While Army Reservist Brandon Waymire was deployed in the Middle East, he didn’t worry about how he would make a living when he returned; he knew his job with the University was waiting.
Waymire, a technology specialist in Campus Information Services, recently came back to the United States – and his job at PBA – after a year-long deployment protecting a base in Saudi Arabia.
“It was a comforting feeling,” Waymire said of knowing his job stateside was secure. “It’s one less thing to stress about when there’s already a lot to think about.”
Despite the challenges of keeping in touch while he was overseas, Waymire’s PBA colleagues encouraged him with prayers, iMessages, Facebook messages and Google Hangouts whenever they could, he said.
Waymire and his father, Fred, also an Army Reservist, both deployed for the first time in 2007 — father to Iraq and son to Afghanistan. The elder Waymire is a 2017 alumnus of the Catherine T. MacArthur School of Leadership.
Although his father is his biggest role model, morally and spiritually, Brandon said, it was a high school friend who inspired him to join the Army Reserves. His friend enlisted soon after the War on Terror began, and Waymire signed up so that his friend wouldn’t be alone.
Waymire, of Loxahatchee, began working at PBA in 2016. He’s “very talented, very dedicated” and the type of person who can be trusted with sensitive projects on tight deadlines, said Director of Campus Information Services Jason Thomas.
As Waymire’s deployment approached, Thomas granted him flexible scheduling for his training exercises. Thomas let Waymire know that he’d keep a spot open for him, no matter how long it took for him to come back.
“He’s one of our shining stars, so anything we can do to support him and his endeavors, we do,” Thomas said.
Before his deployment, Waymire nominated Thomas for the Florida Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Patriot Award, which Thomas received. In his nomination, Waymire wrote that “JT constantly goes above and beyond his role as a supervisor to help him achieve his highest level of performance in his profession and in his military service.”
Thomas is happy to have Waymire back.
“It’s fantastic,” he said.
Photo: Director of Campus Information Services Jason Thomas and Technology Specialist Brandon Waymire pose for a photo on campus after Waymire's recent return to work. Waymire, an Army Reservist, just finished a year-long deployment to Saudi Arabia.