November 11, 2022

Uplifting those who have served

Mira Marquez

Skydio X2D

This Veteran’s Day, Skydio is proud to announce the return and expansion of our Veterans Vehicle scholarship. Six Skydio 2+ pro kits will be awarded, with three of those kits specifically for disabled Veterans.

My name is Miranda Marquez, people know me as Mira, and I lead Skydio’s social impact program, Skydio For All. I’d like to share with you today what my experience was like as the child of two Veteran parents and the early insight it taught me about the friction in transitioning to civilian life for service members.

My mom was an F-4/F-16 Jet engine mechanic and my dad was a Major in the USAF stationed at NORAD. I was one of the last generations of kids to be born at the USAF Academy in Colorado and grew up on Peterson Air Force base in Colorado Springs in the late 80s. Growing up on base creates a unique “normal” childhood- it was normal to see a jet and military equipment, it was normal to see everyone in uniforms all the time, it was normal to see everyone stop at 5 pm to face the same direction and place their hand over their chest every day. It was normal to have one parent gone for long periods of time- whether it be a shift or being stationed overseas temporarily. From a kid’s perspective, there was so much structure and clarity in what everyone was supposed to do- planned out to a T.

Visiting one of my dad’s last command stations that was later turned into the Titan Missile Museum
Visiting one of my dad’s last command stations that was later turned into the Titan Missile Museum

In the years after moving off base, I watched my mom experience frustration after frustration in navigating entering the workforce and trying to continue her education with the support of the GI Bill. It wasn’t just my mom though, story after story from fellow family members and friends accumulated- there were patterns in the lack of support and lack of answers for transitioning to civilian life.

At Skydio, more than 10% of Skydio's workforce are veterans —bringing an incredible work ethic, sense of duty, and commitment to integrity from their time in the service that benefits our products and our customers. For these reasons, Skydio believes strongly in supporting our veterans using the resources at our disposal, which in our case are autonomous drones.

Skydio’s Veteran and Solutions Engineer, Bryan King, at the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund Gala in Palm Beach Gardens, FL where a Skydio 2+ Pro Kit was auctioned to help raise funds for wounded Veterans.
Skydio’s Veteran and Solutions Engineer, Bryan King, at the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund Gala in Palm Beach Gardens, FL where a Skydio 2+ Pro Kit was auctioned to help raise funds for wounded Veterans.

Veterans play an incredibly important role in America's workforce but, for many injured veterans undergoing ongoing medical treatment well into civilian life, working a traditional 9-5 desk job can be difficult. Drones offer veterans with a disability, injuries, and invisible scars the opportunity to create a new professional path where they can work at their own pace and at a cadence conducive to their needs.

“Piloting a drone is more than a skillset, it can be a life-enhancing experience. You're free to roam the skies and experience the joy of flight, where work is your play and money is the byproduct.” - Joseph Dorando, CEO, Wounded Eagle UAS

How to Apply

For the scholarship, applicants are to submit a personal essay sharing their story and how they plan to use the vehicle to further their civilian careers.  The winning recipients will be selected by Skydio’s own veteran community and each receives a Skydio 2+ Pro Kit complete with a 1-year subscription to our Autonomy Enterprise Foundation, 3D Scan , and 90-day access to our online Skydio Training Academy .

Submit your application here . Applications due by March 31, 2023

To all those who have served, thank you!