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Veteran's Day Spotlight: Angela Tristan & Daniel Flanders

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Washington, DC – November 11, 2020 – Veterans Day is an important opportunity to recognize our country's service members. Obsidian is privileged to work with many veterans from all four U.S. military branches. To celebrate and honor veterans, we have chosen to feature two of those incredible individuals.

Angela Tristan

Branch of Service: United States Air Force

Rank: SMSgt

Occupation/specialty: Communications / First Sergeant / Superintendent

What drew you to join the service?

I knew from a very young age I wanted to serve my country. I am super happy I get to continue caring for our current military, retirees and family members.

Is there a favorite memory you would like to share?

With a long career, there are countless favorite memories. Sometimes, even the “embrace the suck” challenges become laugh-out-loud-wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world moments. The memory I would like to share isn’t about me, but other veterans who became friends. It happened ten years ago this month while I was stationed in Asheville, NC as the 14th Weather Squadron First Sergeant. I chaperoned Honor Flights to take Veterans to Washington DC to see their memorials. This flight was all WWII era Veterans. I escorted Mr. Meyerson and Mr. Dotson.

Seymour Meyerson served in the Signal Corps as a Lieutenant and, as an Analytical Chemist, was instrumental to the success of the Manhattan Project. After his service, he became internationally recognized for his work with Mass Spectrometry. He died at the age of 99 on Memorial Day 2016.

Clarence Dotson was drafted into the Army. He served as a mechanic for the 3rd Army Field Artillery. He stormed the beaches of Normandy, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and Ardennes. He received France’s highest military award for bravery. He volunteered for the Western North Carolina Honor Guard well into his late 80s. While I was stationed in Asheville, NC, I served with him on the rifle detail. He was there through snow, rain and blazing heat honoring brothers and sisters-in-arms we never met. He died this January at the age of 94.

Bob Dole served in the Army. Even with his hectic political schedule, he ALWAYS met our Veterans at the WW2 Memorial and spent countless hours posing for pictures and thanking them for their service. His tireless devotion to them was and is still very humbling.

As a veteran, what are you uniquely positioned to bring to the workplace?

I had the opportunity to be a servant leader in the Air Force. It taught me people are the linchpin for a successful mission. Our team’s diversity is our strength.

Daniel Flanders

Branch of Service: Air Force

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Occupation/specialty: Airborne Cryptologic Language Analyst

What drew you to join the service?

My father, grandfather, uncles and great uncles have all served in the past and I wanted to serve in kind.

Is there a favorite memory you would like to share?

My favorite memory is experiencing Saint Elmo's fire while flying through a storm over Afghanistan. The windows would light up like a Tesla coil, meaning there was a very good chance that we were about to be struck by lightning. Those moments of uncertainty made the entire crew hold their breath and adrenaline spike!

As a veteran, what are you uniquely positioned to bring to the workplace?

Veterans handle stress well. We seek it out and thrive when we can solve a problem.

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