In honor of Veterans Day 2015, we feel it proper to shine a light on those that have served in the Armed Forces and thank them for all their hard work, duty, and perseverance through times of adversity. At MMCD, we also feel it best to highlight our own employees that have put their lives on the line in order to protect our brave nation. A wide array of our employees, from our Recruiter all the way up to our Chairman have been members of the U.S. military, and we are proud to call them our colleagues.
One of our Veterans that we would like to point out in particular is Bryant Lewin, who served for the U.S. Army from 1963-1984. In the hopes of paying tribute to all of our country’s Veterans, we sat down and spoke with Bryant about his time in the military and his transition into 9 to 5 work after his retirement. In this way, we can receive the account of just one of the many journeys courageous men and women have endeavored to get to where they are and how said journey molded their human foundation. It was enlightening to discuss everything, from the incidental anecdotes to the disciplined attributes that shaped the man who he is today.
Bryant began his military career when he decided to leave his hometown of Perham, Maine because he wanted to “do something more than exist.” Bryant was searching for a purpose, something he could call his own. This was the notion that drove him to hitchhike 17 miles to the nearest Recruiting/Retention Center wherein he chose the first option made available to him: the U.S. Army. Thereafter, Bryant served 8 years of his time as part of the Army Security Agency, being promoted to Staff Sergeant after only 3 years. When in the Security Agency, Bryant mastered the art of innovation dealing with Radio Direction Finding equipment.
When asked of a time he could remember he most had to think on his feet and come up with a quick alternative solution, he relayed to us a time when he was abroad in the woods of Germany partaking in “war games” with his comrades and was forced to use the spring mechanism from a ballpoint pen to temporarily repair a radio teletype. This happened just in time for the crew to signal a full-service repairman to mend the broken radio system. Without his outside-the-box thinking, Bryant and his crew would have been stranded without signal services for quite some time. Bryant went on to say that, in the military, “you think out of the box for so long that you soon realize there is no box.”
Taking initiative in situations such as these is only one of the facets of Bryant’s now fundamental personality that was influenced by his role as an active-duty serviceman. He also learned to truly trust his gut, which, in effect, taught him self-esteem and -assurance. His philosophy behind this is: “It’s easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.” This mantra is something he then applied to his next 7 years in the service wherein he was a member of the Signal Corps. With each passing chapter, Bryant became more adept at honing the skills he would later need in life.
The last 6 years of his Army career led him to being an Army Recruiter, which he says gave him the “paper skills” required to enter the real world after his retirement. This proved to be a sagacious move on Bryant’s part because in 2005 he was brought on to the MMCD team by his friend and colleague, San Ramon Branch Manager Brian Linchey. Over time, Bryant’s duties evolved from strictly being a Closing Manager to State Licensing, supporting our Control and Compliance Departments, gathering information and reporting on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), and becoming the self-proclaimed “Resident Handyman” of our Home Office. That last moniker entails his being the “Key Holder” of our Lock Desk Department, as well as taking on file retention and retrieval if need be. Clearly, based upon the aforementioned, we could not get by without him!
Bryant, we want to thank you so much for all of the work that you do for us, but, most importantly, we want to thank you for your time served in the Army. It is evident to us that your 21 years in the military has made you the man you are today: intelligent, tenacious, dedicated, and an overall upstanding individual.
Bryant also made it very clear that being a member of the U.S. Military is a collaborative effort across all branches and officers. So, in that regard, we would also like to thank:
Chairman Herb Tasker – U.S. Navy
EVP of Production Bill Simpson – U.S. Air Force
EVP of Operations Kevin Conlon – U.S. Army
Lock Desk & Secondary Marketing Man Stephen Swantkowski – U.S. Navy
Recruiter Christopher Bailey – U.S. Air Force
San Ramon Branch Loan Officer Mike Kammermeyer – U.S. Army
For your exemplary service to the country. Like Bryant, we would also not be the company we are today without you, and we also know that each of your time in the military has shaped who you are today.
Moreover, although we take today to honor those selfless enough to protect, it is of the utmost importance that we thank our servicemen and -women every day they put their lives on the line for the greater good. We would like to thank all of our Veterans for relentlessly sacrificing their own needs for the needs of others, the needs of the nation. Without You, there would be no Us.
Veterans, thank you for all that you do. You are our heroes.