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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District News

Employee Spotlight: Geza Horvath

Published July 9, 2014
Geza Horvath is the Security Assistant at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District.

Geza Horvath is the Security Assistant at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District.

As the security assistant at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District, Geza Horvath is one of the first people new hires meet when they arrive. He prepares their common access, security badges and runs background checks.

Geza grew up in Sonora, Calif., and graduated from Sonora Union High School. He retired from the Oklahoma National Guard after 17 years in 2010. In 2008, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he sustained a combat injury from an improvised explosive device while on a convoy mission. He interned at the Tulsa District for two years, through the Wounded Warrior program and was hired in 2010.

Geza is currently enrolled at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, where he is studying Business Management. He and his wife have three children and three grandchildren.

How were you injured in Iraq?

We were approaching a checkpoint and we didn’t see any Iraqi Army or Iraqi Police, so that was a clue that something was going to happen. The first IED went off in front of truck seven and the second went off behind our truck, truck nine. It was determined that it was an explosive formed projectile. I felt the heat come through the crack in the window but luckily there were no visible injuries. Later that day, I started having headaches along with everyone else.

When did you retire from the Oklahoma National Guard?

I retired from the Guard in 2010. I was here at the Tulsa for two years with the Wounded Warrior program. Actually, I was assigned to Public Affairs, and worked for Ross Adkins, when I first arrived.

How does the Wounded Warrior program work?

Wounded soldiers are placed in the Warrior Transition Unit at the military base where they do their out processing. From there, after they receive their medical care, they get transferred to the Community Based Warrior Transition Unit, which allows soldiers to come home to receive their medical treatment and be with family. During that time period, the soldiers have to find a federal facility to work at for accountability purposes. It keeps the soldiers engaged. They intern in different offices.

When you were in the Wounded Warrior program, what did you like about working at the Tulsa District?

From the minute I entered the building, it seemed like I was received with open arms because of the program. Everyone was and still is supportive, not only to myself but to the other soldiers that I bring in. Another duty I have is that I’m the Operation Warfighter coordinator for the District. So, I bring other soldiers in for the Wounded Warrior program so that they can intern here.

Based upon your positive experience with the program, do you feel that working as the district’s coordinator allows you to give back?

Oh, yes. As a matter of fact, after we started our Operation Warfighter program, some of the other districts started their own. To date, about 20 soldiers have come through the program here. I brought other soldiers into the program to intern here before I was the coordinator. When Col. Teague was here, he pointed at me and said, “You’re our Operation Warfighter coordinator. Get me some soldiers.”

What do you like most about your job?

It’s challenging. With all of the jobs I have to do. The customer service isn’t challenging but it is something I enjoy doing. It keeps me engaged.

What do you do for fun?

My therapy is riding my motorcycle. I have a trike. I don’t care for large crowds but riding a bike is a therapy. Just being on the road, being in control, it’s hard to explain. When I was in the Wounded Warrior program, we weren’t allowed to ride motorcycles. So, once I was out of the program, it worked out to where that was my therapy.

Does your wife have a bike?

No but she rides with me. We’ve biked out to Wyoming and we just returned from Tennessee. We went to the Smokey Mountains and visited the home of Buford Pusser. We take little trips like to Branson, Missouri.

What’s the farthest you’ve travelled via motorcycle?

The farthest we’ve travelled by bike is Wyoming. We linked up with some friends out there and visited Yellowstone National Forest and went sightseeing. We had a good time.