American is involved in a wide variety of military charities that work to support our men and women in uniform, veterans and their families. Our initiatives include providing support to organizations such as the USO, Air Compassion for Veterans, Hero Miles, Snowball Express and charter flights for Salute to the Troops, Seats for Soldiers and Honor Flights. Through these and more charitable efforts, American continues to help make a difference in the lives of those serving our country.
On May 20, US Airways 400th Honor Flight received a cheering welcome at DCA. Employee volunteers greeted 70 WWII veterans flew into Washington Reagan National Airport from Fort Wayne, Ind. Customer Care Agent and volunteer organizer Greg Locher is made the milestone event — which carried its 1,000th veteran and included a 101-year-old female Army veteran — one to remember. Veterans arrived to a rolled out a red carpet and festivities featured swing dancers, a choir and band.
Thousands of participants and spectators came to Dallas’ Reverchon Park Memorial Day weekend for the 20-hour Carry the Load Memorial Day March. Participants walked for to honor service members, including police officers and fire fighters, who have fallen. “This walk has great meaning to me as a retired Naval Aviator and current Pilot with American Airlines,” DFW-based Pilot Jimmy Cox (pictured) said. “Each year, my sons and I walk with Active and Retired Military Veterans and Americans from every walk of life to honor those that have paid the highest price for our freedom.”
American Airlines Sky Ball XII, an event honoring U.S. military members, veterans and their families, set a fundraising record of $1.9 million. Proceeds from the event will allow the Airpower Foundation to assist organizations such as Snowball Express, an annual gathering of nearly 2,000 children and spouses of fallen military members, and Carrick Brain Centers, which treats service members impacted by post-traumatic stress and significant brain injuries.
American Airlines customers and community volunteers joined us in a rousing response to honor those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during our Veteran’s Day campaign last year. From those who donated their miles and funds to volunteers that personally serve military members and their families at the annual Sky Ball gala, we are proud to partner with communities and organizations across the country to support those who serve.
In July, American partnered with Honor Flight Austin to fly 108-year-old Lucy Coffey, the United States' oldest living female veteran, to Washington, D.C. While there she saw veteran memorials and met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Old Glory Honor Flight, the Northeast Wisconsin hub of The Honor Flight Network and the Experimental Aircraft Association arranged a one-day tour in the nation’s capitol, bringing together Vietnam veterans from across the country to visit the awe-inspiring monuments built in their honor. Each year, the aviation world descends on Oshkosh, Wis., for the EAA’s AirVenture air show, billed as the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.
On March 23, American transported a group of distinguished heroes from New York to Washington, D.C., where they were recognized and honored. As the official airline of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation for Medal of Honor Day, American has provided transportation to medal recipients for the past five years, in keeping with our long history of supporting U.S. service members, veterans and their families.
Working with Air Compassion for Veterans, American provided transportation for Lucca, an 8-year-old Military Working Dog, and her handler, Cpl. Juan Rodriguez. Lucca is a two-time Iraq veteran who served one tour in Afghanistan and is a specialized search dog trained to detect trace amounts of explosive compounds. On her last deployment, she suffered from an IED blast that resulted in the amputation of her left front leg leading to her retirement.
In tribute to the 82 living Medal of Honor recipients, American transported a group of heroes aboard its yellow-ribbon 737 aircraft from New York to Washington, D.C., where they were recognized in conjunction with National Medal of Honor Day. The Medal of Honor, the highest U.S military honor for valor, has been presented to just 3,500 service members, many of them posthumously, since the Civil War.
American Airlines, Air Compassion for Veterans and The Greatest Generations Foundation partnered together to send a group of World War II veterans to the islands of the South Pacific. History students from Ohio State University accompanied the veterans, whose stories were documented and private services were held in honor of those who were wounded and in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The USO offers a variety of programs and services to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families. The organization makes these programs available to as many eligible participants as possible, building awareness of these important tools to help in the recovery process when troops return home.
Air Compassion for Veterans provides medical-related air transportation for military, veterans and their families. Through Fuel Smart, a fuel-saving program that uses procedures to safely reduce fuel consumption, American has been able to contribute funds to help provide assistance.
The Hero Miles program helps provide round-trip airline tickets to wounded, injured and ill service members and/or their families who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center; or who are attending an authorized event. Flights are made possible in part by mile donations to American's Miles for All Who Serve program.
Snowball Express is one of the few charities dedicated to the children of our nation’s fallen military heroes. The all-volunteer nonprofit organization pays tribute to fallen military service members by helping their families connect with each other.
The Airpower Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises money for programs that directly benefit veterans, military service members and their families. For the past 12 years, American has sponsored the group’s annual Sky Ball event, a black-tie gala and fundraising event.
The Honor Flight Network provides charter flights to veterans of various wars and conflicts to Washington, D.C., to view the memorials constructed to recognize their services and that of their fellow soldiers. The “Tour of Honor” relies on donated services and volunteers.
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.
The Miles in Support of All Who Serve program awards customers AAdvantage miles for every dollar they contribute to the USO. Their mission — to lift the spirits of our troops and families — is the focal point for transitioning troops; military families; wounded, ill and injured soldiers; and families of the fallen.