Dave always knew he had the desire to serve his county and continues to do so through volunteering
Dave Harrold is a U.S. Navy veteran and the director of Business Development for Survivability, Targeting & Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems in Merrimack, N.H. Raised in a military family, he served in the Navy and continues to support the military through his work at BAE Systems. But his commitment doesn’t stop there. Dave volunteers with Veterans Count, a program of Easter Seals Military and Veterans Services. Veterans Count provides critical and timely financial assistance and services to veterans, service members and their families, to ensure their dignity, health and overall wellbeing.
Do you have a personal connection to the military?
Both my father and grandfather are veterans of the U.S. Military. I always knew that I had the desire to serve, and after I graduated from college, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Over the last 20 years, I have served the U.S. Navy in a combination of Active and Reserve roles, having recently retired in January 2017. The U.S. Navy has been a major part of my family’s life, and we are proud of our connection to the military and privileged with the opportunity to serve. My connection to the military is not just a major part of my personal life but my career as well. At BAE Systems we work to provide the best possible equipment to the U.S. Military and militaries around the world.
How did you get involved with the charitable organization and how do you support them?
BAE Systems has been involved with Veterans Count since its inception in 2007. The company was instrumental in the establishment of the organization, and has been a continued supporter over the last 10 years. In 2009, a colleague introduced me to the organization and I have been involved ever since. I currently serve as an Executive Board member and Chapter vice chair, where I help provide leadership to the direction of the organization, and provide insights from the U.S. Military and private industry perspectives. My role within the organization and the community, enables me to represent BAE Systems outside of just our work.
What’s your most memorable experience volunteering for the charitable organization?
Every year the Nashua, N.H., Chapter holds a gala event to raise money and awareness for the organization and the work that we do. Frequently we have guest speakers and some entertainment, hosting upwards of 500 people. At the gala we get the opportunity to hear from veterans and their families who have benefitted from the work of Veterans Count. There are a number of memorable moments to be sure. The most memorable moment for me was when we had the pleasure of listening to Medal of Honor recipient Ryan Pitts speak at one of the gala events. He is a true American Hero.
What advice would you give someone who is looking to volunteer and give back to the military community?
There are a lot of organizations who give back to military members and their families. At times it can be hard to select which ones to support with your time and resources. My advice is to fully understand how much of the money that is donated to the organization goes to the military members and their families. For instance, at Veterans Count, 90 percent of net fundraising dollars go to support military and veterans services provided by Easter Seals. In addition, many of the organizations that support military members and their families specialize in one or more efforts such as homelessness, suicide prevention, mental health care, employment, etc. My advice is to know what area you would like to impact the most and work with an organization that supports that same area.
What would you like to say to those who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military?
First and foremost, thank you. I know firsthand the challenges and sacrifices that come with military service, as well as the tremendous sense of pride of service to others.