United States Navy 1990-95
Current Job: Orange County Community Services, systems analyst
Union: Orange County Employees Association
Jack Luster, a systems analyst for Orange County Community Services, joined the Navy because he was inspired by his grandfather’s service in WWII. He was stationed on the USS Sierra, a repair ship, which was deployed to fix ships stranded at sea. When Hurricane Andrew hit the Florida coast in August 1992, the USS Sierra and its nearly 1,000-member crew were the first responders to the disaster. The sailors teamed with the National Guard to establish a tent city with 400 14-16 person tents and a kitchen so the displaced residents could eat. They worked with FEMA to help residents of demolished mobile home parks receive assistance. Once emergency services were established, the sailors stayed in Miami-Dade County to repair damaged grammar schools.
On public service/armed service: “You develop relationships unlike anywhere else. You end up caring so much about your fellow ship mates. It establishes a personal, caring spirit in you. When you come to work as a government employee, helping the public is our whole mission—especially here in Community Services, that’s in our title.”