MANCHESTER, NH — “Be all you can be” is Senior Engineer and Army veteran John Porazinski’s favorite motto. As a member of the Pease Greeters and the Eversource Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG) – an employee-led group dedicated to supporting veterans, active service members and their families – Porazinski is doing just that. His inspiration: the veterans who came before him to provide support when he needed it most.
“Before I left out of New Jersey for my deployment to Iraq, I remember Vietnam veterans who waited there with us to show their support,” he said. “They said they wouldn’t let us go out or come back the way they did. It meant a lot having someone to talk to who understood what we were going through.”
Porazinski said when he returned from his deployment, those same veterans who sent him off were there waiting to welcome him home.
“It was at that moment that I realized how important doing things like serving with the Pease Greeters is,” he said. “I still like getting involved and it feels good to work for a company that gives back to the community, especially veterans.”
After serving 21 years in the Army National Guard, including Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006 to 2007, Porazinski carries on the tradition of the veterans who provided him with comforting words and support as a member of the Pease Greeters, a group of military veterans and civilians dedicated to expressing their patriotism and gratitude for troops at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease. The Pease Greeters have fed, honored and thanked more than 310,000 troops for their service.
“We’re often the last people our service members talk to when they leave their families for a deployment and the first faces they see when they return home,” Porazinski added. “That support from a fellow veteran who has shared their experience means the world.”
Porazinski recently presented contributions from the Veterans BRG to the Pease Greeters; Liberty House, a Manchester non-profit that provides substance-free transitional housing for homeless veterans; the Fence Force Flagline, a non-profit that supports veterans with displays of patriotism and appreciation; and the Dan Healy Foundation, which provides support to local students entering the military or trade schools, veterans, single mothers and elementary school children.
The Dan Healy Foundation was established in honor of Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel R. Healy, a U.S. Navy Seal and Exeter, N.H. native who was lost while going to the aid of a team of four SEALs who were embroiled in a battle with a larger force of the Taliban. The story of the reconnaissance mission is detailed in the book “Lone Survivor,” which was later adapted to film.
“I realized after reading the book that we have a hometown hero right here in Exeter,” Porazinski said. “Meeting Dan’s mother and hearing his story really resonated with me, especially having served as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Giving back to my fellow veterans is near and dear to my heart because they served for the pride of giving back to their country.”