Thu, Jul 1, 2021 07:43 AM
Happy Independence Day!
The Fourth of July has been a federal holiday in the United States only since 1941, but Independence Day celebrations date to the American Revolution. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence, and the 13 colonies’ delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence a mere two days later. Ever since, July 4 has been celebrated as the beginning of American independence. We recognize that our freedom came only after a brutal seven-year war. Today, as we celebrate, we also remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to achieve our independence:
- Throughout the American Revolutionary War, 6,800 Americans lost their lives in battle and upwards of 20,000 were taken as prisoners of war (battlefields.org)
- Historians believe that 17,000 additional deaths transpired from disease and 8,000-12,000 soldiers died as prisoners of war (battlefields.org)
- There were nearly 6,200 non-mortal woundings during the American Revolution (Department of Veterans Affairs).
This Independence Day, Greenbrier also honors the selfless women and men of our armed forces who continue to protect our country and freedom.
We are especially proud to salute U.S. Navy veteran, Timothy Sais. Tim is currently the Quality Assurance Manager at our GRS location in San Bernardino.
Tim has been with us for three years. Prior to Greenbrier, he was in the U.S. Navy for 25 years in a variety of departments: engineering, management, aerospace, lean manufacturing, production and nuclear industries. Five of those years – 1998 to 2003 – were in an active service role capacity. He was deployed to three tours visiting the Persian Gulf- Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Korea, Bahrain and many other countries around the world.
In addition to his selfless service in the Navy, Tim’s story provides us with a lesson in workplace safety. He and all other veterans sacrifice a great deal to protect our freedoms – sometimes resulting in severe injuries that last a lifetime. Tim reminds us that accidents can happen anywhere and especially in a manufacturing setting, we need to be mindful.
After his military service, Tim was recruited by Marvin Engineering, an aerospace engineering firm in Inglewood, California. Following his experience with Marvin Engineering, Tim was presented an offer to work for Caran Engineering in Long Beach & Brea. While conducting his duties at work, a progression press malfunctioned, causing his arm to be crushed between two metal stamping dye sections. This work-related injury resulted in 356 breaks to his right arm:
“The damage was so extensive that I was airlifted to University of Irvine Trauma Center. Several surgeons made every effort to repair my arm during a 16-hour emergency operation. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to repair it. When I was brought back to consciousness, I was presented with the inevitable decision to amputate.
While awaiting the amputation procedure, I was introduced to my surgeon, Dr. Refijah. The surgeon and his team explained to me they had been working on new technology for a mechanical neurological transmitted prosthetic and needed a volunteer for his medical trial. He explained this procedure had never been attempted and this technology was unproven and extremely risky, as it involved the nervous system, brain and spinal cord. The surgeon felt confident I would be a very good candidate. With the support of my family (wife and daughter, pictured), I agreed to participate. This medical trial provided me the opportunity to be the first successful recipient of a neurologically transmitted biomechanical operating prosthetic arm. Over the course of two years, 26 surgeries and countless adjustments, it was time for the final step. The arm was initialized and was operational. My surgeon and his exceptional team were successful!
Since the completion of my trial, the medical program was able to advance their research and continue advancement to provide 62 men and women throughout the world who have sustained severe arm and hand injuries with the opportunity to restore their lives back to normal. I have no doubt the efforts of this team will change the future of orthopedic surgery once the research and practice is approved in standard practice.”
After his military service to protect American freedom, Tim’s bravery in participating in a medical trial offers the hope of greater independence to those who suffer grave limb injuries – whether on the battlefield or real life. Our conversation with Tim included some questions about his values and his experience with Greenbrier’s IDEAL program:
What does IDEAL mean to you?
“When a company takes an active effort in showcasing the talent, background, and adversity of its employees, it provides incentive & encouragement to all members to continue their path of success.”
How does Greenbrier or the business unit where you work foster IDEAL values? This can be officially (i.e., signage) or unofficially (i.e., general culture/feeling).
“Greenbrier excels at maintaining a family-first culture. We are all part of the Greenbrier family through the good, bad, and difficult times.”
Why is it important to foster IDEAL in the workplace?
“Recognition fosters pride.”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“To be recognized in the company of so many exceptional people is a great honor.”
Thank you, Tim, for your service to our country as part of the Navy as well as your contributions to advance medical science. Your bravery and selflessness has improved the lives of countless Americans.