With nearly 20 years of experience as a contracted security guard at the Kansas City National Security Campus New Mexico Operations, there isn’t much that surprises Mauricio “Jake” Candelaria. An exceptionally meticulous and dedicated member of the team, Jake is always thinking one step ahead as he goes through each day serving the mission. This attention to detail is deeply rooted from his time in the military, and is why he was so taken aback on Veterans Day.
While at work, Jake was asked to join Site Leader Dean Stoor for a socially-distanced Veterans Day recognition. During the event, Dean surprised the Vietnam veteran by presenting Jake with a signed Certificate of Appreciation from President Donald Trump in recognition of his service to the country.
The recognition from the President was the result of a letter written by fellow security guard and Vietnam veteran himself, Charles Urick, Sr. Charles wrote the letter to the President on behalf of his friend, who he wanted to ensure was recognized for his time served in combat.
“We have such a good crew here and everyone works together so well,” said Jake, who served as a communications technician among many other roles while in Vietnam. “As I told Dean, they couldn’t have picked a better day to present me with this with it being Veterans Day. This is definitely a day I will never forget.”
Presenting Jake with the certificate and recognizing him and other veterans for their service made Veterans Day even more special this year at our New Mexico Operations.
“On behalf of New Mexico Operations and its employees, we are thankful to work with so many veterans and recognize their service to our country, especially on Veterans Day,” Dean said. “As part of today’s recognition, it was a privilege to present Jake Candelaria a personally signed Certificate of Appreciation from President Trump.”