Canteen Veterans: Recognizing Those Who Have Served Our Country

Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11 in the United States. It’s a day dedicated to paying our respects and showing our gratitude to those who have courageously served our country. At Canteen, we celebrate Veterans Day with a company-wide Town Hall meeting where we share the stories of our people, the success of the prior year and most importantly, honor and give thanks to all our Canteen Veterans. Read on to learn about a few of our Canteen Heroes!


Nathan Hude | Canteen District General Manager (Midwest)

Military Experience: 8 Years – Army – Sergeant

  1. Serving our country is the ultimate sacrifice. To you, what does it mean to be a veteran?   

Being a veteran to me is being part of something larger than myself. To know that you have directly served and protected your country and the people in it gives you a great sense of overwhelming pride that is hard to describe. I also think there is a sense of fraternity between others that have served and things you can talk about, and understand, that others would not.

  1. Everyone’s experience in the military is different, but how do you think your time serving has affected your career at Canteen?

For me, hands down, it was the focus on leadership in the military. From day one you are taught to be a leader, and to have that “Next Person Up” mentality.  We were not only taught that a leader should know how to perform their job, but also the job of the person above and below you. That mindset has always nathan hude canteenprovided me the motivation to achieve that next level, and avoid complacency, but also to help be a teacher to those who report to me.

  1. Fun question! We’re MAJOR foodies and love getting creative with our food. Tell us about your favorite deployment concoction.

I can certainly say food was always held in high regard when it came to deployments. I remember times during both basic training and while being deployed that MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) were widely traded amongst one another. Probably one of my favorite things to do was to take the paste-like cheese, spread it on the crackers that came in the pack, and then make a sandwich out of the #5 meal spaghetti MRE.


Amanda Cummings | Canteen District Operations Controller (Northeast)

Military Experience: 6 Years – Army – E4 Specialist

  1. What was your fondest memory of being in the service? We know you have a good story!

My fondest memory of being in the service was when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012. As devastating as that was to many, I got to put my training to use. I worked in the command center helping organize shipments for FEMA, shipments for our troops, coordinating truck movements to help rescue stranded civilians, and help keep the peace for our local troops. It’s a memory that I hold very near to my heart. I felt like I made a difference, even if just for a couple weeks

  1. Everyone’s experience in the military is different, but how do you think your time serving has affected your career at Canteen?

I think being in the military has given me the ability to be patient, follow instructions given to me, develop a thick skin, appreciate other’s points of view, work as a team, and watch and observe my surroundings and the actions/reactions of others.  It has also given me the disposition of being “hard -though some see that as a bad quality, I think it is admirable to not “sugar coat” everything.

  1. Fun question! We’re MAJOR foodies and love getting creative with our food. Tell us about your favorite boot camp concoction.

I loved mixing peanut butter in my Raisin Bran. Now I make these amazing peanut butter protein balls that take me back to boot camp life. Every time I have one, it’s like a trip down memory lane!


Jason Kageler | Canteen Technician (Pacific)

Military Experience: 6 Years – Navy – 2nd Class Petty Officer Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist – Electronics Tech

  1. What does it mean to you, to be a veteran?   

Being a veteran is really special to me. I followed in the footsteps of many of my family members when I joined the Navy, we have Veterans in my family for many generations. I take pride in knowing that I gave back to my country.

  1. We heard you grew up in a military family, did you travel a lot?

I have been to 53 countries and 6 continents. I’m from a small town in Estacada, Oregon, so to have had the opportunity to live all over the world, I feel very lucky.

  1. Fun question! We’re MAJOR foodies and love getting creative with our food. Tell us about your favorite food you’ve had in your travels.

When I was stationed somewhere new, I would close my eyes and point to something on the menu and then try it. I have had Calamari Pizza, seafood in Aruba, and Kabobs in Thailand


Kashaud Mack | Canteen Warehouse Manager (Southeast)

Military Experience: 8 Years – Navy – E4

  1. How do you feel about working for a company that supports veterans?

To be honest, that’s one of the things I admire most about Canteen. They don’t just say “Thank you for your service.” They are getting out there and making sure veterans are feeling appreciated. I feel like not a lot of companies are doing that, but Canteen makes it personal.

  1. Tell us a memory you have when you were deployed.

We were on the coast of Hong Kong and as it’s raining, we’re rowing up to a buoy while our ship was also coming close to the buoy. There’s basically a huge buoy out in the middle of the ocean and I think I’m Superman about to jump from the buoy to the boat. The boat was about 5 feet away from me and I thought, “I can jump anyways and make it onto the boat.” When I jumped, I completely missed the boat and landed right in the water. When I came up to the surface, everyone was looking around and laughing at me. That always sticks in my head and it’s kind of a cool memory to have.

  1. Fun question! We’re MAJOR foodies and love getting creative with our food. Tell us about your favorite food you’ve had while you were in the military?

Ramen Noodles! Everybody took pride in how they made their Ramen Noodles. Some guy might have a Hot Sauce in his rack, some other guy might have Teriyaki Sauce in his rack, some guy might have the Soy Sauce, some other guy might provide the chicken or the tuna fish or something like that. Everybody took pride in how they made their Ramen Noodles using the different combinations.


David Chamberlin | Canteen Customer Service Manager (MidSouth)

Military Experience: 8 Years – Army – E4

  1. What was your fondest memory of being in the service? We know you have a good story!

Since we were often not able to be home with our families over the holidays, the Army had a program during Christmas where you could sign up and spend Christmas with a family in Germany. It was an incredible experience to spend the holidays in a place so different from home, it’s something I will never forget.

  1. Is there something interesting about your time in Germany?

I was stationed in Germany before the wall came down.

 

3.Fun question! We’re MAJOR foodies and love getting creative with our food. Tell us about your favorite food you’ve had while in Germany.

 

In South Germany, my favorite food was Jägerschnitzel (pork dish).

 

 

 


Richard Odear | Canteen Service Support Manager of Maintenance (Central)

Military Experience: 10 Years – Navy – 1st Class Operation Specialist

  1. Tell us a good story about your time in the Navy!

In 1986, we went to Australia for the Royal Australian Navy’s 75th birthday. The U.S. was represented by several ships including the USS Missouri, BB63, and several other Navy’s from around the globe. We started in Sydney with ceremonies that included Prince Philip touring the ships. What impressed me the most was the way the Australians were so pro-American.

While walking downtown Brisbane, a street vendor stopped me and asked if I had seen the MacArthur Towers. I had no idea what he was referring to and told him so. This was a busy day during the work week and this gentleman closed his shop and walked me through downtown several blocks until we stood in front of a tall building with a bronze plaque out front. The plaque stated that this building was the headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander, Southwest Pacific. I was very impressed. The gentleman told me to go back to my ship, get my “mates” and bring them back showing them this building. He was so proud of it and it seemed very important to him.

This wasn’t an isolated event. The USS Missouri had to anchor in the middle of the harbor as it drew too much draft to tie up at the piers. The tours started with the tourist being ferried to the Missouri to get on board. The crowds were so large that two people were trampled in the crowd. It took the ambulance roughly an hour to get through the crowd. They had to stop the tours at that point.

There was even a one-page story in the Australian Penthouse magazine covering the fleet celebrating in Sydney, but that’s another story.


As we highlight just a few of the brave men and women who have fought for our country, we extend our gratitude to all veterans and continue to offer up our commitment to veterans. Our continued partnership with Hiring Our Heroes enables us to connect directly with service members and military spouses, allowing us to utilize their skills and experiences to help our organization grow. We wouldn’t be Canteen without our veterans and for that, we will continue to show our appreciation.

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