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5 Questions with Guy Miner

5 Questions with Guy Miner

Meet Guy Miner, our Director of Facilities. Guy makes sure everything at the center is in working order and pretty as well! Guy has been at SCCA Proton Therapy Center since May 2012, when he helped get the proton therapy center up and running. Guy also has a public face at our graduations, presiding over an integral part of the celebration.

How did you end up at SCCA Proton Therapy Center?

I lost a bet…

NO, not really!  I started life as a Combat Aviator and a Nuclear/Chemical/Biological Warfare Officer. There’s not much call for that particular skillset in the ‘real’ world, so I had to reinvent myself after I left the Army. With the help of a friend in Human Resources, I found out that I did other, more marketable things, while in the military; I had been responsible for Mess Halls, Motor Pools, Brigade Headquarters, the Barracks, Aircraft Hangars and Training Areas - I was a ‘Facility Guy!’ After this professional re-awakening, I operated and maintained buildings all across the United States and Canada. One day, I got a call from a Head Hunter. He was looking for someone who was not only an accomplished Facilities Management Professional, but someone who would like to take on the challenge of opening a cancer treatment center. Army Officers love a challenge, so I began the journey that led me to the finest proton therapy center in the world.

What’s your favorite part about working at the center?

I take care of the center and its critical systems, it is true, but there is more to it than that; I take care of people.  After all the things I have done in my professional life, I finally feel that I am using all of my talents and experience for a noble purpose; to heal people of cancer.

What’s your proudest career moment?

It is a military tradition to give Challenge Coins to soldiers who have distinguished themselves in the performance of their duties. The coins represent their Unit and their honor and valor. I have a collection of theses coins; each one reminds me of a place, a time and a struggle - and a victory. Each week, I have the honor of presenting our graduating patients with our own Challenge Coin. Like its military counterpart, the coin represents the recipient’s valor in the face of life-threatening opposition. 

One day I presented a coin to a young Marine. His infant daughter had been diagnosed with a brain tumor while he was in Afghanistan and we treated her while he was away.  He arrived home just in time for his daughter’s graduation. He cried as I gave him the coin for his little girl. I had never seen a Marine cry before…  I cried. I told him to tell his daughter all about that day and about her coin when she was old enough to understand. His wife came up and stood beside him and we shared an indescribable moment of understanding, gratitude and joy. Then that young man removed something from his pocket and pressed it into my hand. “I’ve carried this for a long time. Please take it,” he said. “The coin you gave my daughter today means more to me than this one ever did.”   Soldiers often trade coins as a sign of respect. The coin that he had given me was a coin from Air Force 2, the Presidential Helicopter.

Just last week I received another coin from another young man; a brother-in-arms who, like the young Marine, returned honor for honor and reminded me of who I am, what I do and why I do it. 

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I play the guitar and the banjo (Nashville won’t return my calls)

I build things. I fix things. My wife says there’s nothing broken that I can’t fix, and if I can’t fix it, it really needed to be thrown out, anyway.

I am a mechanic. I work on cars, airplanes and helicopters. I once helped rebuild a PT-17 Stearman, like the one below. Real airplanes have two wings and a round engine!  

Tell us a good joke!

How can you tell if the stage is level at a Bluegrass Concert? The banjo player is drooling out of BOTH sides of his mouth!