Meet Your Driver, Veteran’s Day Edition: Michael
Since launching in Atlanta 2 years ago, Uber has partnered with thousands of drivers who each have their own unique stories. Since you won’t have the opportunity to meet every driver, we wanted to start a series where we introduce you to some of the top men and women behind the wheel.
Today we want to pay special tribute to one of the hundreds of veteran partners in Atlanta. Michael served is a Georgia native who served 3 years in the United States Marine Corps, including a term in Somalia doing post-conflict reconstruction. Meet Michael.
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Augusta, Ga., where my grandmother raised me for 13 years. Eventually I moved to Atlanta for high school and I am a proud Banneker High School alum. Go Trojans!
How did you become a partner with Uber?
I was looking to drive more and knew that I loved being around people and that I have pretty good customer service skills. When I saw an ad for Uber I had to know more. I applied and three weeks later I started driving on July 23, 2014.
Tell us about your time in the military?
My time in the service started with a training right outside of Charleston, SC., on Parris Island. I joined at 18 years old and was immediately sent to California to attend communications school to prepare to be a field operator. I had a chance to defend my country by serving time in Somalia where I completed humanitarian site work and helped ensure that some of the locals received proper nutrition during the restoration period. Our main duty was to provide security. I’ve also been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Seychelles, Japan all by the age of 22. Marine Corps member and I’m proud to say it is our birthday.
How do you celebrate Veteran’s Day?
I currently work in legal services and we typically celebrate as an office by making care packages. We pick out someone who is active duty and send them a package to show our appreciation. I either like to celebrate by giving back to someone who is in the service, or volunteering.
How has being a former service member helped you as an Uber partner?
Definitely gives me something to talk about. I deal with a lot of business-savy riders and know that many of them are globally-oriented. My time in the military expanded my mind and allows me to build those international connections with people. The miltary taught me to understand a wide-range of people which helps me provide quality service as a partner.
Where is the coolest place your military travels have taken you? Your Uber travels?
Military: Hong Kong. It is just such an exciting place. I loved all of the silk pieces and the city’s general hustle and bustle.
Uber: One time I had a trip start in Atlanta Ga, and went all the way to South Georgia, 40 miles North of the Florida border. I had to ask the client several times to make sure that was their actual destination because I just couldn’t believe it. It was a lot of fun, I even went to Tallahassee to visit after dropping them off.
What is your favorite thing about partnering with Uber?
I like the fact that I’m an entrepreneur. I can go on and off the clock at any time. Uber provides the ultimate convenience and I love the people that I meet.
Coolest Uber moment?:
It was during the home opener Falcons game against the Saint. I picked up a woman who was 9 months pregnant, along with her husband to take them to the game. I just thought that it was so cool to drop off a mom who could deliver at any moment. She was a die-hard Saints fan and wouldn’t let anything stop her from catching the game.
Lastly, why are you an Uber partner?
I like being able to get people to their destination, particularly Monday when you have business travelers to the airport. So many people depend on Uber to get from point A to B and it feels amazing to be able to help make that happen in a hassle-free manner.
Veterans Day is a day to honor those who have served and protect the freedom of our country. However, at Uber we believe in honoring those brave men and women 365 days a year. We know that transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging and that veterans are some of our nation’s most talented and skilled leaders. That’s why we’ve launched UberMILITARY: our new program to introduce service members, veterans and military spouses to Uber and empower them as entrepreneurs and small business owners. Over the next 18 months, we will on-board 50,000 members of the military community to the Uber platform.
To all veterans, thank you.
We’re excited to expand the Uber for Business platform beyond business travel, to include a world-class customer transportation solution, Uber Central. With Uber Central, organizations of all shapes and sizes can now easily provide on-demand, door-to-door transportation for their customers, clients, and guests.
A little over a year ago, we set out to put a new spin on an old classic–make reliable food delivery available at the tap of a button. Back then, we started by offering food in the UberEATS app from 1,000 pioneering restaurant partners in four cities. And today, more than 40,000 restaurants globally–from poke shops to pasta spots–are sharing food with customers through UberEATS. With a growing restaurant community comes more choices and more complexity. So we’re cooking up features to continue to make UberEATS easy and reliable. Here is a taste–
This flu season, we’re delivering free flu-fighting care packages across the country. When you receive a pack, you’ll have the option to request a free flu shot from a registered nurse–for up to 5 people.