Making a Difference Where We Live and Work
Our employees are no stranger to service. Whether through duty in the Armed Forces or community outreach where we live and work, the Lockheed Martin team knows what it means to give back.
With nearly 100,000 employees across the globe, the impact of our team through community service is vast. In 2018, 2,450 Lockheed Martin employees were honored with a President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for their substantial work in 2017. Thirty of those also received the prestigious Lifetime Service Award for 4,000 or more hours.
If you really want to know the heart of Lockheed Martin, meet Gene, Paula, Cheri, Pat, Julianne, Carl, Crystal, Benito, Mary and Troy.
Gene Richards’ life is one full of service and gratitude. Growing up in a military family, Gene developed a strong appreciation for what you have and giving back to others. In his constant effort to give, Gene made the noblest action of service and joined the United States Air Force and is now an honored disabled veteran. Filtering down what his parents taught him, his family also followed in his footsteps of servitude. In March of 2011, Gene’s daughter was serving in the Air Force stationed at Misawa, Japan when a tsunami struck the coast. Her husband was deployed to the Middle East at the time, and the base evacuated the dependents. With his daughter unable to leave, she boarded her two small sons on a plane with other families bound for California, where Gene traveled from Texas to meet them.
As Gene waited for his grandsons, he looked around and noticed the waiting families and welcoming USO volunteers, who were providing food and refreshments to everyone. In that moment, Gene knew the USO was how he wanted to continue his service. Starting November 2013, Gene volunteered via the local USO at the Dallas Fort Worth airport every Saturday morning, and also began supporting company-sponsored USO care packaging events for military members overseas. Gene has been honored with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award each year since, and recently earned his 1,000 USO volunteer hour pin. Looking back it was the appreciation he had for those that greeted his family in California that influenced him to serve and help military members and families on a consistent basis.
When Cheri’s youngest child “left the nest” and enlisted in the Army, she decided to user her new found free time to volunteer. After reading about Soldiers’ Angels and their opportunities to serve coffee and pastries to veterans receiving care at the Denver VA hospital, she decided it was perfect for her.
“My first time volunteering at the VA Hospital coffee station was by far one of my most humbling and rewarding experiences,” Cheri shares. “The Vets and their families are so appreciative for that cup of coffee and donut, even though many of them are suffering. It makes you realize that life is not to be taken for granted. “
Cheri volunteers regularly at the Soldiers’ Angels coffee station and walks away each time with the same feeling – the feeling that she was able to make a hero smile with something as simple as a cup of coffee. “Because of them, and the sacrifices they have made, we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today. I love listening to their stories and seeing their smiles as they walk away. It is the least I can do for all that they have done for us.”
Julianne Wilson has always loved working with children, and as a female in engineering, she believes it is important to inspire kids to pursue their passions. One of her favorite volunteer activities is at the Colorado School of Mines during Engineers Week every year, where she visits with local high school and college students to mentor them about education and STEM careers.
“Volunteering is an opportunity to pay forward the lessons I’ve learned through circumstances and influences that got me to where I am today,” says Julianne. “Throughout my education and my young career, I’ve had many mentors who provided opportunities and inspiration. I would like to be the same for those that follow.”
As a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Benito Avendano is passionate about veteran initiatives and supporting community veteran programs; logging in well over 100 volunteer hours in 2017. Last year he led the “Flags for Fallen Vets” project at the South Florida National Cemetery in West Palm Beach. This initiative places a flag at every grave in recognition of the fallen’s service and acknowledgement of Memorial Day. As the volunteer coordinator, Benito organized a troop of 400 volunteers to place 18,000 grave-side flags ahead of the holiday; and another 200 volunteers a week later to remove them. Not to mention he helped raise more than $6,000 to purchase the flags.
Benito is also very active with the Camaraderie Foundation, which provides counseling for all branches of Military Service Members, Veterans and their families. He serves as a mentor for the Mentor Leadership Program and was the spokesperson for the 2017 Ruck Sack Race, which raised more than $72,000 for the Foundation. As a participant, he placed second in the 5K run carrying a 30-lb ruck sack.
In her own words, “The act of volunteering is recognizing that there is more to the world than your immediate surroundings.” An ever-vigilant servant leader, Mary Baltimore seeks opportunities to improve the life of others and foster the belief of a better tomorrow.
Homelessness is at the core of her efforts, as she too came from these beginnings. Her mother, a powerful, loving woman, consistently sacrificed and ensured that Mary’s future was one of opportunities despite their circumstances. She continuously worked hard and yet, despite best efforts, life sometimes presented trials and tribulations that altered their path. In a way, Mary says, “My background helps me understand the veterans and their homeless situations.”
Whether combating veteran homelessness, volunteering to refurbish veteran homes, sending care packages to our troops, promoting STEAM, or revitalizing community centers, Mary’s intent is to always show gratitude and appreciation toward others, to give thanks for service and sacrifice, to embrace the uniqueness of each individual, and to show students that any one – including someone from the most challenging of backgrounds – can rise above any situation.
Living by the Winston Churchill quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” Troy Lambert volunteers for the chance to promote STEM education and stimulate kids' minds in new and amazing ways.
“STEM education is important to me because it has profoundly changed my life. After building my first computer during a sixth-grade afterschool program, engineering was no longer just Star Trek on TV, but something I could touch and see for myself. Any time I step outside myself to volunteer, I am providing an opportunity to engage and create a different experience for a student, or sometimes even other educators.”
For Troy, volunteering is the manifestation of the love, blessings and lessons life has afforded him.