With 250,000 members of our military transitioning back to civilian life each year, veterans are returning to schools, workplaces and neighborhoods across the country to take on important roles as neighbors, co-workers, coaches, teachers, leaders and engaged and active citizens. But their transition doesn’t end with the return home. That’s when it begins.
Today, empowering organizations including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Team Red, White and Blue, Team Rubicon, Hire Heroes USA and Blue Star Families joined Walmart to launch Greenlight A Vet. This is a campaign to help create visible and actionable national support for America’s veterans and their families. You interact with them every day at work, at school and in the neighborhood. However, it’s hard to show them support or recognize their contributions when, back home and out of uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever.
A green light means go and that’s what veterans are known for – their ability to take action quickly no matter the challenge. They demonstrate great leadership skills in any situation and represent the best of America. Their involvement in communities is central to our nation’s success.
“The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University is proud to be a part of Walmart’s campaign to Greenlight A Vet in support of those who have served in the military and their families.” said Dr. Mike Haynie, Executive Director of the IVMF and Vice Chancellor at Syracuse University. “Participating in a national movement, designed to recognize those who have worn our nation’s uniform as valued, contributing members of our communities, is our way of encouraging all Americans to meaningfully engage with veterans and their families and by so doing, appreciate them as respected civic assets.”
“By uniting behind a visible symbol, we can ignite a national conversation in our communities about opportunity, success and service for veterans as they take off the uniform,” said retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, Walmart’s senior director of military programs.
All Americans are invited to show support for veterans through a visible symbol. Even if we can’t always see our veterans, they should always be able to see our support.
Anyone can Greenlight A Vet:
- Hire one today. Or help a veteran find a job.
- Volunteer and serve with veterans groups in your local community.
- Start a mentor/mentee relationship with a returning veteran.
- Raise awareness on social media.
- Or simply signal support by changing your porch light to green.
Walmart is committed to greenlighting veterans, including hiring 250,000 veterans by 2020 through its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment. As part of this effort, Walmart proudly greenlighted the company’s 100,000th veteran hire this past month.
While a job is a vital piece of transitioning from military to civilian life for a veteran, it also takes a coordinated, multi-sector effort to create healthy transitions to civilian life. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $20 million in grants to organizations that provide veteran job training, education and community-based collaboration. As part of this pledge, the Walmart Foundation provided donations to organizations focused specifically on transitioning veterans:
- A $500,000 grant to Hire Heroes USA (Hire Heroes) to help increase their capacity. Hire Heroes has built a national reputation of excellence for their success at helping unemployed veterans find jobs.
- A $190,000 grant to Blue Star Families for a tech-train-to-hire project that will train military spouses for high demand and high growth careers in technology. This program speaks to the heart of one of the greatest challenges to military life, which is 58 percent unemployment and underemployment among military families.
“Through continued, collaborative work with our nonprofit partners, we greenlight innovative public/private community-based initiatives that address the navigation challenges many of our veterans face when returning to the civilian workforce and their communities.” said Kathleen McLaughlin, President of the Walmart Foundation. “There is no better tribute to our men and women who serve than recognizing the value of their contributions and fully engaging them in our communities and workforce when they return home.”
For more information about Walmart’s Greenlight A Vet campaign please visit:www.greenlightavet.com.