American Airlines honors military heroes

American Airlines honors military heroes

American Airlines and its employees honor our heroes — active military, veterans, first responders and their families — throughout the year with a variety of initiatives demonstrating our respect and appreciation for those who serve. American has a long history of supporting organizations such as the Airpower Foundation, Gary Sinise Foundation, Medal of Honor Foundation, Snowball Express, Salute the Troops and Seats for Soldiers. American invites our customers to join us in supporting these worthy causes. By donating to Miles for All Who Serve, you are helping these organizations that support our troops.

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The Miles for All Who Serve program provides assistance to organizations that work to support veterans, military members and their families. The mile-donation program includes opportunities to help caregivers and first responders, as well as giving a strategic emphasis on helping children of service members.
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But as Veterans Day approaches, we go beyond everyday efforts and salute veterans with events that commemorate and honor the sacrifices they made.

This fall, American Airlines celebrated its 10th anniversary partnership with the Honor Flight Network, by flying 180 World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans from Asheville, N.C., to Washington, D.C., to visit the monuments built in their honor. But this was no ordinary mission. This historic event marked American’s 500th Honor Flight since the inaugural flight arrived at Washington Reagan National Airport back in 2006. (It’s hard to imagine that back then, the Honor Flight Network used private planes to fly just a few veterans at a time to D.C.)

Once that 500th Honor Flight arrived in the nation’s capital, American employees pulled out all the stops to make the veterans’ visit extra special — a water cannon salute, red carpet, honor guard formations, a choir and 39-piece band, swing dancers and so much more. From there, police escorted the motorcade through the streets of D.C. as it stopped for several memorials and wreath-laying ceremonies. For veterans, visiting their particular memorial with the same service members they fought alongside on the battlefield proved to be a solemn honor.

In the years following that initial 2006 flight, American has transported thousands of our nation’s finest from across the country to the capital. Today, American is proud of its heritage as the Honor Flight Network’s longest-serving commercial airline partner.

American hosts events for military members and veterans

American hosts several annual events that support active military members, veterans and their families. This fall, we look forward to participating in these upcoming opportunities to show our military how much we appreciate them:

Oct. 20-22: Skyball XIV: American Airlines Sky Ball XIV gala in support of the Airpower Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that raises money in support of our military and their families. This year, the annual fundraiser honors the United States Special Operations Command and First Responders. The three-day event includes The Medal of Honor Bob Hope Award Gala Thursday night, Salute the Heroes Concert featuring Terry Fator and Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band Friday night. Saturday evening includes a black-tie gala and performance featuring Grammy Award winning country music superstar Tim McGraw.

Nov. 11-15: Salute to the Troops: American Airlines, MGM Resorts and the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore partner to send a group of wounded, ill or injured service members from Bethesda Military Medical Center at Walter Reed to Las Vegas. Military members and their guests enjoy a weekend getaway to reconnect and relax.

Dec 3-9: 75th Pearl Harbor Commemoration: As the official airline of the 75th Pearl Harbor Commemoration American is proud to fly nearly 100 WWII veterans and Pearl Harbor survivors to Honolulu from Los Angeles on a donated American Airlines charter aircraft. While in Hawaii, American will serve as the official airline of the upcoming PBS documentary, Remember Pearl Harbor, narrated by Tom Selleck. This film will have its world premiere as part of the commemoration activities and will be shown on Dec. 4 at Ford Island in conjunction with the Wings of the Pacific Museum. Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will perform a special concert as part of the 75th Commemoration activities on Dec. 5 on Waikiki Beach.

Dec. 12: Seats for Soldiers: American Airlines and the Dallas Mavericks host more than 100 wounded, ill or injured service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and other service members from the National Guard and Reserves for dinner and a Mavericks-Bucks basketball game and photo op at American Airlines Center.

Dec. 11-15: Snowball Express: American helps provide hope and new happy memories to the children and surviving spouses of military fallen heroes who have given the ultimate sacrifice while on active duty since 9/11. Nearly 2,000 children and spouses of these fallen heroes will travel on 10 donated American Airlines aircraft to attend the four-day event, promoting healing and connectivity with other families through various events.

Dec. 23: Armed Forces Bowl: As a sponsor of the ESPN Events/Lockheed Martin American Armed Forces Bowl, American Airlines is proud to partner with this premiere football experience which honors our nations service members, veterans and their families.