Veterans Spotlight: JP & Janice
We at OATS Transit feel it is such an honor to not only have so many Veterans working for us, but to also be able to provide transportation to our Veteran riders. More than 23% of our workforce are Veterans. We are proud to have received awards highlighting this fact, including one from the American Legion as the Employer of Older Workers for the state of Missouri. Additionally, we transport many Veterans and have some contracts serving Veterans Hospitals and Clinics in the state. It is truly an honor to work with, and assist, so many of you who truly sacrificed your lives to give us freedom. So, not only on Veterans Day November 12th, but every day, we salute you- our true heroes!
JP Morgan (left) has worked for OATS Transit since April. He is a driver in the Southwest Region in Greene County. He served in the United States Air Force (USAF). He began his Basic Training and Aircraft Maintenance School in Amarillo, TX. in 1966. He then went on to earn the rank of E-5 Staff Sgt. and served from 1967-1970.
Not only is JP a veteran himself, but he transports veterans on his route from Springfield to Mt. Vernon. The Veteran’s Hospital and the Veteran’s Nursing Home are two places that he transports to. JP feels honored to serve all of his riders and looks forward to each shift. He shared a story about one of the wives of a veteran he took to the nursing home to visit her husband.
“One rider’s husband came to the bus in his wheelchair to see her off when we left. I could see the sadness in his face as we drove away. I thought back to the time when I was in the military and saw my wife only twice in six months,” JP said.
He expressed how he knows the feeling of leaving a loved one behind. “I visited with his wife on the way back and she said he had been at the [nursing home] for two years. She didn’t know how much longer she would be able to go see him, but she was grateful for OATS Transit giving her the opportunity to visit him.”
JP wants to give special recognition to those who have served and to OATS Transit in providing valued transportation resources to veterans.
Janice Abney (right) has worked for OATS Transit for three years. She is a driver in Midwest Region in Pettis County. She served in the United States Army from 1978-1981.
Janice joined the Army at the age of 18, right out of high school. She worked as a Motor Sport Operator, and her unit drove commercial tractor-trailers. Her company’s main responsibility was transporting the U.S. Mail to military installations through-out West Germany and numerous other countries in Europe. Janice feels honored to have served in what she describes as an important support capacity.
Janice recalls the difference in times with technology as there was no internet, no cell phones or social media. The mode of communication to family and friends was the U.S. Mail. She also said that if she wanted to call home, she had to go downtown to the train station to use an international phone which was very expensive.
Janice shared some of her personal feelings and experiences during her time in the Army.
“As a young woman who was from a very rural environment; being out there on my “own” was kind of scary. When I arrived at basic training, I wondered what in the world I had signed up for. But I was determined to serve my full 3 year commitment and see some of the world while I was in Europe,” Janice said.
“I didn’t end up traveling as much as I wanted to, but did experience travels most people only dream about--skiing in the Alps, taking a motorcycle ride to eat lunch in France, getting married in Copenhagen, Denmark.”