Mark Eiland is easy to talk to. When I called to ask him about his service, it felt like he was my cousin & we were getting caught up on family news at a reunion. Mark was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta and grew up in Marietta, Georgia. Shortly before graduating from Sprayberry High School, he had to relocate to South Carolina with his parents to take care of his mother’s ailing family members. He wouldn’t be out of Georgia long and returned to attend UGA.
Not long after enrolling, Mark realized that college wasn’t really the path for him. Knowing that he needed a plan to take him further in life, he discussed joining the military with his father. Being a Vietnam veteran himself who served in the Army’s 101st Airborne, Mark’s dad, Kenneth, supported his decision. The Air Force recruiter seemed to have the best job opportunities and skills training, so Mark joined up with the plan to become a Jet Engine Mechanic. However, plans don’t always go accordingly, and instead he found himself in the Gulf War as a member of the Air Force Combat Control.
When he returned to civilian life in 1993, Mark admits that it wasn’t easy to adjust. He looked for a job that gave him a similar structure to what he had in the Air Force & found it as a Sheriff’s Deputy in Oconee County, South Carolina. Fast forwarding seven years, he found himself working two jobs to take care of his son Hunter. He felt that he needed to move toward the industrial sector and planned to return to the maintenance/mechanics field that he started long ago in the Air Force. It was difficult breaking into the field, but he eventually found work in maintenance for a company that makes metalworking tools. He worked there for 10 years, learning invaluable skills as a machine mechanic and welder.
After leaving that company due to layoffs, he worked a fair amount in power plant maintenance and as a pipe welder. As luck would have it, he ended up working for a contractor at a site where IMI was working as well. When the company he was with wanted him to travel north, Mark thought it was time for a change. He started with the IMI piping department, fabricating and installing pipe. Now as a foreman, four years later, he works at numerous plants in & around Georgia. Described by management as a good guy with a good heart, we are proud to have him as a member of our family. We are proud of his service to this country and grateful that the road led him here. We’re thankful for the service of his father Kenneth, the sacrifices his mother Patricia made while his father was in the service, and for his son Hunter, who is currently serving in the Navy.
From all of us at IMI, to all of the veterans in every branch of the armed forces, we sincerely thank you for your service.