On November 11, we take a moment to honor those who have served their countries in war and peace and to recognize their patriotism to sacrifice for the common good. Originally established to mark the armistice ending World War I, November 11 is celebrated as Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Austria, and elsewhere.
Adobe works to support military Veterans and their families and improve how they are perceived in the workplace and our society more broadly. In partnership with the Veterans at Adobe employee network (VEN), Adobe drives progress through ongoing non-profit support and fundraising, helping Veterans transition into technology careers, and expanding perspective through storytelling and creativity. As the executive sponsor of VEN, I’m energized by the progress VEN is making in partnership with Adobe leaders.
To support the broader military and Veterans’ community, Adobe sponsored the United Service Organizations (USO) NorCal’s Fleet Week celebrations in San Francisco in October; continues to raise money for Fisher House Foundation, which supports Veterans and their families while seeking medical treatment; raised funds for the British Legion and Blue Star Families; and recently made a pledge with the Armed Forces Covenant in the United Kingdom to continue to recognize and value those who have served in military duty. Additionally, the Adobe Foundation is donating funds to the USO and VetsinTech to amplify the great work these organizations are already doing.
Understanding the capabilities that Veterans bring into organizations, Adobe is also committed to providing a pathway for Veterans to pursue roles in technology. The VEN hosts ongoing resume workshops with San Jose State University students, providing guidance on how to highlight their many transferable skills.
When people share their life experiences in authentic ways, everyone gains a greater appreciation of those who are different from them. As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approached, we invited Adobe Veterans to share their personal experiences in military during that pivotal time and discuss how military service continues to shape their leadership philosophy. Adobe will also host a special internal event with Green Beret Colby Jenkins focused on servant-leadership and how everyone can make a positive impact on the world. Additionally, we have asked Veterans like Paul Peterson and Michael Isom to share more about their personal stories with Adobe employees, customers and partners.
To raise awareness with an external audience, we are hosting a LinkedIn Live session – Recognizing and Valuing Our Veterans – featuring four members of our Veterans community who will discuss how their time in the military and as part of military families has shaped their lives and careers. Find out more about this interactive session on November 11 at 12pm PT on Adobe’s LinkedIn page and register now.
This year, we are also collaborating with Honoring Our Veterans, an organization dedicated to helping wounded veterans heal through outdoor activities like photography workshops. This program invites participating Veterans to engage with the natural world, tap into their creative core, and leverage Adobe’s products to bring their creativity to life. We are thrilled to share a small sample of the photography produced during the program and insights about the Veterans behind this amazing work.
We invite you to also celebrate Veterans/Remembrance Day by reflecting on the unique capabilities, leadership, creativity, and humanity Veterans bring into every organization of which they are a part.
The photographs below were produced during Honoring Our Veterans (HOV) photography workshops, developed using Adobe’s creativity products, and are shared here with the permission of the artists. You can learn more about these photography workshops and other programs at Honoring Our Veterans and take a deeper look into this larger collection of photographs and personal stories.
With dreams of becoming a photojournalist, Chet Woods volunteered for the military as a path to pursue that dream, but his military assignments didn’t further that ambition. Chet spent eight years in the Army and Air Force before being medically discharged. His passion for photography was re-ignited through the HOV photography workshop, as demonstrated by this image from Arlington Memorial Cemetery. It gave him the chance to learn new techniques, gain a new perspective on his craft, and learn Adobe Photoshop and other tools.
During basic training, when Dak Frederick saw the American flag being lowered each night while the song Taps was played, he truly understood what patriotism meant. He spent the next 15 years in the Marines serving in Afghanistan, among other places. Since taking the HOV workshop, Dak has used the skills he learned, including experimenting with lighting and camera lenses, to take pictures for business and social media marketing purposes.
Dusty Roth has found an art form he truly loves – etching photos in stone. He was briefly introduced to this art form while on deployment in Bosnia, where his work brought him directly into the homes and businesses of the war-torn Bosnian population. Exposed to destruction and sorrow, Dusty found solace in the artwork. Building on the skills he learned, he’s practicing photography and working to perfect his images so they can be successfully etched onto stone.
As a medic in the Air Force, Janine Vernon had the unique opportunity in Afghanistan to train local doctors, nurses, and midwives on life-saving procedures like infant and adult CPR. She knows her experience helped change lives, but it also changed hers. Photography is a way to experience the world through a new lens and it gives her an opportunity to express herself creatively.
Jason Pilarski enjoys taking photos of the outdoors and places that inspire him. Medically retired from the Army, Jason was among the first troops deployed in Iraq and served two tours of duty there. Photography gives him the chance to look at everyday things and places in a different way. He polished his skills in the HOV workshop where he created the beautiful black and white image shown here.
Walter “Gator” Ebel served for 10 years in the Army, including postings in Panama, Turkey, Iraq, and Somalia, where he was crew chief on a Blackhawk helicopter. Gator has always been interested in photography, and the HOV program gave him the chance to be around military brothers and sisters who truly understand him. His love for nature and curiosity for macro photography brings attention to how things are put together as shown in the image of this beautiful thistle.
Thank you for helping us recognize Veterans Day and celebrate creativity for all.