Veteran Spotlight: Andrew St. Cyr

Drew is a veteran and dad to four kids. Before joining Wild Bill’s, he served in the Marine Corps as a Staff Sergeant for nine years (two Iraq deployments, one deployment to Afghanistan, and also deployed on one Marine Expeditionary Unit) and was honorably discharged after an injury led to early separation. He joined Wild Bill’s as our Northeast General Manager and was subsequently promoted to Director of Operations. In 2017, Drew co-founded the Warrior Reunion Foundation, a not-for-profit that supports reunions for combat veterans.

Tell me about your time in the military.

I served in the Marine Corps from 2002 to 2010. I was an artilleryman and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant.  During my time in the Corps we were deployed twice to Iraq. In 2010 I was injured during combat operations and subsequently medically separated from the service in 2011. My time in the military was both challenging and extremely rewarding. I learned life long lessons and also made lifelong friendships.

What do you want civilians to know about life after service?

The transition from the military to the civilian world can be challenging. We learn a whole new “language” in the military, which can make communication with a civilian employer challenging. However, the underlying work and leadership skills we learn in the military are 100% transferable to the civilian workplace. It’s a matter of communication.

For me, I was fortunate to have a mentor who helped in this translation. Here at Wild Bill’s we hire many veterans and we work hard as a company to acclimate them to the civilian world and help them build careers here or in other organizations. We are also very proud that several of our veteran employees have started their own businesses as Wild Bill’s franchisees or in other industries.  

What do you do at Wild Bill’s?

I am directly responsible for executing our events across the U.S. and Canada. The work is quite complicated as it involves moving equipment and personnel from city to city as we travel across the country. The logistics can be challenging–it’s very exciting work. Our customers see us during the weekend at fairs, festivals and other shows, but we are busy seven days a week getting set up for the events.  

We recently launched our Veteran Franchise program to support other veterans to become Wild Bill’s franchisees. As we add new veteran franchisees I also spend time on their training and support.

How can other businesses support veterans?

The best way to support veterans is to just give them a chance! The military is an exceptional training organization.  The veterans you hire have demonstrated a service mentality– they place the needs of others ahead of their own. They have learned how to take the initiative, seek responsibility, and conquer challenges – all they need is an opportunity.

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