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Georgia Ports veteran served his country, met a president

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Georgia Ports equipment operator Roosevelt Oliver served 11 years in the U.S. Army. More than 18 percent of GPA’s workforce served in the Armed Forces.

Nearly one in five GPA employees served in military

When Army veteran Roosevelt Oliver awoke one morning at Walter Reed Hospital to find himself staring at former President George W. Bush, he thought he was dreaming.

Oliver, a Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) equipment operator, was recovering from a leg injury caused by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2009 during the commander-in-chief’s hospital visit. Oliver instinctively tried to jump out of bed to greet the president. Bush, however, encouraged him to rest and proceeded to ask about his tours of duty and family.

“You don’t just relax for the president,” Oliver said. “I just couldn’t believe he was actually there to see me!”

Oliver is one of hundreds of military veterans employed at GPA, which accounts for more than 18 percent of its workforce. GPA recently honored its veterans with a special pin and the observance of Veterans Day as an official company holiday.

“We want to thank our employees for their service and sacrifice,” GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said. “Your dedication to our country and to Georgia Ports inspires us all.”

Oliver served for 11 years in the U.S. Army and said that he carries lifelong lessons about leadership. Those values align with his current role at GPA in which he must look out for the well-being of those around him and make sure there are no distractions on the job.