Air Force Veteran Lands at Union Pacific

Thomas Modica and family

Thomas Modica with his family, including his wife, Susan, and children Angelina, John and Allen.

Planes, trains and Mo – after a decade of Air Force service, Thomas 'Mo' Modica found a home at Union Pacific.

He's not alone: approximately 19% of Union Pacific employees have military experience, with some still active in the National Guard or Reserves.

"I was looking for a way to serve my country, get experience and see the world," said Modica, whose service included deployments to Saudi Arabia for both Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served as an electrician from December 1987 to October 1997, working on C-130 transport aircraft.

After serving with the Air Force, Modica looked to apply his technical skills as an electrician to his next career path.

"It can be difficult to transition to civilian life after working on aircraft, many places require an apprenticeship program," he said. "But at UP, you just need four years of experience. It was perfect to transition right in."

Since joining Union Pacific in October 1997, Modica has worked in North Little Rock, Arkansas, at both Jenks Locomotive Shop and the yard’s ramp and service track.

"Moving from aircraft to locomotives was a very easy transition because both used relay logic," he said of the equipment’s circuitry. "Plus, the Air Force was a 24/7 operation, just like the railroad."

Today, Modica spends his time troubleshooting and repairing rotors for locomotive generators. He also stays busy as North Little Rock’s IBEW local chairman, as well as helping retirees and their spouses navigate benefits.

Off the job, he enjoys relaxing with family, which includes his wife of 27 years, Susan, and children Angelina, John and Allen.

Did You Know?

Union Pacific has a strong history of supporting our country’s Armed Forces. In fact, some of our first employees were Civil War veterans. Throughout our nearly 160-year history, UP has consistently supported the military – whether by moving troops and supplies, or by providing good jobs for veterans and reserve-duty soldiers.

This also includes supporting our veterans with critical resources such as the Employee Assistance Program, which provides counseling and referral services for employees and their families who are experiencing personal or work-related problems.

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