Army Veteran Dawn Halfaker never expected she would be be in the military. She was a guard on her high school basketball team when the NCAA sponsored her trip to visit West Point, one of the schools recruiting her. Hesitant but with nothing to lose, she accepted the trip. She soon fell in love with the school and her thereby set the course of her future career.
Halfaker graduated from West Point in 2001, and since then, she has gone on to accomplish many great things. In this episode of Borne the Battle, she spoke on a few of her many accomplishments:
- Overcoming adversity despite suffering a permanent injury while serving in Iraq
- Serving as a military liaison to the House Armed Services Committee
- Working for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at a time when the agency developed groundbreaking new technologies
- Bringing an important woman’s perspective to the Wounded Warrior Project as its board’s chairwoman
- Being part of a VA committee that fundamentally reshaped how VA provides care for its wounded Veterans
One of the most notable achievements Halfaker discussed was how she built up her own business and turned it into one that now has over 600 employees. She had no experience running a business before, facing a difficult journey. However, she met like-minded people similarly committed toward creating innovative solutions to modernize the government and went from there.
With a life full of civic, business and personal accomplishments, Halfaker is a champion of change. In 2014, VA recognized her as a Woman Veteran of Change.
And in 2020, Halfaker was listed as among Washington’s Top 10 Health Executives to Watch.
She overcame one of the biggest hurdles of her life after an injury in Iraq and created success for herself. She lives her company’s vision: “Continue to Serve.”
THE FULL TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE CAN BE FOUND HERE
#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:
- Army Veteran Centra “Cece” Mazyck
- VA updates rating criteria for musculoskeletal and muscle injuries
- At West Point, Dawn Halfaker was Mike Erwin’s squad leader. Erwin is also an entrepreneur. Listen to his Borne the Battle interview.
- This Iraq Veteran Lost Her Arm–but Found New Purpose as an Entrepreneur
- Recent Department of Veterans Affairs COVID-19 Response testimony on Capitol Hill
Calvin Wong is an intern with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He studies History as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis.