By: Jamie A. Rufolo, Director - Marketing Management, AT&T Business Marketing & Global Strategy

Spouse to CPT Dennis Rufolo

With my husband Dennis in the armed services, there are many thoughts that keep me awake at night. I worry about his safety and about the safety of the other brave men and women with whom he serves. I worry that his deployment means he will miss seeing our daughter’s first bites of food, hearing her first words, watching her eyes light up as she experiences her first Christmas morning and blowing out her first birthday candle.

I already know that I’ll have to prepare for future times apart too, perhaps when she’s holding my hand as she boards the bus on her first day of school or when the time comes to grow our family and welcome a new baby home. I also worry, like all other military families, about how our daughter will adjust when we are re-assigned to the next duty station.

Thankfully, the one thing that I’ve never had to worry about is my own job security, how I will adjust as we settle into a new location, or if I will have a support network in place to understand the unique challenges a “dual military and civilian” working family faces. We may have changed addresses six times in the six years Dennis and I have been married, but my employer remained the same: AT&T.

Simply put, I am overwhelmed by the support I receive from my colleagues and leadership. Throughout my 13 years at AT&T, I’ve experienced opportunities to grow both professionally and personally; from roles in different organizations, participation in leadership programs, and promotions; to the chance to work with other AT&T military families, establishing bonds as we share our stories. Each time we’ve packed up our home to move to a new base, my job with AT&T awaited me in our new city, along with new team members. Specifically, AT&T has an “Employee Resource Group” for military-minded employees to join and participate with chapters around the country – it’s over 4,000 employees strong! This provides me with a unique “AT&T family,” for which I am so grateful.

My story is just one example of AT&T’s overall commitment to our nation’s military and veterans. The company truly cares about its military employees and families, demonstrating this each and every day by providing them with differential pay and other benefits for their families while they are deployed.

AT&T also aggressively recruits returning soldiers. They’ve made it easy to match Military Occupation Codes to civilian jobs at AT&T with a Military Skills Translator. I’ve met a tremendous amount of employees who’ve formerly served our country and are so appreciative to work for a company that makes hiring veterans a priority. The company also provides philanthropic support to veterans’ organizations like Cell Phones for Soldiers.

This Veterans Day, AT&T hosted events all over the nation to provide Americans with the opportunity and technology to record a message of gratitude for our veterans and military personnel. If you didn’t have the chance to record a message in your local AT&T store, I’d like to invite you to join me in this effort by recording a message of thanks and sending the video file to loveavet@att.com. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using the #veterans hashtag, and get the latest on job opportunities via LinkedIn.

Our men and women in uniform sacrifice so much for our freedoms, and it is important to take time today – and every day – to thank them. As a member of a military family, I know just how much this means to them.

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