As a veteran of the Vietnam War and a graduate of West Point, Veterans Day touches me personally and professionally. It’s vitally important that as a nation we have a day that recognizes those who are serving—and those who have served—in the United States Armed Forces. It brings both a sense of history and purpose to those who have chosen to serve their country. I always look at those who served before and after me with respect and pride for what they’ve done.
I can also take professional pride because here at SRI, supporting our armed forces is a large part of what we do. And one thing that our teams of researchers never forget is that what they do will have a direct impact on someone’s life and on the well-being of those who serve. We do not develop technology for technology’s sake. We link that technology to the actual person on the ground, in the air, or at sea to help service men and women perform at the highest levels. When we put tools into the hands of the people serving their country, they have to be the best.
Every R&D division of SRI contributes to our armed forces and the security of our nation. Developing technology and getting it in the hands of our soldiers, coupled with the quality of our staff, is why I enjoy working at SRI so much.
Right now, SRI technologies are deployed in Afghanistan. We have training programs that are protecting the lives of the Army National Guard, and we’re developing new systems that use augmented reality. We are working to improve detection capabilities for nuclear, biological, and chemical agents. We are helping government agencies better defend against cyber warfare. We are developing technology to turn bad water into clean drinking water—which is important not only in a war zone but after hurricanes and other natural disasters. And our education and learning technologies can be utilized by the Department of Defense (DOD) to train soldiers and veterans.
Veterans themselves are important members of SRI and our community of innovation. They bring an understanding of the military customer—their needs, why they are important, the difference they make, and how to get new solutions through the system. Veterans speak the language of the DOD customer, they know the people, and they have been exposed to leadership and management situations that others have not. They are focused and know how to get things done.
Happy Veterans Day from me and from all of us at SRI. Thank you for your service.