A few weeks ago, two friends and I went paintballing. It was a new experience for me and I have to admit it was fun. But at one point, when paintballs suddenly zipped out of nowhere and left several stinging welts, I recalled as a child, watching a late 60s/early 70s interview with a U.S. soldier in Vietnam who was expressing his anger, sadness and frustration at not being able to see the enemy, how chaos took over when firefights broke out, and how all he could do was duck behind something and raise his rifle above his head and fire blindly in the direction of the enemy.
In no way can I say that my experience was anywhere near equal to what many of our veterans have gone through—if I got “killed,” I still got to go home and see my family—but in some very tiny way I can understand some of the fear he experienced. Let’s just say for me, it added a little more substance to the phrase “war is hell.”
Today is Veteran’s Day, a day all of us should take some time to reflect on what our veterans have done for us and, in so doing, have sacrificed. Qualcomm and its employees are proud supporters of military veterans and their families, and 2013 has been particularly busy and rewarding.
USS Midway Museum Walkdown and Painting Project
This year, the Thursday before Veteran’s Day, a number of Qualcomm employees conducted a Foreign Object Damage (FOD) walkdown on the USS Midway to prep/clean up the famous aircraft carrier for the formal Veterans Day event taking place today. The walkdown also simulates a routine activity performed on active carriers to prevent foreign debris from getting sucked into aircraft engines and damaging them. The group then went into the “bowels” of the carrier to paint the hallways adjacent to the enlisted berths (sleeping areas) used for the museum’s Youth Overnight Programs.
On Veteran’s Day, the Qualcomm Military Veterans employee resource network recognizes the day with a flag raising ceremony held on the main campus, followed by comments from an executive speaker and a military guest.
Qualcomm Corporate Integration Program for Warrior Veterans
The Qualcomm Corporate Integration Program for Warrior Veterans (QCIP-Warriors) is a twice-annual, eight-week corporate integration program that takes place at Qualcomm with the assistance of internal volunteers and the local military community. The program is designed to reach out to veterans who are transitioning into the civilian world, some of whom have sustained either physical or emotional injuries as a result of their deployment. The paid, part-time program is regimented yet flexible in that some of the veterans may be actively transitioning from the military and still attending ongoing appointments, counseling or treatment. This is the sixth time in two years we have sponsored the twice annual and to date, we have a better than 80% success rate of all past Warriors who have completed the program into full-time employment and/or internships to include Qualcomm.
Into the Fire – Understanding our Veterans
Into the Fire is a play/representation presented at Qualcomm about the topic of returning vets with disabilities or combat related trauma, and about vets integrating back into their families and the workforce. The production was attended by Qualcomm employees, organizations that support transitioning veterans, and community partners.
To all veterans—present and passed—we salute you and thank you.