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June 3, 2014

On May 28, San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) staff participated in the “Service, Sacrifice and Transition” event, a tribute to U.S. military and veterans. The Qualcomm-sponsored evening featured a screening of the movie Lone Survivor; a military/veterans panel discussion; highlights of two nonprofit organizations, the Navy SEAL Foundation and Workshops for Warriors; and a reception where attendees had the opportunity to learn more about organizations and resources that benefit veterans and their families.

Steve Sprigg, senior vice president of engineering for Qualcomm Technologies, offered welcome remarks to guests. Sprigg underscored Qualcomm’s commitment to providing positive work-related experiences to those who are transitioning from military to civilian life. 

Hernán Luis y Prado, president of Workshops for Warriors, discussed his nonprofit, which works to place veterans and wounded warriors into advanced manufacturing careers. Rear Admiral Garry J. Bonelli spoke about the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community members and their families. 

Attendees were then invited to view the movie Lone Survivor, the true story of the only survivor of U.S. Navy SEAL Operation Redwing, Fire Team Leader Marcus Luttrell, and the firefight that led to the largest loss of life in U.S. Navy SEAL history. Donna Axelson—mother of Navy SEAL Matthew Axelson, who died in the firefight—offered moving remarks before the screening (pictured at right). 

Mark Nanzer, director of adult programs at SDWP, says Donna’s speech was a highlight of the event for him. “Donna’s emotional words celebrating her son’s life and service to our country were truly inspiring,” he says. “The work of Donna and her family in honoring Matthew carries on as they are highly sought after national speakers on the topic of military families and sharing the legacy of courage and commitment.”

Following the film, active and former military members took part in a panel discussion about the challenges and keys to success in the transition from military to civilian life. The panel was moderated by Nathan Fletcher, senior director of global strategic initiatives for Qualcomm. Fletcher is a former state assemblyman who represented California’s 75th District. He was the first combat veteran of the Global War on Terror to serve in the California State Legislature.

“Fletcher led a wonderful panel discussion that provided tremendous insight into the military experience—both as a veteran and family members,” says SDWP CEO Peter Callstrom. “Qualcomm is to be commended for its long-standing support of veterans as they transition into civilian life and work.”

About Qualcomm’s commitment to veterans, Fletcher explains, “We all have an obligation to not only honor the memory of the fallen, but support and assist the returning veterans as they make the transition home,” he says. “Qualcomm has long been a supporter of both of these efforts, and this evening was a moving testament to the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice but also a highlight of great organizations that strive valiantly to help our wounded warriors and returning veterans with their transition.”

Donations were accepted for the spotlighted nonprofit organizations Navy SEAL Foundation and Workshops for Warriors.

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