Jason Pak, a medically retired soldier who now works for Boeing, sat down with We Are the Mighty to explain how the company’s multiyear commitment to USO Pathfinder is making a difference in the military community.
Pak, a West Point graduate, understands what it takes to successfully navigate a tough transition to civilian life. His military career ended the moment he stepped on an improvised explosive device while deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. The attack took the former college soccer player’s legs and a few fingers from his left hand.
“He could have been angry, he could have been down on himself. Instead, he took that as an opportunity to make something of himself that’s greater than he ever thought,” said Florent Groberg, a Medal of Honor recipient and Pak’s colleague at Boeing.
“[Jason] looked around and wanted to find those individuals and those programs that allowed him to succeed and he jumped on it – he was proactive,” said Groberg, who medically retired from the Army in 2015. “What we learned from Jason … we want to replicate that for thousands of others and the USO Pathfinder program is exactly what it is.”
Pak didn’t have a chance to plan for life after service, but most of the 200,000-plus service members who leave the military each year will have an opportunity to prepare for what’s next. With a $5 million investment from Boeing, USO Pathfinder offers best-in-class transition services on a global scale and can connect service members with the resources they need as they reintegrate into civilian life.
You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.