Northstar Honors Our Tom Grady and Dan Landry on Veterans Day
Veteran’s Day dates to 1919 and is dedicated to honoring our nation’s military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We thank our veterans, past and present, and their families for the service and sacrifice they make every day. We are indebted to you for all you have given to our great country.
We want to also thank and recognize two Northstar employees, Tom Grady and Dan Landry, veterans of the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps, respectively.Below are their stories of why they joined the military, their role, and how they transitioned from military service to civilian life.
Tom Grady, Captain, United States Army
My interest in serving was in high school when I joined the Junior ROTC program. I enjoyed the program and decided to enlist with the South Dakota National Guard at the end of my junior year of high school. sparked
After my first deployment as a Geospatial Engineer, I was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 2016. At the end of 2018, I completed one more deployment rotation as an Engineer Platoon Leader, providing security for advisory teams throughout southern Afghanistan.
I recently transitioned from an active-duty role into a United States Army Reserve unit in Londonderry, NH, and now serve as an Assistant Operations Officer.
Transitioning into the United States Army Reserve has been bittersweet. I am still able to actively serve but am also able to settle down and work toward new goals outside of the army. The lessons I learned during my 10+ years of service have been extremely valuable during my transition into my new role at Northstar, where I work on residential housing projects with Harvard University.
The technical skills of army tactics are different than the daily challenges of construction, but the ability to manage projects, lead people, and build relationships is equally important to both.
Dan Landry, Sergeant, United States Marine Corps
I was in the fourth grade when the September 11th attacks happened. The events stuck with me for a long time, and I wanted to be there doing my part. I went to St. John’s Prep in Danvers and signed up for the Marines before I started my senior year of high school.
I was stationed out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for four years, then served my last year on Parris Island as a primary marksmanship instructor. I had two deployments: one on a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) and one stationed in Romania. On the MEU, I was with a battalion of Marines on a ship for 11 months. We were on standby in case something popped off. I lived in Romania for seven months and traveled to train foreign nationals. Our unit was mainly focused on embassy security but would spend time training with foreign militaries such as Spain and Israel.
I describe the experience as the best and worst five years of my life. There were days that I was the happiest person in the world, being with my group of friends. Then I’d go to the field for two weeks and sleep in the rain and mud. But I loved the camaraderie of it all. When you get an objective, through Hell and high water, you get it done. You figure it out.
The get-it-done objective mentality stuck with me the most, especially in my role as a project manager at Northstar. I currently work on BioMed Realty’s Assembly Innovation Park project in Somerville, a future office/lab park development consisting of three mixed-use buildings, an above-grade parking garage, a park, and home to a future City of Somerville Fire Station. The team spends a lot of time together working on tight deadlines, so there is a natural camaraderie throughout our work. We prioritize building a solid team dynamic, from having lunch as a group to hosting team bonding events to laughing at the day’s events.
There are very surprising similarities and mindsets between the military and Northstar, with a little less yelling. Our team works as a unit with a get-it-done mentality while having an incredible amount of camaraderie, responsibility, and precision in our roles.