The Meaning of Veteran’s Day
“To me, Veterans Day is a celebration of what I have done in my life to get me where I am,” says Army veteran and Wisk employee Lettitia Clarke. “I know I am lucky, and I have battle buddies that don’t have the same story that I have,” she continues. “I would like Veterans Day to be a day to reflect that there are people putting their lives in jeopardy, spending time away from their families, and doing things that a normal person wouldn’t do, and to acknowledge this sacrifice.”
Clarke spent a decade in the Army, where she started off in avionics systems repair and ultimately ended up in air traffic control. Wisk is fortunate to have many employees who are Veterans of the armed forces, and who now use the skills learned in military life to excel in their work at Wisk. When asked which of her skills transferred to the work she does now, her response was straightforward.
“All of them,” she said. Clarke’s familiarity with project management, FAA regulations, operation management, and standards-setting have set her up for success in her current role as Product Manager for Vertiport Integration & Operations. She uses her general knowledge of the aviation industry daily to navigate the complexities of the emerging eVTOL space.
Clarke said she would encourage other veterans to apply for roles at Wisk.
“Aviation is a wheel and we are trying to add a different spoke. With veterans and eVTOL, there are a lot of opportunities, not just in aviation but also in manufacturing, flight test, and other areas,” she said. She noted that employers also benefit: “Veterans are self-starters. They are motivated, dedicated to getting the task done, and take pride in what they are doing. They have very high expectations of themselves.”
From Helicopters to eVTOL
For Curtis Conaway, “Veterans day is a way to honor those who served before and after me. It is always cool,” he remarked, “when I am wearing something from the military and people come up to me and want to share stories about their grandfather from the war, or mothers come up and want to tell me about their kid in boot camp.”
Leaving behind his small farming town, Conaway enlisted in the US Marines at 17. After 8 months of aviation school, he was stationed in Hawaii, Japan, Korea, and Thailand as a CH 53 helicopter mechanic.
Conaway has been at Wisk for over a decade. He started in batteries, expanded to motors, and is now the Manager of the Mechanical Assembly and Propulsion Shop. Conaway was also one of the founding members of Wisk’s Employee Resource Group for Veterans. “It is always good to bring the Veteran community together,” he says, “It is always a pleasure to work with people who share the same experience. There is a lot of overlap across branches and it is easy to find commonalities.”
While the bridge between Conaway’s work in the military and his work at Wisk is obvious, he highlighted that all Veterans leave the service with valuable skills. For instance, “I learned that no matter where you are from and what you believe, once you get to boot camp you have to learn how to work with people on the team. You keep this mentality for the rest of your life. Veterans look out for each other and become a sort of family.”
We Encourage Veterans to Consider Wisk
Wisk is always looking to welcome veterans. “At Wisk, we appreciate veterans and the service they have provided to our country,” says Dudley Duberry, Wisk’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Generalist. “Their unique training, critical thinking skills, ability to adapt and advanced technical training are crucial attributes we look for in employees at Wisk.”
To learn more about Wisk and the careers available, see our careers page.
Thank you to all of our service members, past and present. Happy Veterans Day!