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Celebrating Veterans throughout the US and Puerto Rico this Veterans Day

sgraye

hobdetroit1.jpgHome of the Brave volunteers in Detroit, MI.

Seven years ago, Hewlett Packard Company launched our Veterans Program.  The program included four tenets, talent attraction, and acquisition, career development, community impact, and engagement.

 

bedfordvaprogram.jpgBedford VA Veterans Day Celebration

The Home of the Brave Campaign was launched in 2012 in collaboration with the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Services (VAVS) – to recognize our US military veterans and their family members as well as caregivers for their service. 

We started by volunteering at 12 VA Medical Centers.  This year, close to 500 Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees are volunteering with employees from other Home of the Brave Campaign partners; Perspecta, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Microfocus and Soldiers Angels in support of over 120 VA locations.

 

 At each event, volunteers provide Veterans a thank you card for their service and a t-shirt.  The size and scope of each event vary from location to location.  The type of events vary by location but include parades, concerts, ceremonies, bingo games, pizza parties, cookouts and more.

Some of our events this year have included:

Ronald Wiggins led our effort at the Edith Nourse Rogers Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA where our volunteers escorted Veterans to a great concert in their honor featuring the Vocal Revolution, Synchrony and the Express Lane Barbershop Quartet.  After the concert, the Veterans were treated to delicious root beer floats.

bedfordva.jpgHome of the Brave Campaign Volunteers - Bedford, MA

Christy Johnson led our effort at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.  Our volunteers visited 52 patient rooms, supported a Veterans Day ceremony and distributed 648 t-shirts to Veterans giving them our thanks for their service.

 

northcarolinagivingthanks.jpgPresentation of Honor Coin to HPE employee and military veteran, John Edwards

Presentation of Honor Coin to HPE employee and military veteran, John Edwards Bonham, Texas, Ron Diehl and a group of volunteers visited patient rooms providing them a gift bag including a pen, stress ball, LED light and microfiber cloth.  After, they held a celebration where they played games and provided refreshments as well as door prizes in the event center.

Denise Carman organized two events at the Durham VA Hospital.  This past Saturday they served as Veteran escorts to a concert by the Durham Community Orchestra (performed by all Veterans).  In addition, to helping escort Veterans our volunteers passed out t-shirts.  HPE employee, John Edwards, received a special challenge coin in honor of being a Veteran Volunteer from Ronni Miller, Chief of Voluntary services at the Durham VA.

 

 

  

In South Carolina, Corne Van Dongen organized a Veterans Celebration complete with a cookout for over 500 Veterans.  The event included a ceremony complete with inspirational keynote speakers. 

grillinginsouthcarolina.pngGrilling for over 500 Veterans in Columbia, SC.

The VA Palo Alto Healthcare System – Menlo Park Campus, held a Veterans Day Ceremony including Adrian Stevens.  While at the hospital, volunteers visited patient rooms, staffed a Veterans Day Ceremony complete with music and refreshments and more.  Estella Pok did a great job organizing our efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Buffalo Home of the Brave team partnered with the Military Officers Association of America to co-sponsor a Veteran Thank You Party during the Buffalo Bills Football Game.  The MOAA proved refreshments and Home of the Brave provided prizes including t-shirts, gift cards and other donations provided by community partners.  The party was a big hit and everyone was asking when it will be next year.

hobpaloaltogroup.pngHome of the Brave Campaign volunteers at the VA in Menlo Park, CA

Rainy weather didn’t stop the Home of the Brave Campaign volunteers in San Antonio.  They passed out sunglasses, candy, socks, and t-shirts a Bar-B-Que at the Fisher House.

In Denver, Home of the Brave Campaign Jeff Todd led a group of volunteers who handed out over 250 t-shirts, 7 boxes of food and our partner Soldiers Angels distributed 50 knitted blankets and shawls.  Volunteers visited patients throughout the hospital – patient rooms, the intensive care unit, cancer, and dialysis ward lobbies, pharmacy, and the emergency room lobby.

HOBdenver.pngHome of the Brave Campaign volunteers at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in DenverDetroit, Michigan Veterans at the John Dingell VA were provided handwritten letters written by 60 students at a local elementary school, Trombly Elementary School thanks to the leadership of Irene Momper and her team of volunteers.  Lucky Veterans were provided bags, hats and socks as well as Home of the Brave t-shirts as our volunteers visited with them and thanked them for their service.

detroitva.jpgA thank you note written by an elementary student for Veterans Day.

In Hawaii, Bingo is held with the residents at the Community Living Center in Honolulu.  We received a note of thanks earlier today from the Neurologic Music Therapist at this site who share that Veterans wear their t-shirts year round, in fact, its’ kinda part of their uniform now.  They also love baseball caps and other prizes.

The Voluntary Services Manager from the Canandaigua VA Medical Center sent a note of thanks to our leader Nathan Sirvent.  Our volunteers were thanked for their help escorting Veterans to their annual Veterans Day Celebration and of course for their t-shirts. 

Lance Hagert led a team of 25 volunteers at the Minneapolis VA.  Volunteers visited with patients and went room to room providing a commemorative t-shirt and card thanking them for their service.

HOB- VA-MPLS 11-9-18 (002).jpgHome of the Brave volunteers in MinneapolisThe Veteran Health Care System of the Ozarks was visited by Christopher McCormick.  He volunteered at a Veterans Day Observance event.

This just briefly summarizes some of the Home of the Brave Campaign events our employees participated in this week.  And several more are planned for the remainder of this week.

The key lesson I have learned is what we can each achieve when we have a dream we believe in and take the steps to make the dream a reality.  I have been blessed to partner with Katie Bowen, now at Perspecta, Soldiers Angels and too many incredible volunteers to individually name.

As I read through the stories of the lives our volunteers have touched…I feel so privileged to be a small part of a program that thanks those who have given so much for the freedom we sometimes take for granted.

This year, the Home of the Brave Campaign is part of the HPE Global Day of Service.  I am fortunate to work for a company that prioritizes making a difference in our communities and recognizes the importance of Tikkum Olam – the aspiration to behave and acts constructively and beneficially to make this world a better place.

In addition to the Home of the Brave Campaign, our employees are participating in the #22pushupchallenge this year.  The 22 signifies the average number of veterans who perish due to suicide each year.  Employees have been posting videos of themselves completing the challenge on the HPE internal social media channel to bring awareness to and help fundraise to provide much-needed support to our nations Veterans.

Wishing you each a very Happy Veterans Day.  Join me in thanking those who have served for making a difference.  And honoring the memory of my late father, and Army Vet, Meyer Margolis for his service to our country.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

Learn more about Hewlett Packard Enterprise Military Veterans Program explore career opportunities and join us! 

 

 

 

Susan Graye
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About the Author

sgraye

Talent Acquisition and Attraction

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