Student Transportation Inc., one of the contractors proving bus service to Duval County schools, has recognized four of its Jacksonville employees for their past military service.
STI, North America’s third-largest provider of school bus transportation services, asked its locations to identify those employees within the company or their family members who have served in the military or are currently active duty.
Jacksonville office recognized four employees who have previously served their country: Daniel Middleton, Thomas Dawkins, Tyrone Walker and Deloris Ostrowsky.
“They are truly remarkable people,” said Chris Ingold, general manager of the Jacksonville location. “The passion, appreciation and honor that they display when talking about their military service is honestly reflected in their jobs, every day.”
Daniel Middleton, a shop manager in the Jacksonville terminal, was a master sergeant in the Army serving more than 25 years. He was involved in conflicts that include Desert Storm, Somalia and Bosnia.
Middleton knew that he wanted to join the Army after seeing a photo of his great grand uncle in the service.
“It was a family tradition,” he said, “and my lasting impression was the camaraderie between those in the Army.”
Middleton received many awards while serving but is most proud of the Bronze Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
He feels that his time serving his country helped prepare him for his role today at STI, saying, “I worked and repaired equipment that the guys were driving or running, and it had to run because the guys’ lives depended on it. It is the same here at STI with the kids that we transport to and from school each day, so the skills and knowledge that I gained are applied here every day.”
Dawkins, a bus driver for STI, served in the Army for 26 years and he was a command sergeant major serving in Desert Storm, Panama and Guyana. Dawkins also led a search and rescue team at Ground Zero after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
“The military has taught me to gain higher morals and values and this recognition shows me that STI supports and honors the military and the veterans,” he said.
Walker, a road supervisor in Jacksonville, served in the Army for over 21 years as an Airborne Ranger retiring as a sergeant 1st class. Walker received numerous awards, with the Kuwait Medal and Meritorious Service Medal being his favorites. He was involved in the Desert Storm and Kuwait conflicts.
Ostrowsky, a bus driver in Duval County for over 27 years, served in both the Marines and Navy. She was a boot camp drill Instructor at Parris Island, S.C., with the Marines and a petty officer in the Navy. Ostrowsky was one of the first women stationed aboard the historic aircraft carrier USS Lexington, now called the Lady Lex and stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas as a museum.
“It is so refreshing to work for a company that takes the time to do so much for their employees, and to recognize so many different things in their lives,” Ostrowsky said. “It’s nice to know that our jobs truly are like being part of a family.”