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BDI Celebrates Veterans: Steven’s Story

Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI) is committed to creating opportunities for not only people with disabilities to work and thrive, but also veterans. In honor of Veteran’s Day 2021, we’re excited to share the story of BDI Call Center employee and veteran Steven Thomas.  

Thomas joined the Navy in 1987 but didn’t officially begin serving until January 1988. Following six weeks of boot camp and two years of training to become a communication electronic technician, he began his first, primary duty station in U.S.S. Long Beach (CGN-9), a 30-year-old nuclear-powered cruiser, based in San Diego, California. During his time in San Diego, Steven advanced to a leadership role, where he oversaw corrective and preventive maintenance on the ship’s entire suite of VHF/UHF communication equipment. In 1994, he was honorably discharged.  

“My service was an absolutely incredible adventure which I would not trade for anything,” he said. “My experience and service travels include Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro, Barbados, Curacao and the Panama Canal, as well as stateside travels such as Fort Lauderdale, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, and Seattle. ‘Join the Navy and see the world’ is a cliché for a reason.” 

Following a layoff at Honeywell International where he worked for more than 10 years, Thomas welcomed an opportunity to work at the BDI Call Center. The decision, he shared, was easy as he was excited to transition into a workplace where helping veterans transition into civilian work was at the core. 

He uses his Navy experiences in every aspect of his life, even at work.  

“The more people I meet from other land, the meaning of my service begins to make itself more apparent,” he said. “My objective in my interactions with people is always to leave a great impression – especially from people not from the U.S. I always want people to know that we are a collection of individuals just like them, seeking happiness and fulfillment in our lives.” 

Thomas enjoys his work with the BDI Call Center and has fell in love not only with the workplace culture and his colleagues but also the mission behind the work.  

About the BDI Call Center:
J&B Medical, global health supplier, began its relationship with BDI in 2015 to fulfill its call center activities. The partnership that began with only four agents has since expanded to more than 80 representatives. The associates work at a facility in College Park, Georgia and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most have transitioned to a work-from-home environment. The ever-evolving relationship between BDI and J&B Medical has opened the door to new career paths for veterans, as well as individuals with disabilities, eager and ready to enter the civilian workforce. 

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