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At CRS, we honor six of our dedicated employees who are Veterans of the United States Military.

“Teamwork is a huge thing in the military and it has always played a role in my jobs, but it is extremely prevalent here at CRS. Being able to work with the different departments to accomplish a goal is a daily event here.” says Kristina Coombs, CRS Customer Care Specialist. In the Army Reserves, Kristina served as an Automated Logistical Specialist for nearly four years. Her family is an “Army Family” so she says “it just seemed right” that she joined.

Vanessa Cazarez, CRS Billing Specialist, was an Aviation Mechanic in the United States Navy for 5 years. Stationed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in Norfolk, VA, she states being a Veteran “Makes me proud to have been part of the select few that volunteer to protect our great country.”


Vanessa Cazarez (on the far right) and her United States Navy Aviation Mechanic team.

Two of our employees, Corinne Weinberger and Chris Varela, actually served on the same mission in Desert Storm together. Though they didn’t know each other at the time, and had different duties, both feel that the skills learned while in the military have helped them excel at CRS. Team building and working with people from diverse backgrounds has taught them how to approach various situations, talk to people and think fast on their feet.

Mindy Campbell, CRS Customer Care Specialist with eight years of service at CRS, wants to tell people thinking of joining the military to “Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. It will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do but will be darn proud of yourself when you look back on your time in the service.” Mindy served as an Army Medic for 3 years and a reservist for 2 more.

Using organizational skills learned during his time as a Sergeant in the Army, Vince Salazar is now on the front lines at CRS as Customer Care Specialist. He’s one of the first people that a policyholder might talk with about their housing loss. Not only does Vince provide pertinent information they need, he empathizes with and encourages them to stay strong, knowing that CRS has got their back.

All Veterans remind us of our potential as Americans to give and at times, give it your all. They are our relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and they committed to a cause larger than their own by accepting the challenge to defend our nation.

Today, and every day, we say THANK YOU.

On this Veterans Day, we salute our Veterans and extend our gratitude for their service.

“Nobody ever drowned in sweat.” - US Marines

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” - George S. Patton

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For CRS Veterans, time served in the military means honor and pride on Veterans Day

Sitting from left: Corinne Weinberger and Mindy Campbell. Standing from Left: Chris Varela and Vince Salazar.

Whether to fulfill their patriotic duty, exercise a rite of passage or to earn money for college, the reasons vary as to why they joined the military. At CRS, we are honored that four of our dedicated employees are veterans of the United States Military.

Mindy Campbell is a CRS Customer Care Specialist with seven years of service at CRS. She served as an Army Medic for three years and a reservist for two more. Many of the skills she developed in the military, such as her ability to organize and her strong work ethic, allow her to be compassionate and caring in helping families in need. Mindy’s father also served in the Army, which lead to her selecting that branch.

Our Sales Support Manager, Chris Varela, also served in the medical field as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy for six years. His is a military family and his brother is still serving in the Marines. Chris not only felt it was a right of passage, but also the highest honor to serve our nation. Pulling from skills learned in team building and diversity, Chris plays an integral role in the CRS Sales and Marketing Department and we’re not sure how we survived without him.

Stationed throughout Japan, Germany, and other countries for more than seven years as a Marine Paratrooper, Corinne Weinberger now calls Arizona her home. Working at CRS for the past year, she shines as a Collection Specialist and as a liaison to clients. She strongly encourages young people to serve our country because the education and skills you learn are invaluable in everyday life.

Bringing his organization skills learned in the Army, Vince Salazar serves as the voice and face of CRS as a Customer Care Specialist. This traveling music man was a Seargent in the Army Band for six years. He brought melodious joy and laughs to servicemen stationed from California to Japan to Korea, and now spreads his positive vibes to CRS employees and customers alike.

Every day, Veterans set aside their personal dreams and aspirations to assure the freedoms of others. It’s important that we have a day to remember their value and sacrifice and the lessons that come with both.

All Veterans remind us of our potential as Americans to give and at times, give it your all. They are our relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and they committed to a cause larger than their own by accepting the challenge to defend our nation. Today, and every day, we say THANK YOU.

On this Veterans Day, we salute our Veterans and extend our gratitude for their service.

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Veterans Day, November 11: A Day to Remember all Who Have Served

By CRS Guest Blogger, Vince Salazar, CRS Customer Care Specialist


Originally, Veterans Day was called “Armistice Day,”

and the date was chosen to commemorate the signing of the armistice with Germany that ended hostilities during World War I.

Many observe Veterans Day by simply flying the U.S. flag at their house, having a picnic or cook out with friends and family, and watching war movies or other patriotic programming on TV. Many also donate to veterans' causes and show appreciation to veterans they meet or are already acquainted with, and some veterans will donate their military uniforms on this day, making themselves “easy to spot.”

Four ideas on what to do in the U.S. on Veterans Day are:

  • Attend, or at least watch on television, the Veterans Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. You can watch the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You may also wish to respectfully walk through the cemetery, where over 40,000 veterans and their families are buried.
  • Watch America's Parade, originally “the Veterans Day Parade,” in New York City. This is the largest Veterans Day parade in the country, bringing in around 25,000 attendees each year. It is held in Manhattan and has been running since 1919. There are also some other large parades to attend, including the biggest one west of the Mississippi River in Albany, Oregon, and there are many smaller parades as well.
  • Tour the memorials and monuments in Washington, D.C., that are related in some way to veterans. There are too many to list, but look for the DC War Memorial, which honors local World War I veterans, the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • Spend the day, or part of it, volunteering at a local VA hospital or even just chatting with veterans who are there as patients. Many VAs will have special lunches on Veterans Day for the veterans, and they welcome volunteers to help prepare the meal.

Veterans Day is an important time to remember those who risked their lives to defend the freedom of others, and you will find there are many festive and patriotic activities to take part.

On this day of remembrance, we would like to acknowledge and thank our CRS employees who have proudly served our country: Acacia Oudinot, Vince Salazar, Lionel Jerry, Richard Macias, Mindy Campbell and Dennis Allen.

About the writer, Vince Salazar

Born in Michigan (Go LIONS)

Served in the US Army Band between 1980-1986

Forged a career on stage as an actor, singer, dancer and musician ~ performing in over 200 major theatre touring companies over 20 years.

Headlined the show LEGENDS IN CONCERT in Las Vegas for over 10 years doing the Blues Brothers.

Recovered from a head-on car accident (left me in a wheel chair for over 2 years), and recently survived cancer.

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