Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Road to defense contracting led through the battlefield

By Marjorie Censor at The Washington Post

It wasn’t until Dawn Halfaker had to put an Army uniform back on to greet soldiers returning from Iraq that she knew she had to find a new career

Despite losing her right arm during a tour in Iraq, Halfaker had hoped she could stay in the military. After recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, she was invited to meet her returning unit but required to don her uniform again. The realization that she was unable to pin her medals on or to salute drove home Halfaker’s loss.

“This just isn’t going to work,” she recalled thinking.

Halfaker, who had played college basketball and trained military police in Iraq, went on to found Halfaker & Associates, an Arlington-based contractor that provides a range of consulting and information technology services primarily to military customers, including helping the Army modernize its recruiting practices and manning operations and intelligence centers. Halfaker said the company brought in $15.5 million in revenue last year. She’s among other soldiers who, motivated by their experiences on the battlefield and aided by their personal connections, have launched their own companies.

Halfaker was drawn to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point when she was recruited to play basketball. She graduated in 2001, and, after a yearlong stint in Korea, went to Fort Stewart, Ga., to get ready for deployment. In February 2004, she traveled to Baqubah, Iraq, where she lived among and trained Iraqi police.

In June 2004, Halfaker was on a routine patrol when a rocket-propelled grenade came through her vehicle’s window. She was flown out of Iraq and kept in a medically induced coma until she eventually ended up at Walter Reed. There, her parents broke the news that she had lost her arm. Read the entire story here

Six days later, Halfaker was a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical
Center here, about to lose her arm to a life-threatening infection.

More Women Bear the Wounds of War

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Acinetobacter, Civilian Contractors, Government Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment