Making a Difference

A Day to Honor - and Enjoy

A beloved cousin and Sanofi’s support of the military have shaped how Sheila Noonan, Manager, NA Communications, views Memorial Day.

I always wanted a brother, but instead, I had a cousin who was like one, Tom Rowe. He lived in Maine, I’m from New Jersey, but despite the miles, when the families got together, we were tight. Tom made everyone feel that way – his sense of humor, a love for the outdoors and a deep faith made him special to everyone who knew him.

Tom Rowe

Tom loved to fly and was a navigator in the U.S. Air Force, becoming a captain and completing several domestic and international tours. On April 28, 1992, while stationed at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, Tom was on a training mission with eight other crew members. During the exercise, the C-130 cargo plane circled a lake for several minutes before rolling over and entering the water. None of the crew members survived, including my 30-year-old cousin, and many hearts were broken and lives changed forever that day.

As Memorial Day approaches, the loss of Tom takes prevalence in my mind, although I miss him throughout the year. At the same time, Memorial Day makes me appreciate the many ways Sanofi US stands by our military and veterans. I am proud to work for a company that values the skills veterans bring to the civilian workforce and has policies for employees who are active reservists. Sanofi was the founding sponsor of the Rutgers Mini-MBA for Veterans and Military, and our VETS Employee Resource Group works tirelessly to volunteer at and support nonprofit organizations that serve homeless veterans and provides a peer-to-peer helpline.

Memorial Day is a time to honor those military who died in service to our country. Please find a way to do so in your community or take a moment for quiet reflection. And don’t forget to have fun with family and friends! My cousin Tom wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Tom Rowe