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Service Through Sacrifice

For NOVEC foreman, work is a family affair

July 2024

(Photo by Jim Robertson)

by Jim Robertson, Staff Writer

A former servant to his country as a U.S. Coast Guardsman, Kyle Sarvis has served the members of Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative for nearly 13 years. The line crew foreman and his wife, Tristin, have two children who were excited to cheer for their daddy at this year’s Gaff-n-Go Rodeo.

“Kyle became a lineman six months after we got married,” says Tristin, whose father also served as a Coast Guardsman. “I’ve never been prouder of him.”

Linework is a demanding profession that is accompanied by many sacrifices, including holidays, birthdays and other milestone events. “As hard as it is for us, it’s even harder for the guys,” says Tristin. “But they’re out supporting their families and strangers’ families in times of need.” That includes a power outage on Christmas in frigid conditions, getting soaked in a three-day rainstorm, and dodging falling tree limbs in 60-mph winds.

For Sarvis, not a day goes by without his loving wife worrying. “There isn’t a single job they have where something couldn’t go wrong,” she says. Tristin is appreciative of Kyle’s commitment to safety — no shortcuts. As a foreman, his No. 1 priority is ensuring all crew members return home safely to their families. He brings that lifestyle home with him too. Safety is everything.

Kyle Sarvis (left) holds his son, Karsen, on his shoulders while his daughter, Beau, is held by coworker Chris Fasenmyer so they both could be with their father at the awards banquet following the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo. (Photo by Jim Robertson)


Tristin and the kids were at the Gaff-n-Go rodeo this year to support Kyle. “I have attended at least 10 rodeos,” she says. “The sheer determination and dedication you see from them is astonishing. Most of the atmosphere there are wives or family members supporting their husbands, brothers, fathers, friends or even coworkers. All around you see pillars of support.

“My son, Karsen, kept saying Daddy was like a monkey and goes super-fast! And my daughter, Beau, of course, is such a daddy’s girl that she couldn’t help but worry. They cheered for the team and, afterwards, wouldn’t leave their side.”


Working for a cooperative is often described as being part of a co-op family, and that includes the employee’s spouse and children. Tristin values the relationships she has with the spouses of Kyle’s coworkers.

“There’s been times when other wives will reach out to Kyle for Christmas gift ideas for their husbands since they are on the same crew,” she says. “A lot of these women I’ve known since Kyle started working. I’ve seen their kids grow up. They have seen us before kids and now, with two and another on the way.”

Finding the right words is challenging for Tristin to adequately tell Kyle how unbelievably proud they are to have him. “He’s an amazing father who shows his children what it’s like to work hard, lead without hesitation, and, if you’re not sure, find out the answer.”

Kyle’s crew members share her sentiment. They appreciate his willingness to climb into the bucket with them and provide as much instruction as possible regarding new tasks or approaches to those tasks.

Tristin describes the best part of her day as seeing how her kids’ faces light up when they are outside playing, and they see Kyle’s truck pull into the driveway. “They yell, ‘Mommy, Daddy’s home!’ Watching them literally climb his legs to get close to him while he has all his bags in his hands. Still, he holds them, comes to me, hugs me, kisses me and asks me how my day was.”

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