I am a Wounded Warrior and I Work for Wounded Warriors

By Phillip Quigley 

I am a Wounded Warrior. My name is Philip Quigley. I was an enlisted Marine infantry scout who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed during the initial invasion from February to October 2003. I was injured during my deployment and received an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps Reserve a year later. Although I was immediately referred to Veterans Affairs after discharge, my transition into civilian life wasn’t easy. I battled my own demons along the way, including depression and guilt, the uncertainties of not knowing where life would lead me, and wondering how I would fully integrate back into civil society after combat.  

Being a Reservist, I had many contacts to help me find a job in the civilian sector. I joined the security industry as a patrol officer, but worked to gain the skills, training, experience, and background to become a security consultant. Throughout all of the transitions, from active reserve to veteran and beyond, I had a great support network (family, friends, counselors, and the VA) to help with my transitions. My great network helped me to push through the tough times and even continue my college education.  

Advancing my education brought me to the Pentagon for a summer internship this year where I am worked in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness)to help shape policy that impacts the lives of all veterans, families, and current Service members.  I am proud to be able to contribute to the Personnel and Readiness mission during such a critical time of transformation.  I have worked on enhancing employment programs for veterans and spouses, educational opportunities for school age military children, and on programs offering policy recommendations to DoD’s senior leadership. Most importantly though, I feel that I am helping shape the future of our military community and that my background as a Wounded Warrior has helped me to be able to provide a rare insight, in the development of these changes. 

Why should you care what I am working on?  I am a Wounded Warrior, I have lived what our Service members and Veterans face every day.  My voice—their voice—is being heard. I am making a positive difference, and I am not alone as there are many others like me in the Office of Personnel and Readiness serving at the Pentagon and around the world. I am proud to be serving again and helping shape future policies for others who are just like me.

 

Philip Quigley, USMC 2003, Iraq War Veteran and Wounded Warrior.  He recently interned with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness. Operation Warfighter links federal employers to prospective wounded warrior interns.