Rodrigo Cokting, Country Marketing Manager, Canada and Secretary for our Pride@Assurant ERG, shares about finding acceptance and belonging in his personal and professional life.
Many countries worldwide honor Veterans with formal recognition days during November to recognize their service and sacrifice. Often asked to put themselves in harm's way, be apart from their families for extended periods, and risk their lives to protect our nations and loved ones, Veterans and military families deserve to be recognized.
Every day and especially this month, Assurant honors the service and sacrifice of our employee Veterans and family members who support them, and all Veterans worldwide. Veterans add to the diversity of our workforce, and we recognize the contributions they’ve made to Assurant as part of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion commitment.
We asked our colleagues to reflect on what this observation means to them by sharing stories on social media through #VeteranStoriesAtAssurant. Some celebrate the Veteran’s in their lives, some reflect on the skills gained during their time in the military and some recognize the challenges that follow their sacrifices. Please join us in honoring our Veterans across the globe by reading their insights below:
Lee D., VP, Business Development
Happy Veterans Day! I am proud to be a veteran of the United States Air Force. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the training and experience that I received during my 9 years in the USAF.
I also wanted to thank all of my fellow Assurant veterans for your service to our country. Thank you and your families for the sacrifices you made to serve and protect our great nation. Stay safe and Aim High!
Picture is from my first deployment with the 631st Tactical Control Flight (TCF) USAF - 1987
Danyelle J., AVP, Global Organizational Development & Change Management
My daughter, Jazmine Glenn, was in the Navy for seven years. Jazmine learned several life lessons while in the military and gained friends for life. In addition, Jazmine was able to nurture her artistic abilities while in the military.
She was on the USS Roosevelt on deployment in 2020. Unfortunately, the coronavirus was detected on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in March 2020 while she was at sea. Jazmine, along with affected crew members, were evacuated, and the ship was ordered to Guam.
Jazmine was relentless and chose not to be defeated by the pandemic. Instead, Jazmine bought joy to those around her through her art. She created t-shirts and a mural on the USS Roosevelt that still stands. Most of her best work was done during this time. While on deployment, she landed a sweet deal with Netflix to do fan art that propelled her career as an artist. Jazmine has been home now for 5-months and has several projects in the pipeline to take her craft to the next level.
As her mother, there was not much I could do to help her through those tough times. However, I was her biggest fan and champion here at home. It was my job to support her and make sure the stories she wanted to share were told. Jazmine joined the Navy to find her purpose. She traveled all over the globe and came back home with a clear understanding of who she is and will continue to be.
When I think of my daughters’ stories and life in the military, I think of our value, COMMON DECENCY - We act with integrity. We treat others with respect, courtesy, and kindness. We’re honest, transparent, and committed to doing the right thing. Jazmine embodies this value through and through. From her philanthropy, mentorship, and dedication to craft, she is a remarkable person.
Eric C., People Partner
Duff D., Assurant Senior Customer Care Specialist
Veteran’s Day is a day for honoring those who have served in the armed forces. Today, I want to honor my father, Richard Derks, who served in the Army during the Korean war. He believed in doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Like my father, I too was in Army service, serving on the East/West German border separating the free world from communism.
Our military service provided us both with the ability to persevere. Despite our circumstances, we both believed there is always a solution. Even though my father is now gone, his values live on in me. Like my father, I have instilled these values in my children. His values inspired me to follow in his steps of Army service.
Duff Derks - US Army 85-89
Zulima C., Director, Global Client Management
I was not born in the United States of America. I was blessed that my parents brought us to this country in pursuit of freedom. I love my hispanic heritage and it will always be a part of me. Thank you to my parents, because of you I am an American. Today I feel humbled and honored to have served my country, The United States of America. Thank you to all the brave men and women who have served our nation in uniform. We are grateful for your sacrifice.
Happy Veteran’s day.
Alex P., SVP, P&C Claims
One of the best decisions I made was joining and serving our country in the Army for 22 years. Not only did they make it possible for me to attend college, but the Army provided me with a leadership foundation and a drive for a common purpose that has guided me throughout my career. I’m appreciative of Assurant and their continued support of Veterans like me. Happy Veteran’s Day to all my veteran brothers and sisters, and their families, who sacrifice so much to keep our country safe. Today and every day I am grateful.
Catherine B., Mgr, Digital Content Marketing & Strategy
With Veteran’s Day approaching, I want to take a moment to recognize two special men in my life: My maternal grandfather, Bill "Boo-boo" Glidden and my husband, Andrew Stamper They both dedicated their service to the U.S. Navy.
I grew up hearing stories of my grandfather, who served in the Korean War and was Captain of his ship in WWII. To know him as Boo-boo growing up - this lovable trickster of a grandfather and then realize he had an entire young life dedicated to protecting this country was a completely impressive dynamic.
As for Andrew, he served for five years aboard the USS Mitcher, where he was journalist and helmsman. He was conducting ship repairs after returning from the Mediterranean Sea when they got news that planes had struck the Twin Towers on 9/11. From there, he'd be stationed with Atlantic Fleet, where he'd dedicate his time liaising with the media.
I would meet this man, the punctual, respectful, clever, organized man who could iron and sew better than I could a few years later in under grad. The rest is history.
I'm so proud to see the difference these two men made not only in my life, but also for this country. I applaud and appreciate you and all of the veterans across the world.
John F., Mgr, Software Engineering
On this Veteran’s Day, I often reflect on my years in the military. I remember the good times with people who, like me, put their lives on the line to secure the blessings of liberty and freedom that we often take for granted.
The part of the service that most people don’t see is the nightmares, the constant state of looking over one’s shoulder and the anger and guilt for not having done enough to save those who lost their lives in service of their country. They don’t see the impact that this service has on our minds, bodies and our loved ones.
To many of us combat vets who suffer from PTSD, we are terrified to reveal the pain that we feel. We are terrified about the prospect of being labeled. Instead, we relive the pain in our minds repeatedly and, often times, alone. Sadly, approximately 20 veterans a day take their own lives as a result of this pain and loneliness.
Today, on this day when we honor those served, let us embrace our veterans in more ways than simply saying thank you for your service or by offering them a free meal. Let us be there for our veterans by checking with them to make sure that they know they are not alone. Let us make sure that no vet ever feels like they are alone and have no hope.
I once heard a quote that really resonated with me, “You cannot patch a wounded soul with a band aid.” It is up to us to provide the support and healing vets need. Together, we can make sure that no vet ever feels the alone and hopeless.
Emmet B., SVP, Brand & Marketing
Happy Veterans Day to my fellow veterans at Assurant. I am proud to work for a company that values the experience, skills and leadership from our military service. I learned so much during my five years in the navy that has served me well in the 30 years of my professional career since this photo was taken. #VeteranStoriesAtAssurant.
Dan B., Vice President, Account Management
Happy Veterans Day to all military men and women, both past and present. There are many reasons why people decide to serve their country: Some join for honor, some for the challenge, some because they want to defend/protect what makes America special, and some to be part of something bigger than themselves. When I think about why I joined I can see all those reasons (and more) in my decision to serve. It was an experience/education that I’ll never forget and one that continues to guide me in my personal and professional life to this day. Navy 1991-98 (HSL-84 Thunderbolts) #assurant #veteranstoriesatassurant
Supporting through the Assurant Foundation
Assurant and the Assurant Foundation are proud to support charities focused on Veterans year-round through charitable grants, matching gifts and volunteer engagement.
Among some of the organizations we actively support with engagement and donations include the American Red Cross, Wounded Warriors Family Support, Wounded Warriors Canada, Royal British Legion, among others.
In honor of Veterans recognition, from November 5 – 15, our global Assurant Cares portal highlights giving opportunities for our employees to support charitable organizations that serve Veterans.
A special 2:1 match of employee donations to the highlighted organizations is live now through November 15. The special 2:1 match will be above and beyond employees’ annual $1,000 allocation.