Jon Womack doesn’t hesitate to say that the military changed his life, but he isn’t one to talk about it much. Tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and surviving an IED explosion will do that to a person.
Womack, 37, is a Haskell Assistant Superintendent assigned to the San Jose Prep Charter School Expansion in Jacksonville, Florida.
He served eight years in the Army as a motor transport operator. In August 2010, while moving tanks, the road exploded from under the equipment transporter he was driving. He survived with what he calls a mild concussion. But the experience stays with him today.
“It did damage to the trailer. But the truck was picked up and slammed down,” he said.
It wasn’t the loudest explosion of his time serving in a war zone. The week before that attack, he was following a truck that hit an IED. Those soldiers suffered more severe wounds.
“I’ve been on the receiving end of mortars, and there has been gunfire heading in my direction,” he said in a serious but calm tone.
The Veterans Administration says he shows no signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome, he said. However, he is aware of some changes since leaving the military in 2011. The former truck driver no longer likes to drive in heavy traffic. Crowds can be a cause of concern.
“Before the military, I went to a lot of concerts,” he said. “Now, I don’t like being that close to people. I don’t like them inside my bubble.”
Womack chose to enlist in 2003. He was in college studying political science and decided the field wasn’t for him. He already had $10,000 in student-loan debt and didn’t want to spend more money trying to figure out what to do with his life.
He spent eight years as an Army truck driver, and the high priority of that job prevented him from transferring to another military occupation. When his enlistment ended, he enrolled at Western Carolina University to pursue a degree in construction management. He learned about Haskell during a campus job fair and joined the company in 2019.
Womack speaks highly of Haskell. When his mother passed away in October 2020, he immediately was contacted by other superintendents volunteering to cover for him.
“Nobody said, ‘Let’s wait and see.’ They told me to take care of what I needed to do,” he said.
Haskell differs from the military in that there is more give and take and conversation up and down the chain of command. Womack said open communication prevents burnout.
“Haskell is more laid back. I can go up to my boss and we can joke around. In the military there is a line that you cannot cross. You would go nuts doing what we do if it was a strict command structure,” he said.
Womack recently celebrated a life milestone when he returned to his hometown of Morganton, North Carolina, purchased his first house. He knows he won’t get to spend a lot of time there, but he also knows that the military prepared him for that.
“With Haskell, I know I will be moving around,” he said. “It’s nice to know I can make it through that.”
Haskell proudly employs veterans of the United States Armed Forces and currently has 68 team members who previously served our country. To commemorate Veterans Day, Haskell.com is spotlighting five of those team members. In addition, Haskell annually presents each veteran on our team with a special thank you gift.
As Haskell’s Workforce Development and Talent Acquisition teams continually evaluate and address the personnel needs, veterans play a greater role now than ever before.
“What we consistently find is that veterans are adaptable, dedicated professionals who understand that learning new skills is a part of every job,” said Dave Balz, who leads Workforce Development. “Whether someone has served on a submarine, as an on-the-ground war-fighter or supported through logistics and IT, they understand mission, structure, results and accountability. They also have a background of doing for the good of the team. These attributes fit hand in glove with our core values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust.”
Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,000 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.
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