Employee Spotlight: Allen Brockhaus
In celebration and recognition of Veteran’s Day, we wanted to shine some light on one of our amazing and hard-working employee veterans and give them the opportunity to share their story. Meet Allen Brockhaus, a career Navy veteran who is now one of our BMET II’s located in Maryland. In his 20 years of service, Allen was a Fire Controlman Petty Officer First Class E6 in the Navy, earning the Navy Achievement Medal and his surface warfare specialist pin. Since retiring in 2017, he has been with InterMed for about six years, using his technical skills now on medical equipment. We spoke with him about his story and what it means to him to be a veteran and to have served – take a read!
What motivated you to join the military?
Well, my first job was at Target and one of my coworkers was joining and getting into this program where she said you got to see what everybody did and then pick a job. I thought that sounded cool, so I talked to the recruiter. The recruiter approved my ASVAB scores, so I joined into the delayed entry program for a year, with what I thought was an exciting job in aviation electronics ahead of me. Thirteen days after my 18th birthday, I was on my first plane trip to bootcamp in Great Lakes, Illinois.
What was your primary job while serving?
I ended up getting into the advanced electronic computer field and working on the Aegis computer and peripheral systems. They were mostly older computers, but some of them were newer with touch screens. Basically, when you would see a movie and everybody’s in a dark room watching radar screens and launching missiles – I worked on those consoles and the computers that put the information on them. My official title was Longhand Fire Controlman Petty Officer First Class in Surface Warfare.
How does your military experience affect/influence your current professional and personal life?
Well, professionally, there’s a lot of following instructions and speaking to people who are above me, which is easy for me. Personally, I’ve either been here or in the military my whole adult life, so it would be fair to say that, compared to someone else in my position who didn’t join the military, I haven’t had as much opportunity to grow a personal life.
Did you enjoy your experience serving?
Yeah, I did, a lot of people have their gripes and complaints about the military, but you’ll be hard pressed to find somebody who regretted joining and spending time serving in their branch because of the people they were with – you’ll always hear about that.
What does being a Veteran mean to you?
I followed in a few people’s footsteps as far as serving in the military: my great grandfather served and was killed in France in WWII and my step grandpa who was a tank commander. So, continuing that familial legacy was important to me and gives me a sense of pride.
It was great that I could serve my country in times of need and leave my mark. Serving gave me such a broad range of experiences and allowed me to take part in combatting those who hurt us on September 11, as that happened while I was in. I was also able to see things that I would have never been able to see otherwise, like Greece, Italy, England, France, Vietnam, and various other countries.
How do you celebrate Veteran’s Day now?
I spend the time thinking and reflecting. I think about those recognized in Sailor’s Creed, how it says, “I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.” I think about the people who are out there making the same sacrifices that my family and I have made. Lasty, I reflect on the other veterans, particularly those who are badly hurt and making the best of the situation they are in. You usually hear about them saying they have no regrets for what they did and that’s admirable and an attitude that, I think, only a veteran can really have.
What led you to working with medical devices as a BMET after retiring, particularly at InterMed?
I never attended any college while I was in and I was in a Bible Study group around the time I was retiring. In the group, I had mentioned that I didn’t have any plans and didn’t know what I was going to do once I got out. One of the guys in the group, who’s an employee here at InterMed, offered to introduce me to people. Originally, he tried connecting me with IT security maintenance, but my dad is a Biomed, so I asked about that. He then connected me to the right person, and I was able to get my foot in the door for the job interview and, fortunately, it worked out.
Is there anything else you’d like to add to your story?
As a BMET the equipment we touch and maintain will touch people in our community, and, to me, that in its way is serving. In fact, some of the equipment I worked on brought one of my children into the world!