Finding the Beat at RHA: A Veteran’s Story

Dewey “DJ” James is a Regional Quality Assurance Specialist with RHA in NC. Before DJ joined the team at RHA, though, he joined the Army.

From 1984 to 1988 DJ was stationed in Germany serving as a Communications Specialist. In 1988, he retired from active duty but remained in the Army reserves until 1990.

“[The army] was a gateway for me to start off my life. They showed me how to be dedicated to what I wanted to do and taught me different leadership techniques to use in the world. It was a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” DJ said.

In 1991, DJ took a position as a youth program specialist with Job Corps and worked for two years in Maryland before ultimately leaving that position and moving to Fayetteville, North Carolina in 2001. He took a new job but recalls that it didn’t quite feel right. One day a few years later, a friend approached him about interviewing for a position with RHA.

“I was excited. I told myself, ‘If I get this job, I’m going to stick with it.’ And I have. I really feel like I belong at RHA, and the leadership here – people like Deborah Johnson, Jan Herring, and John White – have taught me a lot. They gave me room to fail and taught me how to grow from those failures.”

DJ has been with RHA since January of 2003. In 2007, he moved into his current role of Regional Quality Assurance Specialist where he has become an invaluable member of the team. DJ’s supervisor, Amber Duggins, said:

“We are so grateful to DJ for his service to our country as well as to the people we support at RHA. DJ truly has a passion for the people and the teams he works with every day.  He is willing to step in and support his teams in any way he can, and he remains positive regardless of what the day may bring.”

After nearly two decades with RHA, DJ says there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.

“When I left the army in 1988, I remember sharing my thoughts about being a soldier, my service life, and where I thought I was in my life at that time with my dad. My dad, who himself served in the Marines, explained to me… that a person must find their beat in life. I can say I found the beat first when I enlisted in the army, and then found the beat again within RHA over the years. It’s been a perfect beat for me and my family and continues to be to this very day.”

Thank you for your service, DJ, and for your commitment to excellence at RHA! We are so happy to have you here.