ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND (APG), Md. - John Furchert, a Vietnam-era Army Veteran and security specialist at the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity (CMA), shares his memories of active duty service, his motivation for continuing to serve as an Army civilian, and what being a Veteran means to him.

What is your role at CMA?

Furchert: Currently I am a Security Specialist performing the duties of the Information Security Officer and Operations Security (OPSEC) Coordinator, and I serve as the Employee Safety Committee Chairperson. I also assist the Personnel Security Officer with her duties.

What do you like most about working for CMA?

Furchert: I enjoy working with the men and women of CMA, who are true professionals. We all are performing an important mission -- that of safely and securely storing our country's chemical warfare munitions.

How long have you been with the organization?

Furchert: I have been with CMA for 16 years. I am one of the charter members. I was also a member of the predecessor organization, Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization (PMCD).

Where did you grow up?

Furchert: I grew up in the Midwest City of Omaha, Nebraska.

Why did you choose to serve in the Army? Did that influence your career path as an Army civilian employee?

Furchert: I joined the Army because of my desire to serve my country. I attended one of the first all-volunteer Basic Training Classes at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. When I left the Army I still had that desire to serve my country, so I decided to continue to serve in the Army as a civilian.

What was your MOS in the Army and how did you end up in the career field?

Furchert: I served as an Intelligence Analyst. My friend's father was an Intelligence Analyst and he enjoyed what he was doing, so I decided on that career field.

Did your time in the service prepare you for your current role at CMA?

Furchert: Yes it did. While on active duty I performed additional duties such as Information Security and Physical Security Officer, much like the duties I perform now in CMA.

Were there any goals or accomplishments that you weren't sure you could achieve, but did, in either military or civilian service?

Furchert: My major goal was to be successful in serving my country and with the help of our God I believe I have been very successful.

How do you spend your free time?

Furchert: I live a very simple life. I spend quality time with my wife, my children and my grandchildren. Life doesn't get any better than this. I am also very active in my church.

Do you have advice for fellow service members transitioning to civilian careers?

Furchert: I would advise fellow service members to find a wise civilian mentor to help them in this important transition. Listen and heed their advice.

What would you like others to remember this Veterans Day?

Furchert: This Veterans Day I would like others to find a needy veteran and help them in whatever way you can. Thank the veteran for their service. Don't forget to thank the active duty military service members for their service.