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Serving to Secure our Freedom to Pursue Science

Posted by Paul Pirkle, PE, CIH on Nov 11, 2019

At Battelle, we’re celebrating 90 years of service to our customers and our communities. During that long history, we’ve proudly supported science and technology needs for the United States Armed Forces and multiple generations of service members. As an Air Force veteran and a Battelle employee, I look forward to Veterans Day every November 11 as an opportunity to honor the service men and woman who have risked everything to protect our freedom.

Our first government contract in 1939 was to help the U.S. Army improve armor plating for tanks to protect Allied soldiers during WWII. We also contributed to uranium research for the Manhattan Project and later used our expertise to engineer nuclear fuel rods for the USS Nautilus, the Navy’s first atomic-powered submarine. We’ve developed defenses against biological weapons, produced lightweight armored vehicles for warfighters in modern theaters and helped eliminate chemical weapons stockpiles from U.S. military depots.

Today we are leading the Department of Defense effort to optimize deployment health surveillance so that Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen are better protected against health threats they encounter when defending our nation. Battelle has been a trusted partner in the country’s defense, and we’re committed to continuing that mission for the next 90 years.

We also proudly support veterans after their military service ends, through employment and non-profit program support. On this Veterans Day 2019, Battelle announced its support for two premier organizations for veterans. We will donate $70,000 to fully support an Honor Flight Columbus trip to Washington D.C. next May. This flight will take about 100 veterans and 50 volunteers to the nation’s capital to visit the memorials that were built in their honor. In addition, Battelle has made a supplemental gift of $50,000 to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus to advance programming for visitors to the museum.

If you’re not familiar with Honor Flight Columbus, it’s a non-profit organization that has provided America’s senior veterans of World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and Cold War with 102 flights since 2007, transporting 6,387 veterans at no cost. There were nine trips between Columbus and D.C. in 2019 with a similar number slated for 2020, during which veterans visit Arlington National Cemetery and the WWII, Korean and Vietnam War Memorials. They are paired with trained volunteer guardians and enjoy meals and a celebratory send-off and homecoming at the airport.



Honor Flight Columbus - Veteran's Day 2018

I have personally witnessed Honor Flights in action on their trips to visit the memorials. During a business trip to Aberdeen, I stayed in a hotel near BWI. To see a hundred or so veterans from Kansas fill the lobby and elevators with their presence, conversation, and gravitas was incredibly moving. On a similar work trip, I experienced this energy again, this time with a group from Arizona.

I can’t think of a better way to personally honor these great veterans than to provide them a day when they are given true recognition for their heroic sacrifices. It’s great to see Battelle support this, and I know that all of our employees are looking forward to this Honor Flight next Memorial Day and to helping our senior veterans during the visit.

Last year, Battelle donated $500,000 to establish the Battelle Memorial Veteran Education Youth Program to help the new veterans museum develop interactive exhibits and support a paid summer fellowship program for college students. The museum, located in Columbus, OH, honors all branches of military service and is a cultural institution opened in 2018 to serve as a place of inspiration for visitors to understand the experience of veterans.

Battelle also provides financial assistance to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), an organization committed to providing compassionate care to anyone who is grieving the death of someone who died while serving in the military. Our employees have volunteered their time at the Ohio Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp, an annual event that brings together adult and child survivors for a weekend of hope and healing.


If you are a veteran interested in a new mission, learn more about career opportunities at Battelle
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Our mission is to translate scientific and technology discovery into societal impact, and our mission-first culture offers a great opportunity for retired service members. We’re always looking for veterans to join our ranks.

Thank you for your service to our country.

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