Designing, Building, and Protecting: A Salute to Our Veterans

On Veterans Day, our thoughts naturally go to those who have served our country, with special gratitude to those who gave their lives and for the families who go on without them.

owenFounded by the late Owen Ayres, who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster for his 25 air missions over Germany and enemy-occupied territories in World War II, Ayres Associates is proud of our staff members who have served in the military. One of them, Lori Rosemore, is a professional geologist who has retired from our Eau Claire office. She served in the U.S. Army from 1989 to 1991, working as a terrain analyst for the 548th Engineer Detachment supporting the First Infantry Division (Mech) – known Lori_Rosemore2_2012as the “Big Red One” – in Fort Riley, Kansas. She was deployed in Operation Desert Storm in January-February 1991. Lori’s husband, Ralph, enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 17 and continues his service as a full-time member of the Army National Guard.

On this Veterans Day, Lori spoke to the Ayres Toastmasters group about supporting veterans, and we’re sharing a portion of her speech above.

It’s natural to think of soldiers on patrol, pilots flying overhead, sailors on the high seas. But today we also want to remember – with extra thanks – our military engineers and architects.

Landing strips and engine rooms. Bases at home and abroad. Levees and locks and dams. You can thank a military engineer/architect for all of them. They’re the ones who keep the many components in the military’s infrastructure running smoothly – and also bring their expertise to key domestic projects.

The Society of American Military Engineers, or SAME, is a professional organization for architecture, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) professionals in the public and private sectors who work on the nation’s infrastructure and on projects that are in the interest of national security. (Check the most recent issue of The Military Engineer, published by SAME, for more information about military engineers in action.)

SAME came into being after World War I, during which more than 11,000 civilian engineers were called to duty. The organization was established as a way to preserve and expand upon the knowledge gained on the battlefield and advance the A/E/C profession.

Several Ayres Associates staff members are members of SAME, and throughout our history as a firm we have collaborated on a variety of infrastructure projects with federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies in the Department of Defense. Projects have included inspecting and preparing rehabilitation plans for the Ambursen Dam at Lock and Dam 1 on the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; erosion site reconnaissance and repairs along the Sacramento River as part of the Sacramento River Flood Control System; surveying levee systems around the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; and designing new housing at Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy.

Happy Veterans Day to all! We salute your service.

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