On this Veteran’s Day, let’s take a moment to recognize and honor all the brave people who have served our nation. To our Tidal Basin veteran colleagues, we extend our deepest gratitude. Your service is a testament to your character, and we are proud to work alongside you.  

Today is also particularly special as it’s the United States Marine Corps birthday. To this nation’s Marines, past and present, we extend our heartfelt thanks and a rousing “Happy 248th Birthday!”  

To further honor our veteran colleagues, we’ve showcased several Tidal Basin veteran employees and a few memories and lessons learned that helped shape them while serving in the military.

Memorable Moments:

“Training with my unit for a year for an overseas deployment but being diagnosed with cancer two months before departure. I was really disheartened, not just because of the diagnosis but also that I wasn’t able to deploy with my team. For me, it was a lesson in realizing that there are times when you need to focus on your own health, family, and situation, despite the pressures of career, work, etc. In my case, my leadership was very supportive, not only to my medical needs but also to find an alternate mission where I could continue to apply my leadership skills and help the unit during their deployment. Finding places like that, which is very evident here at Tidal Basin, where we’re part of a family that supports one another and the leadership understands that there is more to life than work, is an important lesson for everyone.”  

Paul Taylor, Army – Squadron Commander, 1-32 Cavalry, 101st 
Tidal Basin Regional Vice President  

“During my last deployment to Afghanistan, 2010-2011, I served as a liaison and team cordon member for the fallen hero ceremonies, when Soldiers killed in action are sent home. During that deployment, we lost a lot of Soldiers, so at times it was hard. But we had the greatest leader with us, First Sergent Morton, who reminded us that this was how we honor our fallen brothers and sisters and say farewell to send them back home to their families. We supported each other when times were tough, from the very beginning until the end.”  

Amanda Sacoto Dunbar, Army – Human Resources Sergeant
Tidal Basin Junior Consultant

“Worldwide travels are my most influential memories.”

Robert Wright, Marine Corps – Tactical Air Control
Tidal Basin Assistant Vice President, Recovery and Public Assistance

“I was driving our Battalion Commander and Sergeant Major back from some field sites. I stopped by one of our tack sites to wash the mud off the vehicle and our boots. A Private walked by the Battalion Commander, a full bird Colonel, and did not salute. The Sergeant Major gave me a nod to go get him. I called for the Private to return and brought him to the Colonel. The Colonel asked the Private, “Do you know who I am?” The Private stuttered, “I can’t pronounce your name (Gravious).” The Colonel pronounced it for him, then sternly asked, “Do you know what I do?!” The Private hesitated for a minute or so, then said ” Yes, you take care of us Soldiers.”  The Colonel smiled and said “Yes, yes I do. Carry on.”  The Sergeant Major looked at me astonished and said, “Any other answer than that one, it would have been over.”  

Bruce Conant, Army – Sergeant
Tidal Basin Caribe Senior Director, Director of Project Operations

Important Lessons Learned:  

“My experience allowed me to learn and to grow as a leader and always maintain a focus on taking care of your team.”  

Richard Lee, Air Force – Chief Master Sergeant
Tidal Basin Facility Manager

“The military taught me a lot of wonderful qualities:  dedication, working hard, always taking pride in everything you do, never settling for mediocrity and the “Only Easy Day Was Yesterday.”  I enjoy being a part of the Tidal Basin TEAM and utilizing my experience, skills, and talents to help people and communities in times of need.”  

Geoffrey Rinehart, Navy – Administrative Aide
Tidal Basin Site Administrator, Fort Myers (HUB) Office 


Terrence Thornhill, Army – Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Warfare Specialist
Tidal Basin Debris Supervisor 

“Live like there’s no tomorrow.”  

Matthew Watson, Marine Corps – Heavy Machine Gunner, Small Arms Repair Technician and Criminal Investigation Division Agent
Tidal Basin Senior Director, PMO Major Projects

“One of the earliest and most powerful lessons was from Ranger School. Before I went to Ranger School, I thought I knew my limits, but after completing Ranger School, I had no idea.”  

Jeffrey Allen, Army – Infantry Platoon Leader, Company Commander, through Battalion Command
Tidal Basin Deputy Director, Recovery and Public Assistance 

“Learning to embrace and be comfortable with the uncomfortable and understanding that challenges and roadblocks are opportunities to forge new ideas and find new ways to overcome obstacles that you might not previously thought were possible.”  

Brian LaJiness, Army – Civil Affairs
Tidal Basin Emergency Preparedness Specialist  

“Always be open to learning new things in new ways; you never know where your next lesson will come from. This was especially true in combat medicine where mistakes could literally result in lives being lost.” 

Jeremy Tompson, Air Force – Combat Medic
Tidal Basin Senior Public Assistance Project Lead 

“Improvise, adapt, and overcome all obstacles in all situations, while maintaining discipline and self-control.”  

Lindsey Adams, Marine Corps – Network Administrator
Tidal Basin Network Security Engineer 

The lessons and memories from several Tidal Basin veterans are inspiring and remind us of the courage and strength that underpin our great nation. 

Let’s all remember to come together on this special day and show our respect and gratitude for the immense contributions of our nation’s veterans.