12 months, earning a Combat Action Badge and a newfound appreciation for showers. After that, I was transferred to the security detail of the 4th Infantry Division's commander and went back to Afghanistan again in 2013 for another 12-month deployment. There are so many moments that seem crazy to me now but were just routine at the time - like driving the US ambassador around Kandahar in land cruisers so he could meet with the local landlords. Overall, I'm glad I did it, but I'm even more glad I'm no longer spending half my time deployed to a warzone.