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What Memorial Day means to me: A Veteran’s perspective

Only those who serve can experience the strong bonds that form during our time in uniform. The individual to the left and to the right of you would die for you, and for some, they actually have. 

Rachel Cece, US Army/Indeed Client Success Specialist

Rachel Cece shares her story of service and sacrifice

Rachel started working for Indeed as a Client Support Specialist in the middle of December of 2015, just two days after her 25th birthday. Her military service in the Army began in October of 2014. In addition to being a soldier, she describes herself as an introvert, an avid reader, and an artist. 

Memorial Day is a designated day to reflect on the sacrifices made by people who answered the call to serve their country, and it was the last thing they did. It is a day to reflect on the family members and friends that live every day of their lives with that loss, and to remember those we may have personally lost and not let their memory fade away.

I was actively deployed from March 2019 to January 2020 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and served for almost 6 years as Military Police in the US Army, so I’ve seen first-hand the sacrifice of service.

Remembering those we’ve lost and supporting those still here

Only those who serve can experience the strong bonds that form during our time in uniform. The individual to the left and to the right of you would die for you, and for some, they actually have.

Rachel’s best friend, Isiah

When I am around people in my unit, or anyone in the service, and I look down and see a black “Killed in Action” memorial bracelet on his or her wrist, it always takes my breath away. That is the name of a brother or sister who died for their country on the wrist of a brother or sister that lives with that heartbreak. 

But the battlefield is not the only place where we experience the sacrifice of service, there is also another ongoing war after we return home that service members battle, which is the war on suicide.

Although I did not lose a brother or sister in combat, I have now lost two to suicide. My best friend of almost 13 years, Isiah, died by suicide in July of 2016. In February of this year, a soldier in my unit, Jonathan, also died by suicide.

Since losing my friend Isiah, I have become an advocate of mental health awareness. I participated in a program called ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) and openly speak about mental health whenever I can. I strive to help end the stigma. 

How Indeed supports those who serve

As I reflect on my service this Memorial Day, I feel a great sense of pride in my service. But I also feel pride for being an Indeedian. Indeed goes above and beyond for those of us who serve. 

I joined Indeed’s Veterans & Allies Resource Group as soon as it was announced. As I prepared to deploy, the group made sure to include me in any meetings with our Senior Leadership Team to provide insight into my experience transitioning from Indeed to Active Duty. My managers and teams have also been extremely supportive of my service.

Vets & Allies even threw me a going-away party in the office before I deployed with delicious cookies and lots of Indeed swag to take with me to the hotter climate! But the support didn’t stop there. I continued to receive care packages with treats and swag for me and my squad while I was deployed.

Another way Indeed supports those who serve is with special products specifically designed to help veterans transition back to the civilian workforce. The veterans’ section of Indeed is a brilliant tool and I always direct my battle buddies to it when they ask for help with using our site. 

The option in our Resume tool to filter for those with prior military experience is also a great way to get our heroes hired. Indeed also automatically credits employers back for the contact made to a veteran. It is little things like that give me even more pride to work for Indeed. I am grateful for their support and the sense of community I feel with my work family. 

Simply put, Indeed helps veterans who work here and helps veterans get jobs.

Take a moment to reflect

I wish my fellow Indeedians and all veterans and allies a good, long weekend to take a moment of reflection, and then to live their lives!

Continue to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy delicious food in the process! That is what we serve for, that is what some have died for: so others didn’t have to and so people could have the best chance of living a happy, normal life. I just ask that you take a moment, internally or externally, to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Learn more about how Indeed supports Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging and read more Indeedian stories on our #insideindeed culture blog.

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