Veterans of Adobe

November 11, 2016

Today in the U.S., we are celebrating Veteran’s Day, a holiday honoring the patriotism of the brave individuals that have served our country. In celebration of Veteran’s Day, we’ve asked some of our employees who have served to share stories of their time in the United State Armed Forces. To all of our veterans at Adobe, thank you for your service and commitment to protecting our country.


screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-38-37-pmSheila Miller

Technical Program Manager, Customer Support and Retention

“I joined the U.S. Army as a young woman out of high school and have never regretted that decision.

In the Army, I learned leadership, hard work, determination, teamwork and working under pressure. Serving overseas in South Korea for three years showed me how lucky I was to have been born in the USA.

I was in the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence branch and worked as an analyst and Korean linguist. I spent eight years on active duty and 12 in the U.S. Army reserve. During many of my active years in the Army, I worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade, MD and in Seoul, South Korea. I left active duty while stationed at Fort Ord and that is how I came to settle down in this area.

Many years ago, I was in a U.S. Army ad featuring the ‘Be All You Can Be’ themes they ran for years. I’m the female soldier in center of the army poster above. The ad was shot in Monterey, California and ran for over a year in all the Army Times magazines as well as many other military publications.

One of the photos shows me crossing a high rope bridge with my gear. There were telephone looking poles that I was crossing, showing, for reference, how far it was both to fall and to cross and is one of those times where determination and not giving up paid off. I was a Staff Sergeant at the time and had a squad full of young men and one women looking to me to see if I could do it. I did.”

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-39-11-pmJaimee Spencer

Senior Manager, Quality Support, Customer Experience

“My tour of duty as a United States Marine Corp Drill Instructor was my most proud, honorable and memorable moment during my time serving America. After serving during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm two of my good friends and I decided to attend Drill Instructor School. We wanted to tell our recruits what it’s like to be in combat, based on our own experiences, thus instilling in them why it’s important to learn a skill that could someday save their lives. As a Drill Instructor my job was turning civilians into Marines. At Adobe we have core values and in the Marine Corps there are also core values. The core values discussions help to establish a baseline from which all new recruits can adopt the Marine Corps way of life.

There were young men who came up in areas that have no values, and to them, stealing or taking things that didn’t belong to them was acceptable. As a Senior Drill Instructor, I had to find the best way to reach them all, thus finding that baseline to bring them together. I couldn’t just try one way, I had to expand my horizons. I got to know my recruits on personal level and being a direct factor with them earning their eagle, globe and anchor made me proud. These young, impressionably Marines are growing because of what you ‘re teaching them and you take ownership of it. I transformed 363 civilians into Marines and knowing I have a significant impact on the future of the Marine Corps made that job highly important to me. I still carry those same core values in life today.”

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-39-53-pmGordon Ladds

Site Experience Manager

“After three years in the United States Marine Corps, I was lucky enough to have been selected for the Marine Corps’ embassy duty program. After training with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, I served two consecutive tours overseas as a Marine Security Guard at the American embassies in Cairo, Egypt and London, U.K. Our job was to protect American lives, classified materials, and the embassies themselves. We also helped support diplomatic efforts including visits by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright, the Middle East Peace Process, and the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. Embassy duty was the highlight of my time in the Marine Corps by far.”

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-40-22-pmRobert Kresge

Senior Computer Scientist

“I was drafted in July 1971 out of high school. I joined the U.S. Navy Air Force instead accepting the draft. I went to Navy school for data analysis, spent 11 years hunting submarines with various Navy squadrons both fixed wing (P3 Orion) and helicopters (LAMPS). Served on both east and west coast, did some time in Korea, Japan, Philippines, Midway, Adak and Guam.

Probably the best time or most memorable besides having met my wife in Misawa Japan in 1975 while attending the University of Maryland Far East Division, was the time served with VP-48 (Moffett Field) in Adak Alaska. Adak is a small piece of the Aleutian islands, home to just a few military. Our job was to monitor Russian ship traffic and hunt submarines. It was always cold, overcast, long periods of total boredom interrupted with up to 24 hours flying over the Bering sea and North Pacific looking for submarines. We’d drop sonobuoys from the P3 aircraft then fly in circles listening for sounds of life under the sea. I read a lot. December of 1982 I had enough and decided it was time to settle down, go to school, get a job.”

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-40-31-pmSuki Johnson

Executive Assistant

“One of my most memorable stories is about the work five women and I did to improve living conditions for women on base. I was stationed at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, IL, from 1989-1991. At that time, there was a significant difference between the barracks for men and women. Men had private bathrooms in nice barracks; women lived in brick barracks with community bathrooms. Men could have female visitors in their rooms; females could not have male visitors in their rooms. Men had standing barracks duty once every 45 days, while women were on duty every 3 days. These were only some of the inequities.

Six of us volunteered to push for equal living conditions and barracks duties. We were met with resistance and were told nothing would change. After months of meetings and no progress through our chain of commands, we wrote letters to our Congress members from each of our states which I presented in a meeting with the Captain of our base.

I said, ‘With all due respect sir, if things do not change I have seven letters from six different women, from six different commands who have written their congressman along with a combined letter to the congressman of Chicago and I will drop these in the mail tomorrow.’

That evening there was a mandatory meeting called between the male and female staff living on base. Among the changes they announced: males were to immediately start standing duty at the female barracks to help out. Eventually they moved the women to the nicer barracks and allowed women to have male visitors in their rooms.

As a result of my efforts, I was selected as Sailor of the Quarter and received a Letter of Commendation from the Admiral of the base in 1991.”

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-40-44-pmForrest Ledbetter

Internal Auditor, Risk Advisory and Assurance Services

“It was a warm night on the 4th of July in South Dakota. My company had been granted a short reprieve from our intensive training to watch the firework show at a local park. As more and more spectators began to fill the park, smaller fireworks and bottle rockets could be heard from every direction, the sound magnified with a metallic quality as it reverberated off the nearby fire station. It was a welcome relief for everyone to be free of the Training Officers’ scrutiny and celebrate. Everyone except my friend that is. That brave combat veteran was huddled in the fetal position against the fence, trying to hold back the tears and the terror associated with PTSD that fireworks had evoked for him since his return from Iraq. As the Commanding Officer was notified, I witnessed him change from the screaming disciplinarian to which I was accustomed to a charismatic angel of mercy in the blink of an eye. He got my buddy out of the situation and to the help he needed with a level of sympathetic kindness that I wouldn’t have believed him capable of a moment before. From this experience, I carried away two things. First, was a realization of the invisible price some continue to pay even after the battlefield has been left behind. The second, was a great hope that when I come across another’s pain or suffering, regardless of what’s caused it, that I may be as considerate and quick to aid as my commander.”

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