On Wednesday, November 4, American Airlines and the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration are recognizing more than 1,300 American Airlines employees, retirees and family members who served during the Vietnam War period (1955-1975). This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first ground troops in Vietnam.
“We’re proud to be a commemorative partner with the Department of Defense to recognize this important anniversary,” said Scott Kirby, President of American Airlines and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. “American Airlines has a long history of support for active duty service members, veterans and their families. Today is about honoring our employees and their family members who served in the armed forces between 1955 and 1975, and we are forever grateful for their service and their sacrifice.”
These events, taking place in 10 cities across the country, will, in addition to recognizing employees, retirees and family members who served, pay tribute to former prisoners of war, in memoriam, unaccounted for veterans and deceased Vietnam veterans’ spouses for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and American. The cities include Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tulsa and Washington, D.C.
“We’re delighted that American Airlines and all nine of its hubs and Tulsa maintenance facility have joined our nearly 9,000 Commemorative Partners in thanking and honoring our 7.2 million living Vietnam veterans and the 9 million families of those who served,” said retired Army Major General Jim Jackson, director of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. “On November 4, American will recognize more than 1,200 of their employees who are Vietnam veterans with a public presentation of the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. To those who served their nation and sacrificed so much, these public ceremonies and this lapel pin are lasting mementos of the nation’s thanks. We encourage anyone flying American Airlines on November 4th to be on the lookout for one of these ceremonies and take time to stop and ‘Join the nation … thank a Vietnam veteran!'”
The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and “in conducting the commemorative program, the Secretary shall coordinate, support, and facilitate other programs and activities of the Federal Government, State and local governments, and other persons and organizations in commemoration of the Vietnam War.” For more information on the Commemoration, visit www.vietnamwar50th.com.
American and its employees dedicate significant time, money and other resources to supporting our men and women in uniform, veterans and their families. Last month, the airline hosted its annual American Airlines Sky Ball, raising more than $2.2 million for the Air Power Foundation, an organization who is dedicated to supporting active duty, reserve and National Guard families. American and its employees also work throughout the year supporting our nation’s heroes through initiatives like Hero Miles, Snowball Express, charter flights for Salute to the Troops, and Seats for Soldiers.