Two Inspirational Workers

If you have ever called the Biloxi or Gulfport V.A., you have probably spoken to Rhonda Brown or Mark Peveto. They are switchboard operators, and since first impressions are always very important, their jobs are critical. Rhonda says she loves what she does. "I love people, I love the work." Rhonda came to the Coast, and took the job shortly after she got married a year ago. Kimberli James is Rhonda and Mark's supervisor, about working with Mark and Rhonda Kimberli says, "At first, it was shocking, because maybe like other people, I was thinking how do they do this job." Rhonda and Mark have both been totally blind since birth. They field calls almost non stop all day long and route those calls to the appropriate person. Through the use of some sophisticated technology and a lot of know how, Rhonda and Mark pull it off, exceedingly well. "There are certain things we wonder golly, how are we going to handle this but we always figure out a way to do it, there is nothing in here we can't do almost," according to Mark. Mark and Rhonda say the word disability is not a part of their vocabulary. In fact, Rhonda and her trusty companion, Sasha, went to college three thousand miles from home, everybody told her she couldn't do it because of her blindness. In fact, Rhonda says, " I was told by a counselor that I could never major in music, and I left school with a three point nine eight average in my music. " Rhonda is planning on studying for her masters, amd becoming a music therapist. Mark set up most of the highly sophisticated computer system they use at the switchboard. And there's one other thing, about Rhonda and Mark you might want to know. They are husband and wife, and work side by side, all day long. They say they love each other dearly, and know that destiny brought them together. They make a pretty impresssive team, and the folks at the V.A. are mighty glad to have them. By Jeff Lawson