By Allison Stowe
Phillips 66 Corporate Communications
Combat veteran and Phillips 66 employee Mark Fackler knows the statistics all too well: On any given year, up to 20% of Iraq War veterans are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Fackler himself suffered from it, and tells a compelling story of his years-long journey back from the brink.
"My life is a miracle every day I am alive and the fact that Phillips 66 gave me a chance when nobody else would is something I will never be able to repay them for," said Fackler, now an information management coordinator for Midstream Services.
Fackler, who served eight years in the Air Force before joining the Marines in 2000, was part of the 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF), tasked with the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. After his discharge in 2005, he said he spent nearly 10 "tough, unrelenting years" trying to get back on his feet. It started out well, with him earning his master's in education and teaching certificate. But, with his PTSD undiagnosed, his life destabilized and at one point he ended up homeless.
He said it was another statistic that motivated him to turn things around.
"I was determined to not be one of the 20 or so vets a day who take their own lives," he said. "So I pulled myself up and earned my MBA."
He eventually interviewed with Thomas Renfro, a supervisor of Information Systems at Phillips 66 who is now retired, for an opening on his team.
"He was a Navy guy himself and he kind of knew about Marines and our tenacity and our work ethic," Fackler said. "So he gave me a chance and my whole life changed."
He was hired in 2014 as an analyst.
Phillips 66, in fact, has a longstanding commitment to hiring veterans, and in 2018 they accounted for 7.6 % of its workforce. The company also has become involved with a Corporate Fellowship Program through Hiring Our Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiative that allows military members to get professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce.
Phillips 66 Chairman and CEO Greg Garland has said that it's the company's job to take care of those who take care of their country.
"It’s that kind of commitment to veterans that makes me feel at home here at Phillips 66," Fackler said. "It brings out a fierce sense of loyalty in me."