WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines employees today are presenting a check for $1,036,957 to Air Compassion for Veterans during a "Day of Thanks" celebration in Washington, D.C. The contribution was made possible through "Fuel Smart," American's fuel-conservation program. The funds will be used to provide flights for active U.S. military, veterans and their families for medical and rehabilitation needs. Through this initiative, nearly $1.5 million has been raised by American Airlines and its employees for the nonprofit organization since the partnership's inception in 2010.
To celebrate this contribution and honor injured service members and veterans, American's employees are participating in "Day of Thanks" events across the country. Additional donation collections for items needed by local military and Veterans Affairs hospitals, including clothing, reading materials and toiletries, will be led by the airline's Veteran Military Employee Resource Group (VMERG) chapters. VMERG members and employees will deliver donated items to the hospitals and pay tribute to the veterans for their service and sacrifice for our country.
"Our active service members, veterans and their families have sacrificed so much to protect the freedoms we hold dear," said Bob Reding, American's Executive Vice President – Operations. "It is extremely gratifying to see American's employees embrace the initiative to safely conserve fuel, and help significantly support these heroes and their families. This contribution is a testament to our employees' extraordinary efforts for our service members and their families, who are so deserving of our country's deepest thanks."
In addition, a selected group of employees will spend the day in Washington, D.C., where they and other special guests, including service members who have benefitted from the partnership, will visit with veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Following their visit, the group will attend a luncheon and reception with U.S. military and congressional leaders and guests. Ground transportation will be generously provided by Greyhound Lines, Inc.
American's partnership with Air Compassion for Veterans began in 2010, when the airline's Fuel Smart and Veterans Initiatives programs teamed up to provide a way for employees to directly contribute to those who serve our country. Through this partnership, a portion of savings from Fuel Smart efforts is contributed to Air Compassion for Veterans, which in turn arranges for wounded warriors, veterans and their families to travel for medical, counseling and rehabilitation needs which have directly resulted from their service.
"Quite often, the men and women who wear the cloth of our nation return home in need of medical attention, but they do not always have the means to travel to facilities to receive the treatment available to them," said Ed Boyer, President/CEO of Air Compassion for Veterans. "Thanks to fuel-conservation efforts by American Airlines employees, about 2,700 missions have been granted through the partnership. We are incredibly grateful for American's support and commitment to the country's military and veterans."
American Airlines has a long history of supporting U.S. armed forces and veterans. With more than 60 percent of American's pilots and 10 percent of all American and American Eagle Airlines employees serving as active military or veterans, the company places a strong emphasis on its military and veterans initiatives. American supports members of the military, veterans and their families in many other ways, including special military airfares, support of nonprofit organizations, and employee-supported sponsorships of a wide variety of events and activities in local communities as well as on a national level.
The Fuel Smart program, launched in 2005, is an employee-led effort to identify, evaluate and implement ideas that safely reduce the company's fuel consumption, and continues to be a proactive approach the company is taking to combat rising fuel prices. Fuel Smart also contributes toward American's environmental efforts. In 2011, American aims to reach an annual fuel savings rate of 134 million gallons, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.8 billion pounds per year.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 250 cities in 50 countries with, on average, more than 3,600 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve approximately 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 145 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR).
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SOURCE American Airlines