We continue our efforts to highlight the brilliant and strategic minds behind the HKY4Vets Military Taskforce,
Today, meet Mr. Cary Bowman, who served in the US Army from 1983 to 2015. The following are some excerpts from a recent interview with Cary.
What motivated you to join the military? A desire to serve my country, grow and mature, adventure.
Why did you pick the Army over other service branches? Educational benefits, always thought of being a soldier.
Where did you serve the majority of your time in service? Fort Bragg, Washington DC, and multiple locations in NC with the Guard.
What was your primary job(s) after training (MOS)? Missile system technician to start off with
What rank are you most proud to have earned, and why? Lieutenant Colonel. I started out as a Private and worked my way up to Sergeant but had a desire to become an Officer. Never imagined when I joined that one day I would achieve that rank.
Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received, and why?
Legion of Merit - for a culmination of 32 years of service; Parachutist wings - for airborne training; Combat Action Badge - engagement with the enemy in Iraq.
How does your military experience affect your life today? Commitment, integrity, honor, discipline. All things that help me and anyone else whether in the military or not.
What are some of the things you have done since returning to civilian life? I continued to work within the Department of Defense for a while before moving back to Hickory. Now enjoying retired life while helping charitable causes, especially anything for veterans.
Where are you from originally? Hickory area - Alexander County
Why did you choose to move to the Catawba County area after military service?
Family, friends, quality of life, cost of living.
Any advice for another service member or military family considering moving to the Hickory Metro?
Consider all the factors that the Hickory area can provide. The quality of life is outstanding. The cost of living is very affordable. Educational institutions. Job opportunities. We have great amenities with restaurants, shopping, leisure activities, a lake, hunting opportunities, the mountains in minutes, the beach in hours and a big city within an hour.
What are some of your hopes for HKY4Vets?
That we get the word out to potential transitioning service members. That we educate and get buy in from employers that understand and acknowledge the benefits from hiring veterans. That eventually, we make Hickory the premier desired location for transitioning service members. We need to advertise this. Billboards along I-40. Showcase Hickory as the location that welcomes and wants veterans. Many service members drive through Hickory. Get the space at Ft. Bragg to start with. Attend job fairs at military installations. Leave literature at the Soldier For Life facilities. Develop a working relationship with the staff at transitioning offices at Bragg, Jackson, Lejeune, Seymour Johnson, etc.