Veterans Day is an opportunity to celebrate the brave men and women who have served, or continue to serve, in our U.S. Armed Forces. It is their sacrifice and dedication that has ultimately afforded us the freedom to shape our ideas, to create, and to offer our unique contributions to our country.
The work of our veterans encourages us as a nation to strive for our best, making valiant efforts to create an impact on the greater good. To be leaders. To be thinkers. To be innovators.
Not only do we take this time to commend our veterans for their service, but also to highlight further world-changing contributions they have made in the way of innovation.
U.S. Army Sgt. Gary Walters
Walters is part of a legacy of inventors who created solutions to solve societal problems. After losing his leg from an exploded IED, Walters found that the limb-to-socket interface of his prosthetic leg often became hot and uncomfortable. So with the help of eight others, Walters developed the Aquilonix™ Prosthesis Cooling System designed to improve comfort for amputees in need of a way to keep the interface cool and dry.
Before making his mark as founder of the successful Westinghouse Electric Company in 1886, Westinghouse enlisted in the Union Army at age 17 and served from 1862 to 1863, before transferring to the Union Navy as an engineer before his discharge in 1865.
After the war, his involvement in developing railroad technology would lead him to invent and patent the air brake in 1869, later followed by a gas meter and natural gas pipe system for homes. Westinghouse had over 400 patents awarded during his lifetime.
World War I veteran Laurens Hammond invented and manufactured the Hammond electric organ in 1935 as an alternative to expensive, wind-driven pipe organs. The invention turned a new note when legendary jazz musician Jimmy Smith took to the music industry with the Hammond organ as his iconic instrument. Hammond would go on to hold 110 patents.
In honor of our inspiring and innovative veterans – thank you!