Welcome Home, Soldiers: Union Pacific Employees Return After Year-Long Deployment

UP veteran employees welcomed home by local public officials. | MR

From left, Nebraska State Senator Tony Vargas and his son; Col. Dave Newman, senior counsel; Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen; Maj. Jesse Miller, senior manager-Operations; Nebraska First Lady Suzanne Pillen; and Jesse’s supervisor Mark Simon, general director-Operations.

Union Pacific’s veteran employees received a warm welcome from their local public officials.

Two Union Pacific Railroad employees were recently welcomed back to the state by Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen following their year-long deployment to Fort Cavazos, Texas. Union Pacific Senior Counsel Dave Newman and Senior Manager-Operations Jesse Miller were officially reunited with friends and family during the Army Reserve 561st Regional Support Group’s recent welcome home ceremony.

In November 2022, their unit was mobilized to provide logistical support to help other Army Reserve and National Guard units deploy overseas.

“We ended up assisting 17,500-plus soldiers through that transition, helping provide them their last equipment and training,” Newman said. “It’s about taking care of each other, taking care of our brothers and sisters as they get ready to mobilize – it was a very rewarding mission.”

Now home, Newman and Miller have both returned to their roles at Union Pacific Center’s headquarters in Omaha.

    Coin recognizing the railroad as a military-friendly employer. | M

    As part of the ceremony, the Army Reserve 561st Regional Support Group presented the Union Pacific team with this coin to recognize the railroad as a military-friendly employer.

  • Newman is a member of Union Pacific's Commercial Litigation team in the Law Department, responsible for commercial disputes across the company’s 23-state network. He has seven years of railroad service. Col. Newman is commander of the Army Reserve’s 561st Regional Support Group.
  • Miller is a member of Loup Logistics’ Operations team, where he leads a team responsible for the day-to-day management of dray and dispatch services of Wholesale Intermodal. In January, he’ll celebrate 17 years of service with the railroad. Miller holds the rank of major with the Army Reserve’s 561st Regional Support Group and currently serves as the Officer in Charge of their Operations Section.

As part of the ceremony, Union Pacific Vice President and Chief of Staff Rebecca Gregory and General Director-Operations Mark Simon were presented with ceremonial coins recognizing the railroad as a military-friendly employer.

As of 2022, more than 6,000 Union Pacific employees – approximately 18% – have proudly served in the military, with some still active in the National Guard or Reserves. UPVETS, one of the railroad’s largest Employee Resource Groups, aims to help attract, develop and retain these veteran employees. 

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