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People of Lockheed Martin: Meet Jake

Name: Jake

Years at Lockheed Martin: One year

What is your current position? I am a Senior Quality Engineer.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities? My job deals with new pieces of hardware and software. These pieces are currently in development. This involves various flight tests to ensure that safety requirements are met or exceeded. Aside from the development side of my job, I represent the quality organization and everything associated with it.

Can you tell us about your military service? One afternoon, my company was on a routine patrol in Kandahar when I stepped on an improvised explosion device (IED). In a split second, my entire life changed. I immediately lost my left leg below the knee in the explosion. I was medically evacuated from the battlefield to a hospital in Germany. I was fully conscious, so I called my family and then-girlfriend at the time to tell them what happened, and they flew out to welcome me in Germany. After that, I don't remember much. I had excessive blood loss. Doctors determined that I would lose my other leg and the extreme loss of blood from my extremities resulted in an anoxic brain injury. I was out of it for a month or so in a coma.

When I woke up, I had to start all over again and I spent the next year literally getting back on my feet with prosthetics. Since, I married the woman who stood by my side, had two wonderful kids, finished the Boston Marathon and started here at Lockheed Martin. Quitting isn't in my DNA. I don't see myself as this crazy person that overcame so much. When I think about it, I lost my legs. Did it stink? Yeah, it's not cool, but I can't rewind time. There's two options - feel bad for yourself and pity yourself, or think, "What can I do to make this the best that I can?

If quitting isn’t in your DNA either, think about joining the Lockheed Martin team.