Friday, April 12, 2013

I Escaped Communism

In America, Lockheed Martin became an important chapter in my life
by Harry K.

Hello there! My coming to the United States in 1971 was compelled by my desire to escape a Communist regime and to work in the aerospace industry. After nine years of working and gaining experience in American industries at different companies, I was hired by Lockheed (just across the street from Burbank Airport) as a stress engineer. Unfortunately, in 1984 my luck ran out, and I was laid off. I worked at other aerospace companies until 1990, when there was the big lay off in the industry. It lasted a little more than five years. I searched always for work (even in New York), and I sold my house, put the money in the bank and lived on the drawn interest. It was tough. Then my former boss and friend from American Jet Industries, Moses "Kap" Kaplan (God rest his soul) helped me find a job with Structural Integrity Engineering. That was in the spring of 1995. And then, the miracle happened! I was rehired by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works to work on the ill-fated X-33 project. We all (my colleagues and I) were very proud to work on such a great project. However, our joy didn't last too long. The year 1999 brought along the cancellation of the project. Well, you know the story! In 2001, I retired and went back to my native country. What is my most important preoccupation? It’s world traveling! What can a single man do? A story about my travels? That would have to wait until another time!