What Philip Lewis likes most about his time in the military is the opportunity to help young recruits get on the path toward future success.
Philip Lewis (right)
What Philip likes most about working at Veterans Florida is, well, pretty much the same, except he helps those coming out of the service.
Since joining Veterans Florida earlier this year, Philip has been a key part of the VETS team, working with veterans and separating service members to align their skills and experience with careers or entrepreneurship training in the Sunshine State.
“I see the potential in all of them and try to guide them,” he said. “I encourage them to be their best and give them the confidence to do that.”
This weekend, Philip begins a nine-month Army Reserves deployment that will take him from Georgia to Texas and then to Kuwait.
His military journey began in 1996 when he began looking toward the bigger world outside of Brewton, Alabama.
That wasn’t always the plan for Philip, whose father was in the Army.
“Growing up watching him go to training and everything, at the time it didn’t appeal to me,” he said.
But it ended up being a great fit in the Navy. Philip found and took advantage of opportunities, serving as an aircraft mechanic with deployments to Malaysia, Korea and stationed at bases throughout the States.
When he left the Navy, Philip joined the Army Reserves where he is a Master Sergeant with more than 150 troops under him and directing another team of technical specialists
With more than 25 years of military service, Philip has seen many changes that inspire him to help recruits and younger service members.
“A lot of them coming in maybe want the reward before they work,” he said. “When I came in it was ‘Do the work.’ No questions.
”The biggest thing I’ve learned is that you have got to have patience” in and out of the military, he said. “I’ve been in their shoes before.”
When Philip returns next year, his position at Veterans Florida will be waiting for him.
“Philip is a great example of how the skills learned in the military transfer well to the civilian world,” said Joe Marino, Executive Director of Veterans Florida. “When he is in our office, he is performing a different kind of service that helps members, their families and the state. We’ll keep in touch with him while he’s abroad, and we hope for his safe return.”
For more on the services provided by Philip and the Veterans Florida team, visit our website.