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Written by/Contributed by: Martina Samson

Corey Hadley: Soldier, Servant Leader, Teammate Corey Hadley joined RevZilla in April of 2018 as a Returns Inspector. He was a hardworking, outgoing, selfless, passionate, and charismatic team member. He dived deep into everything he was passionate about, not the least of which were motorcycles, anime, and service to his country.
Corey served in the US Army Infantry from 2007 to 2014, completed 3 tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and received multiple honors, including the Iraq campaign medal with three campaign stars, the Afghanistan campaign medal with one star, and the global war on terrorism service medal.

When we met him as a civilian, he showed us what it means to dedicate yourself to service. Corey joined the Comoto Cares employee volunteering program with gusto,  and he rallied his teammates in 2019 to donate, assemble, and send 40 care packages to his brothers & sisters in arms serving overseas.

All the while, Corey’s mental health and brain health were deteriorating. His family said he had spent six years “staring death in the face” and had suffered significant traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Doctors, his service dog Eevee, his strong support system of family and friends, and other measures to counter significant unseen wounds of war helped him to keep going, but on Jan. 2, 2020, Corey died by suicide.

Corey’s mom, Rosalind Williams, and I had brunch together in early October 2022 to talk about this memorial project. We spent two hours on a rainy Sunday morning over coffee and eggs discussing her experience as the mother of a soldier, and the impact of his deployments and injuries. I explained how Corey’s story served as the catalyst to launching “Fortis In Unum,” Comoto’s Veterans’ Team Member Resource Group, and I asked for her permission and participation in creating this memorial page for Corey as part of our Veterans Day awareness campaign. “If the mission is worth it,” she said, “You keep going. I will never do anything to mute my son’s voice or his legacy.”

Rosalind’s Message:

I chose these pictures to share a holistic view of my son: The soldier, the soldier as a man, and the teammate. Corey was a good man. He was a good son, a good brother, a good soldier, and a good friend. He is loved and remembered for always giving back, supporting, and protecting those around him. A true leader in each of his deployments overseas, he walked in front to protect those behind him.
My message, as a mother, is this: Supporting veterans means also supporting their support systems, their families and caregivers. When they deploy, we deploy with them, in a sense. And when they come home, we’re faced with the reality that things will never be the same, and they may have wounds, physical and psychological, seen and unseen, that doctors and medicine are unable to heal.
In order to support our veterans, we also need to support the concentric circles of people surrounding and supporting the veteran. That might look like a specific time off policy for veterans if their PTSD is triggered by an unexpected event at work and they need to leave early to re-center themselves. That’s how you directly support the veteran. An example of indirectly supporting the veteran would be providing additional time off for the partner or family member of a veteran to take time for themselves after they’ve helped their veteran deal with that triggering event.

By supporting the veteran’s support circle, you’re reinforcing the support for the veteran. We need both direct and indirect support.

- Rosalind Williams, Corey’s Mother

 “To me, this picture shows Corey as the contemplative, elegant Soldier-as-a-Man, sitting on his bike, chillin’, watching the world, thinking about where he is and where he’d been.” - Rosalind Williams

Corey, the soldier

Corey volunteered with coworkers at the ACCT animal shelter, bringing the dog blankets he had helped make. 10.30.19

While Corey dealt with extremely heavy and serious unseen wounds of war in his life, we can’t let that be the only thing we remember about him. Corey had a goofy, fun-loving, joyful side, as well, and he never missed a great costume opportunity.

Operation Rekindling Titus:

On January 24th, 2019, I happened to sit next to Corey during a time management workshop. As I was gathering my things to leave at the end, Corey asked if I had a minute. He told me about his idea of sending care packages to his Army buddy Marcel’s platoon in Afghanistan.  He asked if that was something I could help him organize as an employee volunteer event.

I frequently think about how deeply my life was touched by that 30 second conversation. There are millions of moments in life when we have the opportunity to connect with other people, and whether or not we act on those opportunities depends on so many variables (time constraints, personal interest, curiosity, distractions, biases, snap judgments, etc.). I am so unspeakably glad that everything aligned that day to put us right next to each other with enough time to speak about this idea that was obviously so close to his heart.

Over the course of the next two months, we put together “Operation Rekindling Titus,” a project designed to “rekindle the spirits” of Corey’s comrades in Afghanistan. Corey spoke at our all hands meeting to explain how important receiving a care package can be when you’re so far away from home. We went over the presentation beforehand, but we all know how nerve wracking it can be to speak in front of everyone, especially when you’re speaking about something that is so intensely personal. He emailed me later that night, “Hey Martina thank you for standing up there with me. I was incredibly nervous. I know I said “and shit” like a billion times. Will I get in trouble for that?”
Of course he didn’t get in trouble; he touched people’s hearts with his honesty and vulnerability. It’s a good reminder not to worry so much about the little things when working on the big things.
In the end, our coworkers--many of whom did not know or even work directly with Corey--donated enough supplies to send 40 care packages to Marcel’s platoon. Corey had tapped into a vein of compassion and shared humanity that connected our team members in Philadelphia to a group of soldiers stationed halfway across the world.

Care Packages Completed

Care Packages Shipped

Care Packages Sent

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