The impact of a traumatic injury almost 12 years ago motivates Tim Bomke, manager of Amazon’s military hiring program, today.
In June of 2005, Bomke was a 29-year-old Army officer leading soldiers on a route-clearing mission in the Iraqi desert south of Kirkuk when two bombs exploded, lifting their Humvees off the ground. All survived, but a fellow soldier lost both legs in the attack, and Bomke suffered a traumatic brain injury along with broken bones and shrapnel throughout his legs.
To make a difference in my own community – my brothers and sisters who have been severely wounded while serving – is truly a calling.
After surgery and therapy, Bomke was transferred to Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state for recovery. A year later, one of his legs was amputated. Looking back, he says that procedure brought an end to his daily pain and enabled him to begin rebuilding his life. Since retiring from the Army in 2008, the Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient has helped create programs that support veterans transitioning to new careers – especially in the technology sector.
His contributions have caught the attention of We Are The Mighty – a military media organization run by veterans, military spouses and civilians. Every year they recognize 25 veterans whose accomplishments suggest they are poised for major impact in the coming year. Bomke has been named one of the “Mighty 25” for 2017.
Bomke joined Amazon in the fall of 2016 to support the company’s Joining Forces pledge to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years, and Amazon’s commitment to training 10,000 veterans and military spouses in cloud computing through AWS Educate.
“As an Army wounded warrior, I was interested in the opportunity to build a career program for wounded, injured and ill veterans from the ground up,” Bomke says. “I’ve had many great opportunities to advocate for the military community in general, but to make a difference in my own community – my brothers and sisters who have been severely wounded while serving – is truly a calling. This unique group of Americans have paid the penultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. I believe the culture of Amazon is a great match to innovate, invent, build and bring a program to life for them.”
As part of Bomke’s position at Amazon, he advocates and recruits for veterans across Amazon – from associates and managers in fulfillment centers, to engineers with AWS.