No Small Gesture: How Companies and Individuals Can Show Support for Troops
Advocacy Showing support for veterans can take form in many ways, from simple letters to corporate initiatives.
In 1995, while American troops were engaging in Operation Desert Storm, a Disneyland Resort Cast Member came across a letter in the newspaper from a serviceman sharing how meaningful it felt to receive mail overseas from back home, though this did not seem to happen all that frequently. The Disney Cast Member decided to take action and do something about it personally, writing letters to troops to thank them for their service while encouraging fellow Disney Cast Members and employees to join in this effort of support.
This singular individual inspired the Disney Operation Uplift postcard program, which has now mailed out over one hundred thousand postcards to troops around the world, offering words of warmth and gratitude to American military personnel all over the globe.
While exceptional employees can galvanize their corporate teams to provide such powerful examples of tangible support, companies at the executive level are also enacting programs to empower veterans themselves once they return home. In collaboration with Keep America Beautiful and Waste Management, PepsiCo is introducing thousands of public recycling kiosks and bins across North America to collect plastic bottles and aluminum cans, which will help fund training and education programs for U.S. veterans with disabilities who are aiming to start their own businesses.
Veterans helping veterans
Even active servicemen themselves are inspiring movements to reinforce one another. After serving in eastern Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, and later as the officer recruiter for Manhattan, Mike Abrams recently founded Four Block, a company that aims to ensure that returning veterans have the tools and resources they need to begin new careers by cultivating mentor-based internships with top companies like NBC and Bloomberg.
Whether an employee, executive, or entrepreneur, every one of us can take professional action to extend personal support for our servicemen and women.