Honoring uberMILITARY Driver Partners This Veterans Day

At Uber, we pride ourselves in partnering with drivers who are transition servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses. In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to highlight some of our uberMILITARY driver partners so you can learn a little more about them and all they do for their riders!

Rick Cramer | Air Force Veteran

Tell us about your military service.
I was a medic in the Air Force from 1980 to 1986. I was stationed in Italy for three years followed by a year in Las Vegas, a year at Tinker Air Force Base, and a year in Oklahoma City.

How was your transition to civilian life after serving in the military?
When I got out of the military, I looked for a job for a number of years and ended up doing security work in Oklahoma City. I then moved to LA to pursue acting and did pretty well!

How did you end up partnering with Uber?
I was on a quest for part-time work, as most actors are unemployed for a lot of the time. My buddy from the Air Force was driving with Uber — he’s actually the one that told me about it.

What’s your favorite thing about partnering with Uber?
It’s great — I don’t have a boss, I can drive when I want to, and I make good money. I love the flexibility. If I have an audition or get a job, I don’t have to ask anyone for permission and I don’t have to worry about it being there when I come back. It’s absolutely perfect for me.

How do you make the Uber experience fun or different for your riders?
I keep water, mints, and gum in my car. But I’ve lived in so many different places and have so many different experiences that it’s easy to start a conversation with riders.

Where are we most likely to find you on your downtime?
I’m usually at the beach or the gym. I also walk 20 to 40 miles a week.

Jaime Serrano | Civil Affairs

Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in Hollywood, California. I live within 2 blocks of where I grew up — I’ve lived in the same place for the last 37 years.

Tell us about your military service.
I joined the military in April 2012. I work in civil affairs, which is the medium between the civilians and the military. A lot of us are lawyers, engineers, and more who work to keep civilians out of danger. If civilians need clean water or road work, we help out. I’ll be jumping out of planes next month. I’m going through training now.

What kind of work do you do as a civilian?
I’m a tour guide and a commercial driver. I tell people about Los Angeles!

How did you end up partnering with Uber?
Officer Bridgette Tuquero, the Uber Operations Manager from San Diego, convinced me to try it out. She’s gotten many of us to try it.

What’s your favorite thing about partnering with Uber?
I love the flexibility. I like that I can start and end when I want to. It’s hard to have a job with a boss and needing to ask for time off. Since I’m training a lot, I can drive when I have free time.

How do you make the Uber experience fun or different for your riders?
When I drive with Uber, I try to give my riders a great experience. I wear a button-up, a tie or a bow tie every time I drive. Riders are always surprised — I just like dressing up for them. I also give my riders history lessons on Los Angeles.

Tell us about your most memorable ride as a driver partner.
My riders were going towards Griffith Park, and I gave them a history lesson about the park. I told them about the Griffith Park curse and how three actors have died there. They were really interested in the history and were surprised that I knew so much. Griffith Park is not a part of my tours, so I enjoyed telling them information that I don’t typically get the chance to share!

Demetrious Polychron | Navy Veteran

Tell us about your military service.
When I was in high school, I took a military entrance examination called the ASVAB. I got a perfect score and joined the Navy’s nuclear power program. I ran one of the USS Enterprise’s nuclear reactors for four years — we were the most open-going ship in the US Navy. No ship can match it, which is why the ship in Star Trek was named after it. Whenever there was a problem in the world, we were always at sea.

How was your transition to civilian life after serving in the military?
I had saved a good bit of money, so I enrolled as a full-time college student. But one day, I was walking down the street, and a guy said, “You have a great look. You should be in a Pepsi commercial I’m casting for.” So I was in a national Pepsi commercial! And then I got casted in a UPS commercial, followed by a Toyota commercial… so I moved to LA.

How long have you been partnering with Uber?
Three weeks.

What do you like the most about it so far?
The interactions with what I call my “guests.” We just have a lot of fun. One time, I went Downtown and picked up four people: three girls and one guy. I have a bunch of different sunglasses on my visor in different colors. The guy started laughing and said, “Oh, look at all these colors. Are these for your mood?” I said, “No, they’re to match whatever I’m wearing.” And all the girls in the backseat said, “Ohh!” in unison. And we all started laughing. Almost every time I drive, something like that happens. And I’m like, “I love getting paid for this!”

How do you make the Uber experience fun or different for your riders?
I always give them options — radio, chargers, auxiliary cords, water, gum, and candy. I always ask if they want to take the route Uber suggests or if they’d like to try a different route.

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