Veteran Applies Army Skills to his Career as Security Guard for Athens Services

Waste and recycling professionals work hard every day to protect the environment for all of us. We’ve all seen the drivers who collect our waste and recycling, but there are many more workers behind the scenes. All of them deserve our thanks for the work they do.

Veteran Applies Army Skills to his Career as Security Guard for Athens Services

Veterans Day pays tribute to the noble and courageous individuals who have selflessly served our nation. We are privileged to have a number of these remarkable men and women woven throughout our Athens Family.

Gerardo “Gerry” Zamora is not only a security guard at Athens Van Norman location but also an Army veteran.

In 1982 he joined the Army as a Sergeant Squad Leader and excelled to a Direct Fire Infantryman. Gerry was stationed in what was then referred to as West Germany for about a year during the Cold War. Despite the high tensions and brutal conditions, he looks back at that time fondly. If it was not for his deployment, he would have never been able to visit Germany or learn the values and life skills the army provided him.

“I don’t think I could have gotten the skills of discipline and responsibility I received from the military anywhere else,” Gerry mused, searching for the right words to convey the profound enrichment and development he experienced. “One has to live through it to truly comprehend the invaluable growth people attain.”

After three years of active duty, Gerry was enlisted in the California National Guard – 160th Infantry Regiment in Inglewood, California for another three years.

His army career ended in 1988 and after a brief break, Gerry began to pursue a career in security.

In 2008 however, he wanted a change and joined the waste industry as a Spotter for Crown Recycling Services, a role he maintained for three years.

When a security guard position became available at the facility, Gerry, equipped with valuable experience, applied and secured the role. A career in security comes with challenges such as rapid decision-making and taking initiative—skills Gerry had honed during his time in the Army. Rediscovering his passion for the field brought him immense joy.

In 2017, Crown was acquired by Athens and Gerry joined the Athens Family. Leading up to this, many friends and colleagues had encouraged Gerry to consider Athens, highlighting the company’s warm embrace of veterans. The acquisition could not have come at a better time.

“I never worked at a place that was so appreciative of veterans,” said Gerry. “It’s more than just the gifts but the recognition is what matters.” He encourages veterans who want to be seen and appreciated to join the Athens Team.

Gerry lives in Los Angeles with his younger brother Gus and in his free time enjoys drone flying. He is just venturing into the hobby but hopes to advance his skills in the future.

On behalf of Athens, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all veterans across the U.S. for your dedicated service. We take great pride in having remarkable veterans like Gerry as valuable members of our team. On this holiday, please remember to express your gratitude to a veteran for their service and to honor the memory of those who have fallen.

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