Veterans Voices: Army veteran couple serves fellow veterans

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(WHNT) — For PeggyLee and TJ Wright, their identities as veterans play a huge role in their lives.

PeggyLee is a former U.S. Army Black Hawk pilot, and her husband TJ was a Green Beret.

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“It was the most amazing job have ever had in my life, bar none,” Peggy Lee explained.

She paved the way for many other women soldiers.

“It was not unusual to see mostly men in your flight school class or in your unit,” she said.

TJ’s time serving in the Army Special Forces has had a huge impact on his life.

“It’s a very long pipeline very challenging and demanding,” he said.

Combined, they served more than three decades in the Army.

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TJ’s last command was at Redstone Arsenal, and when he retired, neither he nor PeggyLee wanted to leave Huntsville or stop serving.

“When I did get back into the workforce, I said, ‘I want to do things within the Department of Defense, I want my career to come full circle,'” PeggyLee said. “I used to be a warfighter. Now I want to do something to help the warfighter.”

TJ founded Offset Strategic Services, a company that provides engineering and technical services for the military and industry.

“I now continue to serve in the Army. I may not be close to the front line, but our mission as a company is focused on serving the warfighter,” he explained.

PeggyLee founded her business, The Company You Keep, working with other businesses on development and marketing.

Both of them say Huntsville, which is home to many active service members and veterans, allows them to help with the missions of the Department of Defense, private industry, and nonprofits on goals from defeating an adversary, to helping a fellow veteran in what can be a difficult transition to civilian life.

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“The academic, the government in the military, the industry, and the nonprofits are all focused on the warfighter, and they’re very collaborative,” TJ said.

“When we see the camaraderie that is in this town, that’s what makes us remember what we had when we were wearing that suit and we want to come back to that,” PeggyLee said.

51% of the employees at TJ’s company are veterans.

“Having the warfighter insight, those experiences is critical,” he explained of those employees.

The couple does nonprofit work as well.

One of the organizations they work with most is Still Serving Veterans, a Huntsville-based nonprofit that helps vets access their rightfully earned benefits and get connected to use their military skills in the civilian workforce.

“They’ve helped me. They’ve helped friends of mine,” TJ said. “They have a wonderful mission.”
PeggyLee said it’s all about paying it forward.

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“At no time did we accomplish the things that we have because people did not help us. We’ve all been helped by someone prior to us that said, ‘Don’t make the mistakes I did. do it this way,'” she said. “We always say to that person, ‘You just do it for the next, do it for the next, do it for five more that come after you,’ because that’s what happened with us.”

While they show no signs of stopping anytime soon, they are already training the next generation of people either serving our country or supporting those who have served our country: their four kids.

“We want our kids to give back, whatever that looks like,” PeggyLee said. “They don’t necessarily have to be in a green suit or a blue suit. They don’t have to be a door kicker or trigger puller. They can be the person that is supporting their nation.”

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