1-800-SWEEPER Blog

Honoring Our Vets: A Tribute to John Rutherford – Contract Sweepers and Equipment

Jul 31, 2013

Honoring Our Vets: A Tribute to John Rutherford – Contract Sweepers and Equipment

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After high school, John Rutherford wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the Marine Corps.  Problem was, every time he went down to the local recruiting office, the Marine Corps recruiter was gone.  After several attempts, he struck up a conversation with the Navy recruiter, who mentioned being on a ship would be a safer play than in the field during the height of the Vietnam War.  The Navy could offer technical training that would be useful in civilian life too.  The navy recruiter’s message resonated with John, and when he scored well on the aptitude test, he was offered a position in the nuclear power training program in return for a six year commitment.  John completed two years of technical training and served much of the remainder of his time on the USS Long Beach, a Chicago Class Light Cruiser.  “Serving in the Navy was one of the best decisions I ever made“, according to Rutherford.  “I learned discipline, technical skills, and I met my wonderful wife while stationed in Maryland.” 

Rutherford had been married for four years when he had to make a decision about re-enlisting.  John and his wife wanted to start a family, but he knew he couldn’t remain in the Navy and be a good family man.  Long at-sea deployments would mean missing out on seeing his children grow up, so in 1975 he made the decision to leave the service.  After the service, John put the skills learned in the Navy to use for 30 years, working as a mechanic for Goodyear Conveyor in Marysville, Ohio.  After retiring from Goodyear, he dabbled as a school bus driver and a bartender before landing a job as a mechanic for American Power Sweeping.  Learning to work on the hydraulics and electrical systems found on sweepers was a new challenge, but John has always been mechanically inclined and he was a fast study.  When Contract Sweepers and Equipment purchased APS several years back, John made the transition and he has been working hard, putting the skills he learned while in the Navy to use each day he goes to work. 

John Rutherford - Contract Sweepers and Equipment

Contract Sweeper’s President Gerry Kesselring isn’t shy about sharing the value that John brings to the table.   “When John joined our team with the acquisition of APS, he brought great energy and enthusiasm.  He has been a great addition to our team,” says Kesselring.  If your organization is looking for mechanics or sweeping operators, consider talking to a veteran who has made personal sacrifices to protect our freedoms.  Military service instills discipline, a work ethic, and most vets receive technical training that makes them ideally suited to join a sweeping service company.  Hiring a vet isn’t just a great way to thank them for their service—it makes good business sense too!  If you have an employee you would like to see profiled in next month’s newsletter, please send your information to Carolyn Bell.