Thousands have come before us to protect the freedom we all enjoy and serve as a beacon of hope for the World. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice for us. In carrying out this noble mission, we often hear stories about military leaders and heroes. We don't often consider how they came to that place and time, however, but there is always a story to be found. And the story often begins long before the military service itself.
In the case of 19 year old Tyler Sadlier, his story began with a desire to serve in the US Navy, preceded by a need to prepare himself to qualify physically. Tyler came to Austin Outdoor in the summer of 2013 looking for a job to pass some time and earn a few dollars. As it turned out, Tyler got something he needed much more than a job; he received Personal Leadership from Rod Pace, Charleston Branch Manager.
Rod describes his early impressions of Tyler:
"When Tyler first started with us, it was the general consensus that he would not last very long. He was overweight, slow, knew absolutely nothing about hard work, much less landscape installation. The guys kidded him about being a “gamer” and being too soft for our type of work. Nevertheless, he stuck it out. For the first few months he bounced around crews because no one wanted him on their crew but he showed up eager and ready to work every day."
Tyler possessed that all-important positive attitude, but he needed something more. Rod coached Tyler, encouraged Tyler and continually pushed Tyler to "step it up" and progress was noted. Rod observed that "he finally found his stride and fit in good with the Nexton guys." But Rod's lessons didn't end there:
"Through the winter I took a special interest in him as I could see him improving vastly. He lost weight, got fit and trim, never complained and was always eager to please. I distinctly remember the day back in February when he arrived early to work to tell me he had finally passed his navy physical and now he was fit for enlistment in the Navy. He was super excited and I was proud of him."
Rod continued: "Recently one morning when his mom dropped him off for work (yes, he was kidded about that too), she came into my office to thank me for turning him into the dedicated young man he had become in such short order. She explained how she felt Tyler's intense focus on his goal to get into the Navy was directly related to the experience he had working at AO."
Tyler has just departed for Basic Training, where no doubt there are yet more life lessons to be learned. Tyler's "continuing education" was made possible through the Personal Leadership of Rod Pace, who invested his interest and energy in guiding Tyler at a time when he needed it most. We all need someone who believes in us and who can inspire us to realize our potential. Tyler's personal story of service is yet to be written, but Rod’s very personal gifts will accompany him wherever he goes in life.
To Rod Pace: We salute your Personal Leadership.
To Tyler Sadlier: We are grateful for your commitment to service. May you enjoy smooth sailing and safe passage.
We can all learn something about Personal Leadership, Service and Commitment from both of you.