Celebrating Our Veteran’s Around the U.S.

Photo: Unsplash, Eric Duvauchelle

Photo: Unsplash, Eric Duvauchelle

Today, Friday, November 11th, is Veteran’s Day and a special time to honor those that have served. Organizations and individuals around the country are honoring the military veterans in special and unique ways.

It All Started Back in 1919

Veteran’s Day began on this date in 1919 to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of combat in World War I. Known as Armistice Day, the occasion kept its name and focus until 1954, when it was changed to Veterans Day, and its scope widened to honor veterans from all eras.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, across the country, there are over 19 million military veterans. Very nearly half — over 9.3 million — are age 65 and older. The veteran population includes nearly 1.6 million women.

Nearly 7 million are Vietnam vets, about 2 million from the Korean War, and not quite 1.1 million remain from the 16 million in uniform during World War II.

Some 5.2 million veterans served in one or both of the recent Gulf Wars.

Kroger Chimes in With USO Support

Companies across the nation are doing their part to support the veterans. The Kroger Co. today announced a total contribution to the USO of nearly $3.1 million for 2016. This total includes a company contribution of $1 million in funds.

The remaining support was raised through the support of partners like Wrigley’s and Coca Cola, and the generosity of customers and associates who contributed at check stands, purchased special gift cards to be delivered to USO centers, or donated online throughout Kroger’s year-long Honoring Our Heroes campaign.

Through the program, Kroger’s family of stores has donated nearly $18 million since 2010 to help support USO programs, which represents the largest cumulative gift to the USO in its 75-year history.

Princess Cruises Floats the Veterans

Princess Cruises, also known as the Official Cruise Line of the Seattle Seahawks, honored military veterans Matthew and Brittney Linville by awarding the couple a free seven day cruise for their service in the United States Army, including deployment to Iraq.

Princess Cruises offers up to $250 free onboard spending money for veterans as well as active, retired or disabled military personnel, as a thank you to the brave men and women of the American and Canadian militaries for their service.

This special military benefit is eligible on any cruise, any time of the year and can be used to purchase a wide variety of amenities and experiences including Lotus Spa treatments; dining in specialty restaurants; gifts, jewelry and clothing in onboard boutiques; and Princess Cruises shore excursions.

MGM Resorts Salutes the Troops

In celebration of America’s military service members, MGM Resorts International will for the sixth consecutive year host “A Salute to the Troops” honoring more than 70 wounded warriors and their guests over Veterans Day weekend. In its eighth year, the five-day American Airlines and USO (United Service Organizations) event will be an extended weekend of relaxation, entertainment and sightseeing for our nation’s veterans traveling from the Washington, D.C., area.

“We’re honored to host these wounded warriors and their loved ones who have sacrificed so much to preserve our nation’s safety and freedom,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. “We look forward to demonstrating our deep respect and gratitude for their service in a big way, showing them the very best Las Vegas and MGM Resorts have to offer.”

As the official airline of the USO, American Airlines will fly the honored service members to Las Vegas onboard American’s yellow-ribbon aircraft, “Flagship Liberty.” Upon arriving in Las Vegas, hundreds of MGM Resorts International employees will welcome the group to The Mirage Resort & Casino, the host property, with applause from a human “wall of gratitude.”

Lands’ End Donates Clothing and Cash

In honor of Veterans Day, Lands’ End has joined with the National Veterans Foundation (NVF) and the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) to donate clothing and a nationwide percentage of sales to benefit our nation’s military veterans.

Lands’ End will donate 10% of retail sales up to $20,000 to benefit veterans’ initiatives through the National Veterans Foundation and the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The collaboration will be promoted in Lands’ End’s Shops at Sears, standalone retail stores, and the Lands’ End’s SoHo Pop-up Shop.

The brand will also extend an exclusive 10% discount from November 10 – November 13 to active military and veterans upon the presentation of their military identification card.

Cars for Vets

Hertz Global, which operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty rental car brands in the U.S. through its operating subsidiary The Hertz Corporation, is beginning a partnership with Luke’s Wings, a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of service members who have been wounded in battle, by providing up to $5,000 in vehicle rentals during the months of November and December.

Watermark Retirement Communities Shares Vet Words of Wisdom

From practical, lifesaving advice, “You have to duck when someone hollers duck” to career-building lessons like learning how “to be disciplined and how to lead men, which helped later, running a business” to the simple, poignant value of “loyalty”, World War II veterans have timeless life lessons to share.

Such timeless words of wisdom from those who served and sacrificed have been gathered by Watermark Retirement Communities. Watermark asked men and women in Watermark communities coast to coast, including in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, to share their life lessons learned while serving our country. The veterans’ words of wisdom are often short and sweet (in fact, most are no longer than a 140-character Tweet) but offer lessons with immeasurable value that span the generations.

Howard Green was a U.S. Army Private stationed in San Antonio, Texas. “Help others. In dining they would encourage soldiers who seemed down and out and encouraged them to take it easy, smile. Helping others is key.”

Robert DiGuglielmo: “Don’t rush into things. If you make a rash decision, you’re done. If you are flying and make a rash decision to charge your fuel tanks (the wrong one) or jump, you could be in trouble. You must stay cool, calm and collected at all times.”

Joseph “Joe” Melvin: “You have to duck when someone hollers duck.”

These are just some of the ways veteran’s are being honored across the U.S. today. How will you honor them?



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