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Half-Century Mark ‘Went by Quick’ for Fort Belvoir Associate

From left, Facility Manager Ray Estes, 50-year associate Kevin Gaquin and Real Estate Directorate Senior Vice President Mike Smietana mark Gaquin’s achievement.

In 1969, Kevin Gaquin was draft-eligible, which, to many hiring managers, meant unemployable—until he found the Exchange.

“No one wanted to train me for three or four months if they weren’t sure I was going to be around,” Gaquin said. “I applied at the Fort Belvoir Exchange, and they hired me within two hours.”

Gaquin was never called up in the draft and 50 years later, he’s still with the Fort Belvoir Exchange.

“I’ve done a lot of different jobs through 50 years of service,” Gaquin said. “Seems like it went by quick.”

Gaquin, a maintenance mechanic at the Belvoir Facilities Management Office, was recently presented with a certificate of thanks from Senior Vice President of Real Estate Mike Smietana, along with challenge coins from Director/CEO Tom Shull and Chief Operating Officer Dave Nelson, and a certificate commemorating his achievement.

“He’s got a reputation for high quality. He’ll do it once and do it right,” FMO Foreman Geoff Pulignani said. “Electrical, voice and data, carpentry, plumbing—he does it all. He has such a wealth of knowledge about all the trades, I can pretty much use him for any tasker.”

Kevin Gaquin’s expertise have taken him throughout the Eastern Region.

Gaquin’s duties include installing, modifying, repairing and troubleshooting of electrical, air conditioning and plumbing systems, as well as performing carpentry and painting tasks.

He has been a key asset in the completion of Real Estate and FMO capital expenditure projects and activation of new Exchange activities throughout his career.

Gaquin often takes day trips to nearby Exchanges or the occasional TDY to assist at a farther away store. His expertise and reliability have taken him to Fort Meade, Fort Lee, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Fort Bragg, Carlisle Barracks, Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

“Kevin is extremely dependable and always puts the Exchange and the customer first,” said Eastern Region Assistant Facilities Manager Keith Hash, who worked with Gaquin for 15 years. “All the Exchanges in and around the Beltway know Kevin and request him by name for jobs they need.”

For Gaquin, retirement can wait.

“I’ve had some friends retire, but then they come back because they need something to keep themselves busy,” he said. “I’m listening to them. I’m not ready to retire.”

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9 Comments

  1. SANDRA EGGER on December 19, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Congratulations Kevin Gaquin Keep Going Strong! What an inspiration!

  2. MArio P. Mejia on December 19, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Congratulations Kevin Gaquin you added 50 years in service into 124 years AAFES and still going strong.

    • Steve Smith on December 20, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      Mario:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post. Yes, indeed, 50 years is quite a history of serving troops, isn’t it?

      Let’s keep the conversation going. Does anybody else out there want to share their thoughts about Kevin and his career? If so, type your thoughts in the comment box and hit enter.

      Oh, c’mon . . . we want to read them!

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  3. Stephanie Ferretti on December 27, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Kevin, Thank you for your Service to our Beloved Troops! Your stellar career has set the benchmark for Stellar Customer Service! As a Military Brat, I thank you sincerely for taking such great care of our Military Family! Stephanie

    • Steve Smith on December 30, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Stephanie:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post. We really appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts with us!

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  4. Carolyn Glymph on December 27, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Kevin,Thank you for your services you are one of the best always a pleasure seeing you and talking with you.

    Carol
    Pentagon MCSS

    • Steve Smith on December 30, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Carolyn:

      Thank you so much for writing to your Exchange Post!

      Let’s keep the conversation going! Does anybody else want to comment on Kevin’s 50 years of service to the troops?

      If so, type your thoughts in the comment box and hit enter.

      Oh, c’mon . . . we want to read them!

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  5. Kayren McDuffie on December 31, 2019 at 5:27 am

    Probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Didn’t realize he has been working for the Exchange for 50 years…Wow! Congratulations to him and I wish him many more successful years with the Exchange!

    • Steve Smith on January 2, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Kayren:

      Thank you so much for writing to your Exchange Post!

      Let’s keep the conversation going! Is there anybody else who would like to comment? If so, write your thoughts in the comment box and hit “enter.”

      Oh, c’mon . . . we want to read them.

      Also, don’t forget to bookmark the website, http://www.theexchangepost.com.

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

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