When Pratt & Whitney engineer and Army Captain Nichole Giunto was called to duty to respond to COVID-19, she knew who could relate to the sudden change she faced in her daily routine: her husband. Like Nichole, Justin Giunto is a Pratt & Whitney engineer who is also on military orders supporting the pandemic relief effort.
The duo were activated by the Connecticut National Guard to provide emergency support functions, such as setting up temporary hospitals, providing medical personnel and transporting medical and logistics equipment and supplies.
The Giuntos aren’t the only employees who’ve temporarily forgone corporate life to serve their country. Engineer Daniel Terral, who doubles as a National Guard first lieutenant, was called upon to support Connecticut’s COVID-19 response plan, too.
Terral’s brigade has helped convert hospitals and universities into COVID-19 step-down facilities, providing 610 patient beds across three Connecticut locations: Western Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University and Stamford Hospital, an Army Reserve medical task force site.
“The setup at Stamford Hospital has been the most impactful of our missions so far. They’ve been seeing patients since April 13,” he said. “We’ve also distributed critically-needed ventilators to hospitals. For example, Greenwich Hospital only had three ventilators on hand and we resupplied them with an additional seven.”
While soldiers in the National Guard are often activated to protect the country’s domestic interests during times of conflict or natural disasters, the immediacy of the activation can make it difficult to switch from corporate to military life.
“This recent activation was short notice, and I appreciate the support and understanding from my coworkers, managers and leadership team,” Nichole said of Pratt & Whitney’s response to her sudden deployment. “I’m grateful to work for a company who supports and honors my military service.”
Nichole’s service dates back to 2011 and includes deployments to Cuba, Kuwait and Afghanistan. Her engineering and leadership expertise has been a key element of her military service, as her Kuwait and Afghanistan deployments involved managing over 40 personnel in engineering/construction operations and project management.
Terral’s nearly eight years of service includes both domestic deployments and foreign deployments to Kuwait, Jordan and Syria, where he tackled critical missions: to defeat ISIS in Kuwait and to provide a mobile force to counter threats to U.S. interests in Jordan and Syria.
With deployments that may extend past the scheduled May 2020 end date, both Terral and the Giuntos are confident Pratt & Whitney will continue to support their service.
“Pratt & Whitney has been very adaptive and supportive of the continuing changes that are happening with this mission,” Terral said. “It has been an honor to help support the state and the community during their time of need.”
For more stories about Raytheon Technologies employees who are members of the National Guard and are serving to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
Pratt & Whitney is part of Raytheon Technologies, which is using its manufacturing capacity, and engineering, logistics and finance expertise, to carry out initiatives that serve our communities, deliver on our commitments to our customers and protect our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about our efforts.