Veterans in Water: Eleven Veterans from Veolia North America Share Their Stories

Left to Right: Joshua Monday, Aaron Kraft, Mark Perod, Kenneth Aplon, Denver Finley, Vernon Perry, Brandon Stallings, Manuel Sanchez, Gregory Davis, Chipper Greene and Stephanee Valencia

Ken Aplon, Wastewater Lead Operator III
Marlon Brosco, Wastewater Operations Manager
Gregory Davis, Water Operator II
Denver Finley, Wastewater Maintenance Tech II
Chipper Greene, Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Aaron Kraft, GM
Joshua Monday, Water Lead Operator III
Mark Perod, Wastewater Operator I
Vernon Perry, Water Planner/Scheduler
Manuel Sanchez, Water Operator II
Stephanee Valencia, Water Operations Manager

Ken Aplon, Wastewater Lead Operator III
Tenure and certifications held: <1 years with Veolia; WWG3
Branch/years of service: Army 8 Year E-5

What / who inspired you to work in water?

My father.

What fuels your passion for your work?

Knowing what I do is necessary and making a difference.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

That we walk in sewage all day.

Why should veterans join this field?

We understand the importance of attention to detail.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Keeping the environment and community clean.


Marlon Brosco, Wastewater Operations Manager
Tenure and certifications held: 7.5 years with Veolia; WWG3
Branch/years of service: Air Force 6 Years Ssgt.

What / who inspired you to work in water?

Former USAF Supervisor.

What fuels your passion for your work?

Knowing what we do in Veolia has a significant impact on public safety and our environment.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

That we physically come in contact with with raw sewage.

Why should veterans join this field?

Most vets are looking for something challenging and to give back to their community which is a very rewarding experience.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Knowing every day will present unknown challenges and as a team we overcome them to ensure public safety and beneficial environmental impacts.


Gregory Davis, Water Operator II
Tenure and certifications held: 5 years with Veolia, D3, T2
Branch/years of service: US Navy & Army Nat’l Guard, 5 Navy, 13 Nat’l Guard, E-5

What / who inspired you to work in water?

Past GM

What fuels your passion for your work?

People I work closely with.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

Impossible to get in the field- not true.

Why should veterans join this field?

Challenging, organized and stable field with many opportunities. Recession-proof career field.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

I work with a great, fun and positive team that supports each of us.


Denver Finley, Wastewater Maintenance Tech II
Tenure and certifications held: 15 years with Veolia
Branch/years of service: Army E-4

What / who inspired you to work in water?

Being close to home.

What fuels your passion for your work?

Always jobs in this field.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

Endless supplies.

Why should veterans join this field?

Good field to work in with many benefits.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Going home at the end of a hard day knowing I made a difference.


Chipper Greene, Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Tenure and certifications held: 15 years with Veolia, WWG3
Branch/years of service: Air Force 4 Years SGT

What / who inspired you to work in water?

Industry resistance to economic fluctuations.

What fuels your passion for your work?

Industry need for quality regulatory guidance.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

That wastewater effluent is dirty.

Why should veterans join this field?

Multi-disciplinary career field and you never stop learning.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

The level of staff professionalism and our ability to problem solve extremely difficult issues.


Aaron Kraft, GM
Tenure and certifications held: 10 years with Veolia
Branch/years of service: Air Force 4.5 Years SGT

What / who inspired you to work in water?

Resource Preservation.

What fuels your passion for your work?

Seeing the teams’ passion for their work in action.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

That water and sewer are so expensive. Name any other natural resource so precious but so cheap!

Why should veterans join this field?

Many retiring from the industry and supply will not be able to meet demand. Good lifelong career opportunities.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Pride in the safe, economical and highest quality resource services available today.


Joshua Monday, Water Lead Operator III
Tenure and certifications held: 2 years with Veolia; D3, T2
Branch/years of service: Army Nat’l Guard 6 Years SGT

What / who inspired you to work in water?

My brother.

What fuels your passion for your work?

Learning and teaching all the various aspects of the industry.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

That’s it is tough to get into this field.

Why should veterans join this field?

Great honest living with room for advancement. If hungry and great work ethic, easy to move up. More certs equal more pay!

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Love the one team, one fight aspect and being able to receive and share knowledge.


Mark Perod, Wastewater Operator I
Tenure and certifications held: 5 years with Veolia; D3, T2, WWG3
Branch/years of service: Air Force 4 Years Petty Officer 2nd Class

What / who inspired you to work in water?

Past GM

What fuels your passion for your work?

Love for water and sciences.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

That it is so easy; it’s not.

Why should veterans join this field?

Mutually great work ethic, great field with huge positive environmental impacts. Feels great knowing you are helping protect community health and environment for future generations.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Feels great knowing I’m helping protect the health of my community and at the same time protecting the earth for future generations.


Vernon Perry, Water Planner/Scheduler
Tenure and certifications held: 5 years with Veolia; D1, T1
Branch/years of service: Army 8 Years Specialist 4th Class

What / who inspired you to work in water?

Past GM

What fuels your passion for your work?

The fluidity of the job, ever changing.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

That an operator is a generalist–quite the contrary–operators have highly specific fields.

Why should veterans join this field?

Like the military, the water industry is consistent.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Other than the good pay, the people I work with.


Manuel Sanchez, Water Operator II
Tenure and certifications held: 5.5 years with Veolia; D2, T1
Branch/years of service: Marine Corps 3 Years Lance Corporal

What / who inspired you to work in water?

Past GM

What fuels your passion for your work?

Repairing and rebuilding infrastructure.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

Industry doesn’t pay well. It does pay well. Put more in and you’ll get more out.

Why should veterans join this field?

Seamless discipline and regimen, natural transition.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Serving our clients. They appreciate all we do for them.


Stephanee Valencia, Water Operations Manager
Tenure and certifications held: 6 years with Veolia; D5, T3, WW1, Cross Connection Control Specialist
Branch/years of service: Air Force 4 Years, SGT

What / who inspired you to work in water?

The USAF, it was my military occupation code.

What fuels your passion for your work?

My vested interest in the community and new challenges.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

Just turn the water on and it comes out! Most don’t realize what it takes to provide clean water.

Why should veterans join this field?

It is another way to serve your community.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

It has been very rewarding having grown through all the ranks and many positions to date.

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