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Honoring the Veteran's in the sports, business, and craft beer industry

Photo: Freedom 92.9

November 11th, the anniversary of the formally ending of major hostilities of World War I. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Armistice with Germany went into effect, and the first World War ended. Known as Armistice Day, in 1954, it was renamed to Veteran's Day to honor those soldiers in all of our Armed Forces.

American's look at Veteran's Day as a day off from work, but it should be utilized in honoring those citizens who sacrificed their life and time to protect and serve the United States of America.

I celebrate this day for my role model and my father, who served in the United States Army at a very young age. He never went to College, nor finished High School, but the lessons he learned serving propelled him to an outstanding career owning multiple successful businesses and being an amazing father to seven children.

In relation to our site, and our passion for Craft Beer, Business News, and Sports Entertainment, here is a list of individuals, who aren't just Vets, but are leaders in our favorite industries.



Steve Gagner: 14th Star Brewing Co. | St. Albans, Vermont

According to their website's story, 14th Star Brewing Co. started as a daydream in the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan. The business plan and dream for the brewery were written down on the back of a notebook by Steve, who was serving in the Army and on the battlefields of Afghanistan. After his tour, Steve returned to Vermont and partnered up with a best friend and fellow soldier Matt Kehaya. They turned their dreams into reality, and in 2012, 14th Star Brewing Company was born.

Photo: Steve Gagner / 14th Star Brewing Co. / Norwich University /

Nick Fertig: Ful Tilt Brewing | Baltimore, Maryland

Nick was an Engineering Laboratory Technician for the United States Navy for over six years. Nick and his Co-Founder/Cousin Dan Baumiller, began homebrewing in 2008 and then set up shop in Baltimore, where they are on tap at several bars in the area as well as distribute in different parts of the country.

Photo: Full Tilt Brewing / Brewed in Maryland

LeAnn Darland: Talea Beer Co. | New York, New York

LeAnn Darland is a Naval Academy alumni who served five years as a signals intelligence officer. Her time in the service was spent mostly off the coast of Iraq and Iran, until her final duty station in San Diego, California. This is where she found her love for craft beer. In May of 2019, he launched Talea Beer Co.with co-founder Tara Hankinson.

Photo: Forbes / Cory Smith



Alex Gorsky: CEO of Johnson & Johnson

Alex Gorsky began his military career at the U.S Military Academy at West Point. He spent six years in the United States, finishing his career in the military with the rank of Captain. He later attended The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, earning his MBA. In 1988, he began his journey with J&J as a sales representative at Janssen Pharmaceutical. After a successful and long career with the company, he became CEO in April 2012 and Chairman in December of that year.

Photo: Johnson & Johnson

Frederick W. Smith: Founder, Chairman, and CEO of FedEx

After graduating from Yale University, Frederick W. Smith commissioned in the United States Marine Corps, serving for three years between 1966 and 1969, mainly as a platoon leader and forward air controller. He served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged as the rank of Captain, and received two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star. On June 18, 1971, Smith founded Federal Express (FedEx), built the company up immensely, and was ranked 26th among the list of "World's 50 Greatest Leaders according to Fortune Magazine.

Photo: Academy of Achievement

Colin Powell: Board of Directors for SalesForce

You probably recognize the name Gen. Colin Powell. He rose to become the nation’s first African American Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff as well as the first African American to head the diplomatic corps as Secretary of State. Powell began his service at City College of New York, where he studied geology and joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. In the 1960s, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam and has been awarded as many 11 military decorations. After a lengthy military career, he went on to serve four presidents, holding positions in the Defense Department and at the Pentagon. In 2014, he announced that he would be joining SalesForce's board of directors.

Photo: Britannica



Pat Tillman: Arizona Cardinals

Probably the most known player-turned-solider in sports history. Tillman was a standout linebacker and safety at Arizona State University, where he was later drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 1998. Tillman was an NFL All-Pro, tallying in his career, 340 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 interceptions for 37 yards, 3 forced fumbles, 15 pass deflections, and 3 fumble recoveries in 60 career games. After the attacks on September 11th and the completion of the 2001 season, Tillman declined a $3.6 million dollar contract offer from the Cardinals and enlisted in the United States Army. Sadly, Tillman was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2004.

Photo: The Arizona Republic

Roger Staubach: Dallas Cowboys

The "Roger Dodger" and "Captain America", Roger Staubach was successful in both spectrums of his career. Staubach attended the United States Naval Academy. In 1963, he won the Heisman Trophy. After he graduated, he was an Officer in the U.S. Navy and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. He later joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1969, playing 11 seasons there, his entire career. During his time with Dallas, Staubach led the team to the Super Bowl five times and won Superbowl VI and XII. He was named the MVP of Super Bowl VI, becoming the first player at the time winning both the Super Bowl MVP and Heisman.

Photo: Dallas Cowboys

Ted Williams: Boston Red Sox

Teddy Ballgame, the Boston legend! He spent his entire 19-year MLB career with the Boston Red Sox but spent time during that span serving in World War II and the Korean War. After joining the Red Sox in 1939, he immediately emerged as one of the sport's best hitters. The Hall-of-Famer was one of the best to ever do it. He was a 19x All-Star, 2x AL MVP, 6x AL Batting Champ, 2x Triple Crown winner, and had a career batting average of .344, 521 Home Runs, and a .482 OBP. In 1942, Williams was drafted to serve in the United States Navy. He joined the reserve in 1942, went on Active Duty in 1943, and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of the Marine Corps in 1944. Serving our country didn't stop his production, look at the incredible stat below.

Photo: Baseball Hall of Fame


If you know a Veteran in your life, give them an extra hug or handshake today, buy them a beer, and thank them for their service. Without our exceptional Americans who served our Country, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Cheers, and Happy Veteran's Day!


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