Topic: Blog

Celebrating Our Veterans: Wanda Ortiz, U.S. Army

Wanda OrtizOrtiz family
Project Manager
Joined the Semper Tek team in 2019

Wanda Ortiz is an Army Veteran. She served for 10 years, achieving the rank of E-5 while based at U.S. Army Reserve in Joliet, IL. While in the Army Wanda served as a Heavy Construction Equipment Operator and a Culinary Specialist. She deployed to the Dominican Republic during her time of service.

Wanda is most proud of her contribution to her Country. She has worked in the Construction Industry for many years and is proud to now be able to continue to serve fellow Veterans and Active Duty Service Members through her work at VA Hospitals and Military Bases with Semper Tek.

Wanda met her husband while they were both on active duty. Her husband, Raymond Ortiz, has served in the U.S. Marine Corps and continues to serve today in the Army, stationed at Ft. Knox. Her daughter also serves and holds the Command SGT Major Rank. Her family holds their service in high esteem and credits it with their continued success in life. Wanda says, “I feel that everyone should at least server a couple of years in the military, as it provides us with structure in life events.”

We are proud of the service of Wanda, her husband and daughter. We thank them, and all Veterans for their service and sacrifice this Veterans Day.


Celebrating Our Veterans: William Murray, U.S. Army

William MurrayWill Murray_resized
Project Manager
Joined Semper Tek in 2019

William Murray is an Army Veteran. He served for 10 years and separated as an E-5. While active duty, he was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Gordon, GA; and Gablingen, Germany. He worked as a Combat Engineer and in Telecommunications/Satcom.

William says that the Army provided him with great experiences and opportunities to be a part of something greater than himself. Now, as a Project Manager for Semper Tek, he enjoys working alongside other veterans and active duty personnel, providing him a time to share stories and experiences. William encourages others to serve. He believes it is a great way to travel and experience the world while laying a foundation for your future.

We are proud of the service of William Murray. We thank him, and all Veterans for their service and sacrifice this Veterans Day.


Celebrating Our Veterans: Butch Merritt, U.S. Navy

John H. (Butch) MerrittBMerritt_1
Quality Control Manager/SSHO/Superintendent
Joined Semper Tek in 2016

Butch Merritt is a U.S. Navy Veteran. He served for a total of six years, four of which were active duty and two years as a Naval Reservist. During his service Butch worked as an Air Traffic Controller earning the rank of AirControlman 2nd Class (E-5). He was based in NAS Saufley Field, NAS Glynco, NAS Jax, Mayport Naval Station and USS FDR CVA-42. Additionally, he deployed to the Mediterranean twice and sailed all around Europe.

To Butch, the service to his country means everything to him. “I’m so proud that I was part of preserving the liberties we enjoy today. I would have given my life for my Country and I would today as well. God Bless America!”

Today, Butch works as a Quality Control and Safety Manager primarily on active duty military bases and at VA hospitals. He views his ability to work on projects that ultimately serve veterans as the “opportunity of a lifetime.” This strong belief held by Butch is what makes him excellent at his job! He credits the Navy with teaching him discipline, commitment, honor and respect – all qualities he exhibits on the job site every day.

Butch is extremely happy he chose to serve. He recognizes it’s not for everyone. He says, “Service to the Country is definitely not for everyone. Serving is about sacrifice, putting yourself at the end of the line so to speak. It’s a great opportunity and is largely beneficial for the right person. I would encourage every young person to research the different branches of the military and then Go Navy, you won’t be disappointed.”

We are proud of the service of Butch Merritt. We thank him, and all Veterans for their service and sacrifice this Veterans Day.


Celebrating Our Veterans: Shawn James, U.S. Navy

Shawn JamesShawn James 1 _no hat
Quality Control Manager
Joined Semper Tek in 2019

Shawn James is a U.S. Navy Veteran. He was stationed at Sasebo, Japan and Ingleside, Texas during his four years of active duty service. Shawn separated from the Navy as an E-4 after performing as a Mess Management Specialist. His deployments included time in South Korea, Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.

Shawn enjoys being able to work at Military Bases and in VA Hospitals through his job at Semper Tek. He says of his current work as a QC Manager for a VA Clinic project at Fort Knox, “This project, and the other work we do at Semper Tek serves as a reminder of my past.” Shawn credits the Military with making him the man he is today. His service taught him that perseverance and hard work will get the job done. He encourages others to serve and to select a rating/job that will provide transferrable skills to the civilian work force.

We are proud of the service of Shawn James. We thank him, and all the Veterans for their service and sacrifice this Veterans Day.


Celebrating Our Veterans: Steve Hale, U.S. Army

Steve HaleSHale_1
Project Superintendent
Joined Semper Tek in 2018

Steve Hale is a Service-Disabled Army Veteran. He worked as a Stinger Missile System/Calvary Scout during his four years of active duty service. He was stationed in Ft. Knox, Ft. Campbell, Ft. Bliss, Ft. Stewart, and McCully Barracks, Germany. His unit was never deployed, and he honorably separated from the Army as an E-4.

Steve says that his service is “the greatest achievement of my life. The pride of serving and defending my country cannot be put into words. My brothers I served with are still my family.” As a Superintendent for Semper Tek regularly working on VA Hospital Campuses and active Air Force Bases in the southeast, Steve says that he feels a great sense of pride and honor to be able to help the Veterans of this great country. The kinship and bond that Steve feels with his fellow service members helps him to be excellent on the job site. He is compassionate and connected to the end-user of the spaces he leads to be constructed and the projects he manages are better off for it.

Steve encourages others to serve their country. He firmly believes that anyone who makes the decision will not regret it. He says, “it is truly an adventure the likes of which nothing can even come close.”

We are proud of the service of Steve Hale. We thank him, and all Veterans for their service and sacrifice this Veterans Day.