The commitment and sacrifice of these proud Veterans has not gone unnoticed.
Throughout our 116-year history, the ranks of the Iron Workers has swelled with proud Veterans. Their service has not only protected nations—it has helped to build them.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Ironworkers opened our hearts and arms to those returned from Vietnam, saying, “Welcome home, Brother!” And we have reaped untold benefits from their service as Union Ironworkers during the past forty years.
To offer the same opportunities to those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iron Workers—together with the other 14 building trades—secured federal funding for Helmets to Hardhats, a program that helps Veterans transition from their military duties to career opportunities with fair wages and benefits. But after “no earmarks” erased funding and the Department of Defense would not sacrifice one cruise missile to fund Helmets to Hardhats, it was the building trades, our contractors and our customers who stepped forward to ensure that veterans have access to training and secure jobs after they have served their country so patriotically.
Our Veterans did not serve just one day a year. They laid their lives on the line, and we should never miss an opportunity to thank them for their service—and for our freedom. The Iron Workers remain steadfast in supporting our men and women in uniform, as well as in our commitment to provide career opportunities to build our great nations.
Thank you, Veterans, for all that you do.
Walter Wise was born in Virginia in 1951. After living in California for a time, he returned to Virginia where he attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg and studied engineering. Mr. Wise was initiated into the Iron Workers in February 1975, and became a journeyman in 1977. In October 1997, he was appointed general organizer by General President Jake West. In February of 1998, he was appointed president of the Mid-Atlantic States District Council. General President Hunt appointed him general vice president on March 18, 2002, general treasurer on March 1, 2005, and on February 6, 2008, he was appointed general secretary of our International Union. Walter Wise was appointed general president of our International Union effective February 1, 2011.
This has been reposted from Ironworkers.