FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines this Veterans Day will salute veterans and active duty service members of the U.S. Armed Forces, as part of its year-long initiatives designed to make a difference in the lives of people across all branches of the military. American employees have longtime ties to the military community, with more than 6,000 employees serving in the military past or present.
"As a U.S. Army veteran, I'm proud that American Airlines and thousands of our employees work all year long to support veterans' initiatives across all branches of the military. Our country is indebted to the men and women who fight and have fought for our freedom," said Capt. Kimball Stone, American's vice president – Flight. "I am especially thankful to our employees who are veterans, reservists and active duty service men and women who continue to serve our country every day."
Customers can join American in support of veterans through the AAdvantage® Miles for All Who Serve program. The program provides assistance to organizations that work to support our men and women in uniform, veterans and their families. Support is provided to organizations such as Air Power Foundation, The Gary Sinise Foundation, Hero Miles and Snowball Express. Customers can go to aa.com/giving and donate their unused miles in support of all who serve.
Veterans Day 2015 comes on the heels of a record breaking Sky Ball XIII, the annual black-tie event that American and the Airpower Foundation have presented since 2003 to raise money for North Texas military families and national organizations, including Snowball Express. This year's Sky Ball XIII, held on Oct. 24, raised a record $2.3 million for military families with help from more than 1,200 American employees who volunteered their time.
American employee participation provides the backbone for other initiatives that support the troops, veterans and their families including:
- Tribute to Vietnam veterans: On Nov. 4, American honored more than 1,300 Vietnam-period veterans who are employees, retirees and family members at special events at all of American's nine hubs and the Tulsa maintenance base. As Commemorative Partners with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, American Airlines leadership presented special lapel pins and certificates to the Vietnam veterans in honor of their service and sacrifice.
- Salute to the Troops: This Veterans Day weekend, American will partner with MGM Resorts International and the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore to host nearly 80 wounded warriors and their guests from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and other locations for the seventh annual "Salute to the Troops." American will provide a chartered aircraft for the trip to Las Vegas, where they will be treated to entertainment, sightseeing and other activities.
- Seats for Soldiers: On Dec. 12, American and the Dallas Mavericks will celebrate their 10th annual Seats for Soldiers event. Wounded soldiers from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio will be flown to Dallas/Fort Worth on a chartered aircraft funded by American's Fuel Smart program to enjoy dinner at Abacus, front-row seats at a Mavericks game at American Airlines Center and recognition for their service. The game seats are donated by Mavericks season ticketholders, and American's flight crews donate their time for the trip.
- Snowball Express: American is the official airline of Snowball Express, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide hope and new memories for the children of fallen military heroes, and annually hosts a trip for children and spouses of fallen military. The 2015 event, scheduled for Dec. 12-16, will bring more than 1,800 family members to North Texas for an all-expense-paid series of activities. American will provide nine charter flights as well as airfare for additional families. The American Airlines Kids in NeedSM program, Air Compassion for Veterans organization and The Fisher House Foundation also provide airfare for families. Customers interested in sponsoring a family's trip can learn more at http://snowballexpress.org/support/.
- Air Compassion for Veterans: Through the employee-led Fuel Smart program, $3.6 million in travel has been donated to Air Compassion for Veterans, a non-profit organization that helps active and retired U.S. military veterans and immediate family travel for medical, counseling and rehabilitation needs. Fuel Smart efforts safely reduce fuel consumption by implementing viable suggestions from employees throughout the airline.
Some of American's participation comes through its employees who are members of the company sponsored Veteran Military Employee Business Resource Group, which was the first of its kind in the U.S. airline industry. Members make a difference in the communities where they live and work by donating their time – providing support for Honor Flights from across the USA, sending packages to deployed troops, making regular visits to VA nursing homes, volunteering for American's initiatives that support the troops and assisting with planeside honors for fallen servicemen and women, among other activities.
In addition to these initiatives, American offers travel amenities for active-duty service members including priority boarding, preferred seating and upgrades if available, waived baggage fees, complimentary Admirals Club admission for qualifying members and priority baggage delivery in the claim area.
For more information about the ways American Airlines supports military, veterans and their families, please visit aa.com/giving.
About American Airlines Group
American Airlines Group (NASDAQ: AAL) is the holding company for American Airlines. Together with regional partners operating as American Eagle, American offers an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose members and members-elect serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. This year American Airlines Group Inc. topped Fortune Magazine's list of best business turnarounds and its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.
SOURCE American Airlines