In Tioga County, a financial institution with roots that go back 155 years is doing its part to support local veterans.
We spoke with Tioga State Bank’s 5th generation leader who credits his time spent in the military with preparing him for the rigors of the banking world.
Bob Fisher says he knew he wanted to fly at an early age.
So he joined the Air Force in 1989, serving 3 years in active duty followed by another year and a half in the reserves.
Captain Fisher flew missions toward the end of the Persian Gulf War. He says his service had a lasting impact on him.
Fisher says, “It provides discipline, helps you to be organized in terms of work, provides you with a lot of foundation to help you be successful doing other things in your life.”
Fisher was a navigator on a C-141 plane, conducting air drops of paratroopers and cargo from an altitude of 800 feet off the ground. He quickly learned that timing is crucial for a successful mission.
“One of the biggest life lessons that I had was when my First Squadron Commander, when I had a meeting with him, he said, ‘If you’re not 10 minutes early, then you’re late.’ So, that’s always something that I’ve kept in my life as far as trying to be early for meetings.”
Among the more memorable missions was a show of force air drop along the Iraq-Kuwaiti border after coalition forces had driven Iraqi troops from Kuwait.
Another was a large deployment of paratroopers to Botswana near the border with South Africa as a way of expressing the U-S government’s displeasure with South African leaders. After returning to Tioga County following his service, Fisher looked for opportunities to employ other veterans.
He says Tioga State Bank has a high proportion of vets on staff for a company its size.
“If you think about veterans, and what they’ve sacrificed and given up for our country, I think it’s important for us as business owners to be able to support them when they come back if they’re looking to go back into the private work life. It’s helping those who have given to us.”
Tioga State Bank also participates in Small Business Administration loan programs aimed at supporting veteran-owned businesses.
Fisher says his time in the military gave him the foundation to be successful in life.