Armando Mejia is the type of person that you want to have in your corner. Compass’s veterans are lucky to have him in theirs.
Through his work as Community Investor with The Boeing Company’s Global Engagement Team, Armando supports military veterans and their families, concentrating on workforce transition and recovery & rehabilitation programs.
His work is deeply personal.
Nineteen years ago, Armando lay in a military hospital bed at Madigan Army Hospital after his vehicle was hit by an IED in Iraq. It flipped upside down, pinning his legs under the vehicle. As Armando describes, it was a terrifying experience, “All you see is red, it’s hard to explain. I thought I was dead already.”
Armando was rescued despite the ongoing attack on his convoy. His road to recovery was long and difficult, including more than 20 surgeries and an all-consuming period of intense PTSD symptoms.
“I’m here today because of my wife and the resources and programs in my community that helped my family and me get through the dark times. I promised myself that if I got a second chance in life and made a full recovery, I would be an advocate for our military, our veterans, and their loved ones.”
After almost 12 years of military service and a Purple Heart, Armando leveraged that second chance into earning his master’s degree in social work; going on to support military kids at The Boys & Girls Club, leading the Seattle Seahawks military support programs, and now, helping veterans throughout Washington State through his work with Boeing.
“Boeing is deeply passionate about supporting our military, veterans, and their families and I am very proud of the service and sacrifice of the thousands of my colleagues that I get to work side-by-side with every day.”
Armando discovered Compass while driving down the road in Renton one day in 2015. He saw the Renton Veterans Center building and decided to look us up. After connecting with Program Manager Evan Mack, he fell in love with Compass.
For the last eight years, Armando has made an incredible impact on Compass veterans and their families. He’s made connections for us and helped us foster partnerships. He was behind an incredible service event with the Seahawks and Mission Continues which transformed the environment at Renton Veterans Center (RVC). He took care to secure and deliver Hawks game gear and hats for the RVC residents, making them feel seen. He’s kept Compass in mind consistently over the years, shepherding nominations for grants that have increased our support from Boeing. He’s been an incredible friend and partner.
Our work at Compass is significantly enhanced by our wonderful partnerships — no one organization can do it all. We are fortunate to have a quiet army of experts and helpers standing with our hardworking staff, enhancing all that we do on a daily basis. Our partners deserve recognition for joining us in tackling the complex issues of homelessness in our community.
We are honored to recognize Armando Mejia as the first recipient of our inaugural Outstanding Community Partner Award. This award serves as a recognition that we all achieve more when we work together.
Frankly, the process of selecting the honoree this year was easy.
“I hope this recognition of my work and passion can serve as an inspiration to others, I challenge everyone reading this to volunteer, get involved and make a difference in our community. As my good friend, Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry, says,” We all love something. Put your time and energy toward that. Do something in this world to leave it better than when you were given it.”
We are grateful to Armando for leaving us better than where he found us.