For over 20 years, BAE Systems has been the proud operating contractor of the Holston Army Ammunition Plant (HSAAP) in Kingsport, Tennessee. The HSAAP is one of two Government-Owned, Contractor-Operated (GoCo) that BAE Systems operates; the other is the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) in Radford, Virginia, operated by BAE Systems, Ordnance Systems Inc. (OSI) since 2012. Both facilities manufacture products for the Department of Defense and every person at both sites goes to work each day with one goal in mind: to serve and support our brave men and women in uniform safely and effectively. This means making great strides in the innovation and manufacturing of products, but it also means supporting and honoring our veterans. Giving back to those who have served is one of BAE Systems’ greatest honors.
Every year, OSI supports causes which support our Warfighters. The organizations and events for our veterans span multiple municipalities and 12 counties in the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia regions. Thousands of veterans have been directly impacted by the team’s passion and diligence.
In November of 2016, BAE Systems OSI co-hosted a day with a living legend at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce’s Medal of Honor Luncheon. The guest was Herschel “Woody” Williams, a Medal of Honor recipient from WWII. This event was attended by over 100 veterans and their family members. During that luncheon, Woody set forth a challenge that our community organize and sponsor a Gold Star Families Memorial: a monument to recognize the more than 3,200 Tri-Cities families who have lost loved ones in combat. It was a challenge BAE Systems heard and immediately answered. The monument was erected in November of 2017 in the Veteran’s Park and Memorial in the heart of Kingsport.
In addition to the privilege of supporting memorials and special events, BAE Systems honors our veterans in many annual activities and ongoing partnerships. The company continues to be a key sponsor for the Medal of Honor luncheons, delighting in the ability to hear national heroes such as Woody Williams and Sammy Davis, the latter a recipient of the Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery during the Vietnam War.
The HSAAP has proudly hosted a Veterans Day Half Marathon and 5K race for the past 13 years. The proceeds of the races go to Team Red, White, and Blue, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of veterans. The RFAAP has sponsored of the Wounded Warrior fishing tournament in Virginia, an event for recovering warriors and their families, for nearly 10 years. Around Memorial Day for the past several years, both facilities put together Care Packages for Troops and mail nearly 200 care packages.
In September, BAE Systems OSI supported Healing Hands Dental Day in Bristol, Tennessee, which gave free dental care to veterans. OSI also supports local Fourth of July celebrations, in honor of our freedom fought for and protected by our veterans, and in honor of Veterans Day, both facilities host luncheons in honor of the veterans who are also employees.
The holiday season wouldn’t be the same without giving back to our Warfighters. BAE Systems proudly supports Wreaths Across America, which puts beautiful wreaths on the headstones of our veterans. The HSAAP gathers Christmas cards from children at local area schools and also takes up much-needed donations for the Mountain Home Veteran’s Hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee. The cards are put on the Christmas dinner trays of every veteran at Mountain Home.
BAE Systems OSI is also delighted to announce that they will once again be partnering with Holston Habitat for Humanity to sponsor a home build for a veteran family in 2019.
BAE Systems’ OSI mission is “Serving the Warfighter,” a cause they take to heart year after year. But equally importantly, they make saying, “Thank you” a centerpiece of their daily way of doing business, constantly finding ways to give back to the veterans who call our community home.