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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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A Message From the Wounded Warriors Project

Presented at the HHS and FDA Virtual Hiring Event, Nov. 3, 2011

Flight deck, you can’t hear nothing.  You got sound protection, ear protection on you you’re worried about, depending on you in the gulf, its ridiculously hot.  It’s over 100 degrees then you got the jet blast going and you got to always be on the lookout because when you got that many plans coming in, you got the trip wires then you got the drills, it’s always something going on.  It is a constant reminder from everybody that you can always get hurt because nearly everyday, somebody does.

Enter the fall of 2001, that day came for sailor Troy Reynolds; deployed, soon after the September 11th attacks, Reynolds was serving on board the USS Enterprise as it headed towards Afghanistan.  One day, in what he describes as a freak accident, he hurt his leg and back.  In an instant, his time on the flight deck of Enterprise was over.

You don’t really win when you’re going against a steal deck.

Troy would eventually leave the Navy in 2006 at a time when his life was at a cross roads.  Still dealing with the lingering effects of his injury, he now had to find a new direction for his career.  Troy got his bachelors degree in 2009 and was able to find jobs here and there.  Keeping them, was another matter.

It was difficult, because nobody really wants to work with somebody that has limitations who can’t stand, certain things you typically see somebody my size you want to get most the use you can out of somebody like that.

Job after job nothing seem to fit Troys needs and allowed him to spend the time he wanted with his 6 year old son, Tyron.  But he would eventually stumble, literally, on a solution

Funny enough, Wounded Warriors project was right across the street from my previous job.  I didn’t really know much about them because I was new to the area.  I just happened to go over there one day and I was intrigued by actually what I was seeing

At Wounded Warrior project, Troy learned about programs offered to honor and empower warriors like himself.  This is when he found out about the Warriors to Work program

Warriors to Work, I would say is a full service career development program.  Where we help warriors individually with any types of needs they may have.  Some warriors come in and they have needs for the full gambit of services, it would be resume development, job searching, job placement, interview skills.  Our local manager of warriors to work made a phone call to the local Nexcom and developed that personal relationship with them, looked at the candidates that we had available for the jobs they had open and of course Troy, with his experience in the Navy, fit their HR associate position just perfectly

Troy joined the Nexcom family at NES Jacksonville in November of 2010.

We consciously took Troy on as kind of the new recruit and took baby steps, didn’t over burden him with a lot of things to begin with, took on one thing at a time and built on that to the next thing.  And then, I think we got to the point where he was comfortable with us and we was comfortable with him and everyday it’s been adding additional responsibilities to his role.  So we think he’s got tremendous potential

I love it because it’s simple, it’s simple and I’m helping people.  I want to help people the way I’ve been helped.

Troy isn’t resting on his laurels, he’s pursuing his masters in Human Resources in hopes to become a more integral member of the Nexcom family but more importantly, he said the job that improved his future, has also allowed him to focus more on his family

My previous job, I was out, maybe 8, 9, 9:30, 10 at night.  I wasn’t getting a lot of time with my son, the sole purpose of me moving here.  Once I got on with the Navy exchange, I work 7:30 to 4 everyday

The energy he saves by staying off his feet at the job, he puts to work on the football field, teaching young kids, including his own the finer points of the grid iron

Down, sec, hut

Here, Troys pain, truly is his game

Well, from the injury, I didn’t know how server it would be as far as you know walking with a limp or anything from being able to do things like that.  But what it turned into is now I’m out here coaching, I feel pain, I mean I’m just, I try to push through everything or I sit down, I got a assistant coach who help me out

More than 500 warriors nation wide take part in Warriors to Work.  For those who put their heart and soul into the program, Troy represents mission accomplished

Well, we’re honoring and empowering warriors by helping them with their new normal, their new career.  We want to empower them to be able to make enough money to pay for their kids, pay for their family, pay for their future, what ever they want to do

We think he has tremendous potential in human resources, I know he’s going to school and he’s doing other things to develop that and we want to serve in that mentor ship role to make sure he’s got the tools to succeed

I don’t see a ending for this job, right now by me still being new, the full aspect and full scope of everything I don’t know yet.  I know I enjoy working in human resources and being there to help people, so in a sense, I’m already doing it, I just want to be able to do more.